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Doing Business In Japan: Important Etiquette Rules You Need To Know

Doing Business In Japan: Important Etiquette Rules You Need To Know

Every country has a unique culture and is used to do doing things a certain way. Doing business in Japan is a bit different compared to other countries. Japanese are more formal, calm, and reserved.

Take a look at Japan’s values and what it means in the business industry.

Silence is Golden

In a business setting, silence is more professional than an overabundance of talking. Silence demonstrates emotional self-control and wisdom. In western culture, we are more outgoing and loud when it comes to communicating. When developing a business relationship in Japan, have a formal and introverted approach in the beginning.

Group Solidarity is Paramount

Japan is a group-oriented culture contrast to the west where we believe individualism is valued over group solidarity. In japan, singling out an individual is embarrassing for them. The concept of a team is important for the Japanese. When giving out recognition, make sure to address the entire group.

Business Cards are Talismans

A business card is an extension of their identity in Japan. Accept the business card with both hands. If you are standing, read it briefly and place it in a card holder. If you are seated, place it on the table during the meeting. It is considered disrespectful if you place the card in your pocket or wallet. If you are presenting your business card, turn the Japanese side faced up and hand it to them with both hands. Don’t toss or slide the card across a table.

Age Equals Seniority

Japanese respect elders. Treat older executives with a more marked deference than the younger ones in the group setting you are interacting with. Greet the senior person before you greet the others as well as offering your business card to seniors first before the others.

Hard Sell Doesn’t Sell

Japanese do not like to be pressured or confronted. When pitching your business proposal, approach the presentation in a gentle and persuasive way. Don’t emphasize so much on decisions and deadlines. Focus on points you mutually agree on and build on that. Take your time during the pitch. Japanese see rushing the process as disrespectful. Use the time that you find wasted during the meeting, to build trust and cement the business relationship.
Discover Further Insights into Japanese Business Etiquette Here.

Looking for a Roadmap to Enter the Japanese Market?

Having local help on board is essential in order to be successful in Japan’s market entry. 

COVUE, as your IOR and ACP, can help navigate the complexities of the Japanese market. Our regulatory experts can help you to speed up the market entry process.