The illumination lights for the Christmas season in downtown Sapporo look somehow shabby without snow.
With or without the snow, December is the month for “forget-the-year party, ” which is a typical “follow-up social activity” in Japan. The Japanese go out to dinner and drink not only with business colleagues, but also with vendors, customers, friends and sometimes with relatives. We are not surprised, therefore, to hear that a sales person has the party almost every night during December.
The follow-up social activities in Japanese businesses have been slowing down due to the continued staggering economic conditions and partly due to the mentality of the younger generations who make much of individual activities rather than traditional social activities within their working environment.
But I see that the younger generations are starting to recognize that the traditional social activities made ready by their employer are the best place, or at least the starting line, to be shared with a profound experience and expertise of senior colleagues, and that they did not have to go to the online social media for self-development opportunities.
If you are a foreign business stationed in Japan and not yet received any invitation for a “forget-the-year” party, the high chances are your Japanese counterparts are waiting for your invitation.