Business Etiquette In Japan Essay

951 words - 4 pages

Business meetings in Japan follow much stricter guidelines than in the west. When meeting with Japanese business associates, an appointment is required and should be made several weeks in advance. Japanese business runs on a tight schedule and the agenda for the meeting should be planned precisely, do not expect to extend the meeting time. It is a good idea to call 1-2 hours in advance of the meeting to confirm that you are en route. Punctuality is extremely important, so plan to arrive sufficiently early (10-15 minutes). If you will be late arriving to a meeting then call at least one hour in advance as a courtesy. The meeting place is also of importance to the Japanese executives who are willing to meet on neutral ground when possible. It is useful to get Japanese executives away from their home base as they may try to wait you out in hopes of settling with a disadvantageous deal because you are anxious to go home. When arriving at the meeting place, wait to be seated, as custom will most likely dictate which party is situated on which physical side of the table. Rank is very important to the Japanese and the seating order and position at the table will be dictated as such. The senior member of the group will be seated furthest from the door, then descending in rank with the most junior member seated nearest the door. While in the meeting take lots of notes. It is considered good etiquette to note down everything at meetings and indicates interest and respect for your counterparts.
Japan is a group society. Business meetings are usually conducted in groups including varying ages and ranks of employees and executives. Deference is used for the senior member of the group and if you are part of the group, your company should do the same. If this is an initial meeting with business associates the Japanese will most likely ask many questions regarding your job, job title, your age, responsibilities, the number of employees that report to you, and your history with the company. It is useful to provide a packet of information about your company including client testimonials. In negotiating with the Japanese, a “poker face” is of great use. The Japanese dislike strong displays of emotion and consider such actions as weak and inappropriate.
The exchange of Japanese business cards is a formal and almost ceremonial ritual in Japan. You should carry ample business cards while doing business in Japan, as they are exchanged frequently. Expect to exchange a card with each person at the meeting. In Japan, the business card is a reflection of the person them self, so invest in quality cards. They should be printed double sided with English on...

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