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Business Etiquette in Japan

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Sarthi Patel

on 10 January 2014

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Transcript of Business Etiquette in Japan

15% of the world’s economy is in Japan
25% of the world’s high-tech products are made in Japan
10% of the world’s cars are made in Japan
30% of the world’s cars are made by Japanese brands
Japan’s mobile communications market is arguably the most advanced in the world.
Business Etiquette
First Impressions
"You never get a second chance
to make a first impression"
Business meetings are an
arena in which poor etiquette can have negative effects .By improving your business meeting etiquette, you are automatically improving your chances of success.

Good business ethics should be a priority for anyone who hosts or attends such functions, to ensure successful and
effective meetings.
The Dress code for Japnese men and women are very similar.
Both genders are to wear conservative attire.
Casual dresses are referred to as inappropriate

Japan is a technology powerhouse, a “proving ground” for consumer requirements, and stands in the vanguard with respect to the sweeping changes recently seen in developed market demographics.
"Japan is the world’s second or third largest market depending on the sector."
Introduce yourself to the senior person first
Everyone should bow.

When addressing someone, use a full name.
When bowing, the greater degree of the bow is shown as more respectful.
It is important to show the correct amount of respect to someone based upon their the status.
Japanese people like their privacy in public places
Japanese tend to favor indirect eye contact over direct. They may view direct eye contact as intimidating and threatening.
There is almost no touching between men and men, women and women, and men and women while conversing.
Corporate Culture
Punctuality is a must in all business and social meetings.
Any degree of knowledge of Japanese culture is greatly appreciated.
It is very important to send a manager of the same rank to meet with a Japanese colleague.
"Saving face" is a key concept. Japanese are anxious to avoid unpleasantness and confrontation.
Business Man
Business Woman
They should dress conservatively with dark colored suits with white shirts and conservative ties.
Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off.
They should dress conservatively.
Minimal emphasis on jewelry, accessories and heels
Usually wear longer skirts and trousers
During the Meeting
Business Cards
Known as the Meishi
Exchanging is done before the meeting begins.
Always keep your business cards in pristine condition.
Treat the business card you receive as you would the person.
You may be given a business card that is only in Japanese.
It is wise to have one side of your business card translated into Japanese.
Give your business card with the Japanese side facing the recipient.
Make sure your business card includes your title.
Business cards are given and received with two hands and a slight bow.
Examine any business card you receive very carefully.
Starting a Meeting
Meetings often start with small talk
Loyalty is very important to Japanese businessmen.
The better they trust you the better chance you have of doing business
Don't be offended if asked a personal question
Don't jump straight to the point
Avoid talking about negotiations immediately
Individuals are seated based on rank
Most important at the head and least at the rear
Wait behind the seat until told to be seated or the boss/leader of the meeting has sat
Keep a calm voice and to leave emotions out
People often have their eyes closed and head down
In Japan it is a way to concentrate better
Napping is often acceptable if one is not expected to participate
Try to take as many notes as possible
Women make up nearly half of the workforce, although the majority of them work part-time
Wage gap is significant, with women earning about one-third less than men
As a visiting businesswoman, you will generally be treated with the respect due your position, though you may be excluded from after-hours business discussions
Japanese usually see woman as household worker.
Often there is a follow up gathering or party after the meeting
It is a way for the Japanese to loosen up and relax and get to know their business partner better
Often held at restaurant or a bar
Very rarely held at home
If it is, its a very high honor
Thank the host repeatedly
Unless told to dress casually, dress as if you will be going to the office
Meals/Table Manners
Take shoes off upon entering
Always arrive on time
Normally one must sit oriental style
Always sit after the boss has sat
Wait until all food has been served and boss has started eating
Always serve to your right
Never serve to your self
Always leave a little in your glass or plate if you are done
Use the ohashi or chopsticks to eat
Gift Giving
Usually name-branded items from the country or small gifts
Given after the meal
Make sure not to open the gift until you have left
Gifts are like business cards
They look and are exchanged in the same way
Do not give gifts with four or nine because they have a negative connotation

Inappropriate Actions
Keep your hands out of your pockets while speaking to someone.
Avoid pointing at people with a finger to make a point.
Smiling is thought of as rude during business
Background Info
Capital: Tokyo
Population: 127,333,002
Official Language: Japanese is the official language and spoken throughout the country.
Form of Government: parliamentarian democracy under the rule of a constitutional monarch
Religions in Japan
84% of the population is Shinto and Buddhist, 15.3% Christianity, Islam, and other sects and also including 0.7% Christian
Thank you for your time! Now I am open for any questions you may have.
Japanese Culture is very much about saving face and showing honor and respect to others, especially those of higher age.
Doing business with them will be accomplished by being very respectful and allowing them to get comfortable with you.
If business is done well with the japanese, they will be loyal for a long period of time.
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