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Japanese Business Etiquette Brought to you by: Asia Business Club.

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1 Japanese Business Etiquette Brought to you by: Asia Business Club

2 Japan Name: Japan (Nihon) Area: 377,835 sq km, 145,882 sq miles Population: 127,000,000 Time Zone: 16 hours ahead of Phoenix Currency: Yen (¥) 1 U.S. dollar = 119.55 Japanese yen Cash is king but credit cards widely used Electricity: 100V 50HzHz

3 Culture Communication – Indirect The Japanese have an indirect orientation toward communication with a strong aversion to language and situations that might cause confrontation or create conflict which could be harmful to a relationship. Communication - Formal The Japanese formal orientation toward communication is evident in the level of politeness the Japanese use when communicating with other parties. Space - Private / Public The Japanese closely guard their personal space from the encroachment of others, demonstrating their private orientation toward space. In business offices, however, the Japanese have a more public orientation toward space.

4 Culture Power - Hierarchy / Equality Japanese society in general, and Japanese companies in particular, demonstrate a strong hierarchy orientation toward power. Individualism - Collectivistic The Japanese will often subordinate their individual needs for the needs of the group, demonstrating their collectivistic orientation toward individualism. Competitiveness - Competitive / Cooperative The Japanese are competitive toward others outside their group, company, or country, but within their group they are cooperative, subordinating their individual needs for the benefit of the group as a whole.

5 Useful Phrases Good dayKon-nichi wa Good morning Ohayo gozaimasu Good eveningKonban wa Good byeSayonara On starting a meal…Itadakimasu Thank you (after a meal…)Gochiso-sama deshita Thank you Domo arigatou gozaimasu Please to meet youDozo yoroshiku You are welcomeDo itashimashite I don’t understand JapaneseNihongo ga wakarimasen Cheers! (Drinking…)Kampai! Beer Biru (order beer)Biru o onegaishimasu

6 Business Environment Remember to bow! Bow at the waste to show respect Seating: Higher status farther from the door. Sit across from your counterpart. In taxi: Most senior sits behind the driver In meetings Don’t force your point Plan to spend longer amounts of time negotiating Yes, does not necessarily “Yes I will do this” but many times means, “Yes, I understand” Decisions take a long time If the senior person falls asleep, no worries

7 Business Environment Business is built on relationships that need cultivation Do not lose face or let others lose face Do not make cultural mis-steps Enjoy silence Bring your own translator to help with any major negotiation

8 Women in Business Foreign businesswomen should not expect to be included in the evening business activities & not be offended if they are not. A senior position businesswoman has a chance to politely bow out of a drinking session and then suggest a male associate attend instead. Women can instead schedule lunches or coffee breaks at nearby coffee shops or early dinners. (The advantage of being a woman is that you can get a good night’s sleep and look fresh at work while your male colleagues won’t be in quite the same shape}

9 Dining Out Business deals are often sealed at dinner When in doubt, follow your hosts lead The host will order and pay for dinner Do not offer or try to go dutch; give a gift afterwards to show apprecitation If hosting, arrange meal, food, and payment before eating Any social chatting while drinking should not be mentioned at meeting the next day No tipping

10 Seating Arrangement Main host and guest sit side-by-side farthest away from door Senior to junior as move closer to the door Sit across or next to your counterpart HostGuest Host Guest Host Guest Host Guest Host Door Counterparts

11 Eating Accept anything given to you, try it and move on if dislike Practice use of chopsticks before going Never use own chopsticks to retrieve food Never point chopsticks at others or poke things Do not put chopsticks into rice vertically

12 Drinking Drinking is encouraged and will help form personal relationships with counterparts Kampai = cheers or bottom’s up Ideally, one never pours one’s own drink Raise your cup with both hands when someone fills your cup; take a drink and set it down Always reciprocate by filling someone else’s drink If the glass is empty, it means you want more If you don’t want more, leave it full Drunkenness will be forgotten and forgiven the next day However, don’t fight and try not to puke!

13 Social Events Time to socialize and build relationships further Have fun! Being drunk, singing in public, or acting silly OK But keep it at a minimum if possible Karaoke Bars: They love it! Don’t worry about embarrassing yourself, shows humility and group participation. Hostess Bars: Hostess ≠ Prostitute; meant for conversation Elevator Girls: Elevator Girls = Prostitute; call security! ≠

14 References Rutledge, Bruce. Working in Japan. ASK, Co. Japan, 2001. Brannen, Christopher. Going to Japan on Business. Stone Bridge Press. CA, 2003. Engel, Dean. Passport Japan. Passport Series. World Trade Press. CA, 2003 Cultural Navigator. Thunderbird. Lonely

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