May 08


June 09


HRTP (Human Resources Training Programme - Japan industry insight)

Since the first session in 1987, more than 600 companies across Europe have benefited from knowledge and concrete tools for better approaching the Japanese market.

The 4-week Human Resources Training Programme - Japan Industry Insight offers EU managers the unique opportunity to experience and understand both the cultural and economic elements which define and explain Japan's business and technological achievements. Continuously improved to meet the latest expectations about business in Japan, the HRTP provides EU businessmen with a professional Japan-related expertise.

The programme consists of a combination of lectures, a joint seminar and company visits and is designed to help participants become thoroughly informed about the actual conditions of Japanese business through practical analysis and research. This involves a better comprehension of the language, economy, history and politics of the country, as well as practical business experiences, which takes place in the HRTP. The 4-week course may be extended by an optional 5th week of individual company visits.

• How to succeed in Japan now?
• Do you wish to gain in-depth insight into the Japanese business environment?
• Do you require a better understanding of your Japanese partners or competitors?
• Do you need to learn more about Japanese management practices?
• Are you about to be transferred to Japan?
• Are you considering venturing into the Japanese market?

Participant profile

HRTP is targeted at small, medium and large enterprises, more specifically at managers who:
- have a major role in defining and implementing their companies’ policies vis-à-vis Japan, or
- are to be transferred to Japan, or
- come from companies intending to supply Japanese companies at home or abroad, or
- wish to learn about management practices and technological developments in Japan.


The candidate:

- must be a citizen of an EU Member State or of a COSME partnering country; - must work for a company that is > 50% EU or COSME partnering country owned; - must work for an organisation that is an EU or COSME partnering country juridical person; - must be supported by their employer and be able to participate in the entire programme; - must have a reasonable command of English; - should be a manager or an executive from an industrial company; - should have proven experience in industry.


The main criteria for selection are: - the professional & educational background of the candidate; - the strategy of the participant's company regarding Japan; In order to ensure a high degree of personal attention, the number of participants in each programme is limited.

Programme objectives

The purpose of the mission in Japan is: - to acquire a broad understanding of Japanese society, its culture, and the business environment and practices in Japan; - to acquire a good knowledge of Japanese-style personal communications, in order to find ways to doing successful business through a partner relationship; - to become aware of the decision-making process inside Japanese companies and therefore gain a better understanding of their negotiation style and hierarchy; - to give the opportunity to reinforce relationships with current Japanese customers and to facilitate contacts with future customers; - to gain a better understanding of Japan and its evolution through its society, history, economy, industry, finance and politics, as well as the legal and practical aspects of doing business in Japan; - to provide the opportunity for the participant to gather information on the current economic situation and political developments in Japan.

Programme design and content

The HRTP - Japan Industry Insight includes a study of the Japanese language and culture, lectures on the targeted subjects, a joint seminar and company visits, which are essential and compose a unit. It gives the participant a broad understanding of the Japanese mind and the business environment in Japan.

Orientation session On the first day of the programme in Japan, there will be an orientation session focused on hints for daily life in Japan and an outline of the training programme.

Japanese language and culture courses Designed to provide participants with survival Japanese phrases for business and daily life, the courses not only enable participants to ask for directions but more importantly also to understand the language structure and its complexity. This also leads to a deeper insight and understanding of the importance of how something is said, depending on many aspects such as age, gender, hierarchical position, situation, etc. In addition to teaching useful words and expressions for daily life, topics are especially chosen to enable participants to survive in practical situations of self-introduction during business meetings, to order something or speaking on the phone, and so on.

Lectures The lectures, for a good understanding of the Japanese society, are essential to approach fundamental topics such as Japanese history, the economy, politics and legal matters. They consist of: - general lectures on Japan's economic, social, cultural, historical and political background; - special interest lectures (business practices, marketing, legal aspects of doing business in Japan, etc.). Lecturers are carefully selected on the basis of their business experience and specialised knowledge.

Joint seminar with Japanese business people A joint seminar (in small groups) to discuss experiences with Japanese managers includes decision-making, team management and negotiation role-play exercises. Through this session with Japanese business people, participants study cross-cultural management methods. This provides an enhanced understanding of Japanese business.

Field trips (Sogo Shosha and Regional trip) A "Sogo Shosha" (general trading companies) visit is designed to understand the gigantic general trading companies unique to Japan. Participants see what diversified and expanded functions Sogo Shosha have and gain knowledge of their role in the Japanese economy and their strategy for the future. A regional trip is organised to allow participants to broaden their understanding of how Japan's economy works outside Tokyo. Participants are able to gather information on the structure and the decision process of the community and to acquire some understanding of the real business environment faced by Japanese companies. A wide range of companies are carefully selected, for instance ranging from a car manufacturer to a traditional "Sake" brewery.

Individual company visits (optional) During the fifth week participants have the opportunity to carry out individual visits to either Japanese or European-owned firms of direct or potential interest to their work. Support is provided to the participants to enable them to establish a network of contacts in Japan by arranging appointments and interpreters in response to participants' stated requests.


For the first four weeks of the programme, the EU-Japan Centre will cover costs relating to tuition (partly for non-SMEs), travel costs for visits and interpretation.

SMEs (*): participants from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from up to € 3,000 in grant.

SMEs can apply for:

€ 2,500 grant towards living expenses (paid during the HRTP course) € 500 additional grant (paid after participation in the HRTP course) if they submit a profile through “Enterprise Europe Network (EEN)” partnering service. SMEs can choose EEN closest contact point and will be introduced by the EU-Japan Centre to the selected partner. SMEs are free to not take advantage of EEN service but therefore will NOT be eligible for the additional € 500 grant.

Eligibility will be checked through the ‘grant request – self-assessment declaration’ in the application form.


SMEs must pay a (100% refundable) deposit of €2,000 to guarantee the place on the course. The deposit will be refunded within 8 weeks after the course, minus any unpaid bills, provided that the participant attends the entire course and submits any and all reports the Centre asks him/her to make. 

Non-SMEs / other companies (*): must pay a (non-refundable) contribution of €1,000 towards the costs incurred by the EU-Japan Centre in relation to the company's participation + a (refundable) deposit of €1,000 to guarantee the place on the course. The participants' companies must cover travel costs to/from Japan, accommodation and any other costs not covered directly by the EU-Japan Centre.

Failure to transfer the €2,000 refundable deposit (for SMEs) or €1,000 non-refundable contribution + €1,000 refundable deposit (non SMEs) by the deadline set by the EU-Japan Centre at the time a place on the course is offered may result in the offer of the place being withdrawn.


A place on the course is ‘confirmed’ once the Centre has received the €2,000 deposit. SMEs will be reimbursed 100% of this deposit within 8 weeks after the course. Non-SMEs will be reimbursed 50% of this deposit within 8 weeks after the course. Provided that the participant attends the entire course and submits any and all reports the Centre asks him/her to make. Interest payment is excluded.

If, for whatever reason, a participant cannot take up his / her confirmed place, the deposit / contribution may NOT be refunded.

(*): SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) are companies meeting the standard European Commission criteria for an SME which have applied successfully for a scholarship. Other companies are large companies or SMEs that fail to apply successfully for a scholarship.



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