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Why so many of the worlds oldest companies are in Japan - BBC Worklife

Michael Cusumano agrees. He’s a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who spearheaded entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives at the Tokyo University of Science from 2016 to 2017, and lived and worked in Japan for eight years. “Closing a company or selling it is also considered something of a failure and shame in Japan, and this feeling goes back centuries. So these cultural issues also seem to encourage families to keep firms going,” he says. “Japanese society, and the economy, is not as flexible as the US, and so Japan does not generate big new firms so easily. The tendency is to preserve what they have.”