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Business trends

Turning Japan's cultural barriers into a startup gold mine

Foreign entrepreneurs see opportunities in country's rigid business environment

About 60% of the staff at Tokyo-based translation outsourcing agency Gengo are non-Japanese.

TOKYO -- Where many see insurmountable hurdles in Japan's falling population, rigid business practices and language barrier, some see opportunity. 

The number of Japan-based tech startups has been on the rise since 2010, shadowing the advance of communications technologies. Foreign entrepreneurs have stood out when it comes to turning cultural differences into business opportunities, sparking a chain reaction of innovation.

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