The affluent Japanese market definitely offers opportunities, but at the same time its affluence sharpens the competition in each industry. Competition is fierce not so much in terms of profit maximization but in terms of the market share domestic competitors want to maintain and expand. Quality is the key, but the competitive quality of the product or service is highly dependent upon the carefully reticulated interdependence of the parties involved. If this interdependence were to be formulated it would look something like: (R&D department and its scientists) times (design department and its technicians) times (production department and its operators) times (purchasing department and its suite of suppliers) times (support of QC department) times (marketing department and distributors) times (the network of retailers and consumers). These variables are seen to interact in a simultaneous way, since the quality of a product or service is believed to be directly related to the quality of the job performed by each and every one involved. Quality is never regarded as a production cost, but as a market requirement.