From Rising Sun:
Suppose you work for a competing corporation, and you want to know what's going on inside Nakamoto. You can't find out, because Japanese corporations hire their executives for life. The executives feel they are part of a family. And they'd never betray their own family. So Nakamoto Corporation presents an impenetrable mask to the rest of the world, which makes ever the smallest details meaningful: which executives are in town from Japan, who is meeting with whom, comings and goings, and so on. And you might be able to learn those details, if you strike up a relationship with an American security guard who sits in front of monitors all day. Particularly if that guard has been subjected to Japanese prejudice against blacks.

"Go on," I said.

"The Japanese often try to bribe local security officers from rival firms. The Japanese are honorable people, but their tradition allows such behavior. All's fair in love, and war, and the Japanese see business as war. Bribery is fine, if yo can manage it."