Business Meeting Protocol

Despite Japan’s current economic uncertainties, it is still one of the world’s leading economic powers and it is a popular target for Western enterprises seeking to establish business partners.  In order to successfully build a network of Japanese colleagues, proper observance of Japanese business protocol is vital, as one significant faux pas could offend your prospective business partners and cost you a lucrative business opportunity.

ForeignTranslations, Japanese Business Etiquette Tips, 2013

Despite its intimidating reputation, Japanese business protocol is quite similar to Western procedure: politeness, sensitivity and good manners are key. The main difference is that business meetings in Japan tend to be more formal, especially in the first meeting in which you will probably be expected to correctly present and receive business cards, a custom of paramount importance in Japan. The good news however is that you will not be expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of Japanese etiquette, and minor transgressions may even help to break the ice.

This section shall offer you advice on all important aspects of business meeting protocol in Japan.

 Table of Contents

  • Understanding Business Culture
    • Japanese Business Formality vs. Western Business Informality
    • First Approach: The Importance of Face-to-Face Contact and of an Introduction through a Third Party.
    • The Unique Japanese Business Card Exchange Protocol.
    • Behavioural Aspects
    • Conversation Topics
    • Exchanging Gifts with Japanese
  • E-learning video
    • Effective Collaboration with the Japanese
    • Challenges of the Japanese Market
    • Changes in Japanese Business Culture
    • Business Negotiations in Japan
    • Japanese Business Realities
  • Expert report
  • Further Readings