Doing Business with Japanese Companies: the How-Tos and the No-Nos

How to do business with Japanese?

Japanese Customs / August 4, 2022

Proper business etiquette is essential in conducting business abroad. Embracing the business customs and cultural nuances of other countries can be the difference between closing a deal or landing a job. In Japan, it is incredibly easy to make a mistake as the country has a unique balance of tradition, history, modernity and customs.

Doing Business in Japan

If you are interested in finding a job in Japan or closing, make sure to follow these 4 tips to conduct business in Japan most effectively:

1. Expect a Group Focus

In some Western countries, the emphasis is placed on individuality. If you rise up and perform well, you will find success. However, in Japan, there is, according to language training firm Kwintessential. This means you can expect a high level of compromise and discipline. Also, be prepared to work in a group setting and have your success measured as a whole.

2. Be Prepared to Show Respect

While respect is an important tenet of all professionals, it is even more vital in Japan, the news source noted. While conducting business in this country, make sure you show respect to everyone. You need to pay attention to your body language, word choice, etiquette and other subtle details, so you don't accidently offend anyone.

3. Age is the Same as Seniority
Bruna Martinuzzi, author and contributor to the American Express OPENforum, wrote in an article that . Age is seen as the primary factor in seniority at a company. Japan places a huge emphasis on respecting their elders. This is contrary to the United States where age discrimination is frowned upon and it isn’t uncommon to see 20-30 year olds in the C-suite. Never interrupt or disagree with an elder’s opinion in a group setting in Japan. It is best practice to express any concerns with someone your age who can relay the information through the proper channels to the senior member.