People who have spent time in Japan or working with the Japanese know that their motivations, thoughts, and priorities are often abstracted. Japan, commonly known as the land of the rising sun, is a country well advanced in technology and culture. Sometimes, even those people who have lived in this country admit that doing business is very tough. You’re never sure what’s going on in business meetings be it during presentations or negotiations. When you ask, you are not guaranteed to get a straight answer. You might not even get an answer at all.
Japan, being the fourth largest economy in the world present many business opportunities. Doing business in Japan can be very lucrative, but there are always challenges to outsiders. If you are looking forward to doing business in Japan, there are a couple of things that should be your guide.
While in Japan, the expected dress code is one that is modest and formal. Also, avoid doing excessive jewelry or makeup, or wearing bright colors. The idea is that you don’t stand out too much. Men should avoid combining white shirt with black tie or suits as these are attires reserved mostly for funeral services.
There are many seniors and a vast population speaking in English, but the Japanese language remains the predominant language. For this reason, it may be seen as one of the barriers to doing business in Japan. If you target working with international companies and multinationals, you will be eliminating the depths of the language barrier. Irrespective of the language used in business meetings, you need to have a basic grasp of the Japanese language to be considered one of them.
Business cards are an integral part ton doing business in Japan. Once you get to the negotiating or business room, your business colleagues will introduce themselves and bow. One of the most important things to do at that time is to exchange business cards. Business cards are highly rated in Japan and present a useful and vital first impression. While giving out business cards, use both hands and face the receiver.
While in the spirit of keeping up with a sociable life, your hosts may decide to take you for dinner. In such a scenario, it is essential to understand that the same rules and etiquette as those of business meetings still apply. Maintain the same boundaries of privacy and respect to seniors at all times.