ROBERT CHARLES
AZAR

Internationally recognized expert and
commentator on the principles of
Asian culture relating to foreign
business success in the
Far East

"Japanese and American management styles are 95% the same and different in all important aspects."

Honda Soichiro, Founder & CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

BOOKS

Navigating Japan's Business Culture

Clear, thoughtful, practical, actionable, and very readable guidance to turn the many cultural obstacles often encountered by foreign companies doing business in Japan into attributes for success.

Negotiating in Asia

2018

East and West—different languages, different cultures, and different expectations in business and negotiating. When purpose, approach, goal, and priorities differ in the negotiation process, challenges are a given. This book clearly defines these areas of East-West differences and relates them to deeper cultural insight to provide proven, practical methods to arrive at optimal negotiation solutions for maximum success. This book is chock full of insight, practical information, and case examples for any person, experienced or novice, conducting business in Asia markets.

Insightful Thoughts for the Journey Through Life

Enjoy Eastern wisdom meeting Western philosophy in this a one-of-a-kind perspective on matters of life, love, and relationships. Special pages to add your own wisdom!

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

George Bernard Shaw

ROBERT CHARLES AZAR

Internationally recognized Far East cultural and business expert and commentator


Robert Azar has spent thirty-five years and counting in the milieu of Asian culture. He has logged over a million flight miles traveling to, from, and within Asia and lived in Japan for six years and Seoul, Korea for one year. He has worked for Japanese companies and, over the last twenty-five years, has very successfully developed and managed U.S. businesses in Asian markets within a variety industries. His deep understanding of the intricacies of Asian culture as well as his fluency in reading, writing, and speaking the Japanese language have been key to the success his clients have enjoyed.


Robert completed a double major BA degree in International Relations and East Asian Studies from New York University and then an MA degree in East Asian political, economic, and cultural affairs at Columbia University. After that he studied international marketing, global management, and business law at Harvard University.

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“There is a monumental difference between accurate language translation and correct cultural interpretation.”

Robert Charles Azar

ABOUT THE BOOKS

“Robert Azar is a gifted global communicator with astounding insight into the enigmatic and opaque business practices of the Japanese executive. Whether you are looking to invest in Japan or develop an import relationship with a Japanese company, Robert’s insights will be instrumental to your success.”

- Rick Van Sant, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for International Understanding, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

This book delivers clear, specific, actionable information to help executives understand and successfully navigate the numerous cultural and business differences that foreign companies confront when engaged in business in Japan. Azar delivers practical and proven methods for dealing with these differences to create strong, successful, long-term partnerships with your Japanese counterparts from ensuring a long-term relationship to understanding that “no” can sound very much like “yes” to foreign ears to leveraging important cultural traits to benefit both your company and your Japanese partner. Azar leads the reader through real-life experiences from his decades of working with Japanese companies. Topics covered include communicating, negotiating, managing, marketing, and selling entwined with traditional cultural and social values that influence and inform Japanese capitalism. What you don't know can hurt you! Azar’s shared wisdom and entertaining and eye-opening case studies will help you bypass the stumbling blocks and create success for your company and your Japanese business partner.

“The economies of Asia and the United States are increasingly intertwined.  Unique challenges faced by US executives in Asia are actually opportunities for educated and informed businesspeople.  Robert’s timely discussion of cross-border negotiations – from his very practical viewpoint -  is just such an educational tool, transforming unfamiliar situations into golden opportunities.”

- David S. Robinson, Esq., Honorary General Consul of Japan in Raleigh, North Carolina 2015-present

East and West—different languages, different cultures, and different expectations in business and negotiating. When purpose, approach, goal, and priorities differ in the negotiation process, challenges are a given.
Robert Azar uses his four decades of first-hand Asian business experience not only to clearly define these areas of East-West differences and relate them to deeper cultural insight but also to provide proven, practical methods to arrive at optimal negotiation solutions for maximum success. This book is chock full of insight, practical information, and case examples for any person, experienced or novice, conducting business in Asia markets.

Insightful Thoughts for the Journey through Life is an outstretched hand to pick you up when you feel down or have fallen. Azar’s thoughts and sayings that comprise this book uniquely combine Eastern wisdom and western philosophies to deliver the inspirational and motivational message that re sure to empower you and encourage your own positive thinking.

“Experience after experience shows that the culture-based challenges typically are the overwhelming factor determining the level of success American companies achieve abroad.”

Robert Charles Azar

REVIEWS

“Building a strong, successful relationship with our Japanese business partner is of utmost importance. Robert's book is a must-read for my entire staff as it is full of valuable cultural insights combined with practical relationship-building strategies. I strongly recommend the book to anyone interested in enhancing current or establishing new cross-cultural relationships; it is guaranteed to pay dividends!”

Laurie Fordon, October 21, 2016

“Although Mr. Azar's work is focused on navigating the Japanese business culture, his insights and thoughts are applicable when doing business in any environment. I would suggest that anyone interested in understanding doing business anywhere will find his book filled with meaningful lessons of value.”

Joseph Magnoon, October 17, 2016


“It has been my distinct privilege to work with Robert Azar on many different projects and in many different capacities off and on over the past 30 years. The depth and breadth of Mr. Azar’s experience in doing business in Asia is truly staggering. I cannot think of any non-Japanese person who understands the language and culture of Japan better than Mr. Azar. It is this …unique and thorough understanding of culture that enables Mr. Azar to help his clients and business partners to succeed in Japan and other Asian markets.”

Paul Taylor, Esq., Vice President & General Counsel, Ajinomoto North America, Inc.

“The depth of understanding in Navigating Japan’s Business Culture is unprecedented. As a Japanese reader, I was surprised to learn the cultural dynamics that govern management and communication in Japanese business. Azar’s book is informative, practical, and strategic, and will help you achieve your goals in Japan via effective strategies and correct cultural understanding. I recommend this book to everyone who engages in Japanese business, even to Japanese businessmen.”

Koyama Tomohisa, Executive Advisor to the President, Nagoya University, Former Deputy Director, New and Renewable Energy Division, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan


“Robert Azar’s book is essential reading for foreign businessmen looking for success in the Japanese market. He has had over 35 years practical experience in Japanese business, academic training about Japan, and is fluent in Japanese, a rare and invaluable combination. You will profit from reading this book.”

Prof. Gerald Curtis, Burgess Professor Emeritus of Japanese Government, Columbia University

“Navigating Japan’s Business Culture consists of tons of useful tips as well as actual examples in the Japanese business world. I was most impressed by Robert Azar’s understanding of Japan’s historical background as well as the intricacies of Japan’s actual business practices. (He sometimes knows Japanese culture more than I do!) This book provides deep insight based on his broad business experience and his scholarly study. I highly recommend this book as a practical guide to those who want to really understand and overcome the cultural gap and succeed in the Japanese market.”

Matsuo Takashi, Director, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Corporation

“My architectural/engineering firm has navigated the intricacies and challenges of doing business with Japanese companies since 1985. I only wish Robert Azar’s book had been available when we started this journey. Azar provides keen insight into the business culture of Japanese companies and describes strategies and tactics to be successful. If one is doing business with Japanese this is required reading.”

John L. Atkins, III, Honorary General Consul of Japan inRaleigh, North Carolina 2009–2014

“Robert Azar is a gifted global communicator with astounding insight into the enigmatic and opaque business practices of the Japanese executive. Whether you are looking to invest in Japan or develop an import relationship with a Japanese company, Robert’s insights will be instrumental to your success.”

Rick Van Sant, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for International Understanding, Chapel Hill, North Carolina


“Robert Azar is an accomplished businessman, consultant and commentator with vast experience in Asia – and particularly in Japan. His fluency in Japanese, his deep understanding of the culture and how it shapes Japanese business practices and his academic training in East Asian political, economic and cultural affairs make his insights a valuable resource for those doing business with this valued strategic and economic partner.”

James T. Fain III, Former North Carolina Commerce Secretary, 2001–2009

“This book is a must read by all who engage in international economic development. The North Carolina and Japanese economies are hugely important to each other. Understanding each other better; understanding how to better collaborate; …honoring each other’s culture – all extremely important. Robert Azar understands… all this better than most. Read his book; enjoy his depth and most importantly LEARN from him. He’s made it all work.”

Norris Tolson, Former North Carolina Commerce Secretary

LATEST UPDATES

February 19, 2017

Recognizing and Understanding Cultural Values Part II

In Interview #2 Azar speaks in more depth about the specific cultural understandings, explaining how understanding – or misunderstanding cultural values and expectations – affects market […]
January 19, 2017

Recognizing and Understanding Cultural Values Part I

In Interview #1 Azar talks about the importance of recognizing and understanding cultural values in business markets. He calls this cultural competency (tm) and applies it to examples […]