Business Etiquette in Japan
Created on September 11, 2023
More creations to inspire you
Showing up at least 10 minutes early is seen as responsible and polite, as it accounts for greetings and potential meeting setbacks. When greeting people, giving a small bow or handshake is commonplace.
Show Up Early
While dark colors are preferred for business attire, black suits and ties are commonly associated with funerals.
Refrain from Black Suits
It may seem small, but there is a correct way to give business cards. Cards should be given starting from the most senior officer to the most junior officer, and they are given with a short bow, as when greeting.
Take business cards seriously
Food or beverages are provided at most business meetings in Japan, particularly green tea. Even if you do not like the food, it is common courtesy to accept it, and to refuse it is seen as rather rude. If you do not plan to eat/drink, you may leave it on the table to the side, but you should not turn it away.
Accept the Snacks
Posture and attentiveness is important in business meetings. Taking notes shows you are interested in and respectful of what the speaker has to say.If you are presenting, provide all handouts in advance, physically, especially if there is something for signature.
Take Notes, Be Attentive, No Surprises
Japanese business deals are very rarely closed in one meeting, and attempting to dominate conversation or close deals quickly is seen as aggressive.
Do not Pressure; Be Calm
Japan's social ettiquite can be quite different from and far more meticulous than what we are used to in the US. While travelling abroad, keep these things in mind.
Business Etiquitte in Japan