Culture in Japan Jonathan Lona :: Global Business

Country Profile - 1

  • Capital: Tokyo
  • Population: 126,919,656 (as of 2015)
  • Ethnic Makeup: 99.40% Japanese 0.60% Korean
  • Language: Japanese
A Night view of Tokyo on a rainy Day.

Country Profile - 2

  • Type of Government: Parliamentary
  • Currency: Yen (¥)
  • Major Religions: Shinto/Buddhist 84% Other 16%
  • Climate: Varies from Tropical in South to Cool Temperatures in the North

Traditional Foods

  • Soba & Udon
  • Tempura
  • Sashimi
Just few of the many traditional foods in Japan. Soba (Top Left), Udon (Top Right), Tempura(Bottom Left) and Sashimi (Bottom Right).

Appointment Alert!

  • Normal Business Hours are from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. . Typically Morning begin around 10 a.m. with Lunchtime being 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. leaving Afternoons at 1:30 or later
  • Try to be punctual by making extra time in the event of traffic. Trains can be very efficient, but time should be made to find the business.
  • Suggesting what time a meeting will end before arriving will set a framework for time as well as a notice of whether a meeting should be longer or shorter.
The busy platform of Japanese train station.

Business Dress

  • The business standard consists of a White Shirt with a dark colored shirt.
  • More casual clothing has appeared as of recent years but is not recommended.
  • For women visiting Japan, formal dress ware is recommended as well as a downsize in makeup and jewelry.

Conversation & Meeting Etiquette

  • Some conversation topics should be avoided such as past war history or politics.
  • When arriving to a meeting it is often customary for both parties to bow slightly towards each other. More recently a firm shake of the hand has become acceptable.
  • When offering compliments many will reply that they do not deserve the compliment. Doing the same when you are complimented shows some modesty.
  • It is customary that when addressing a person you address them with '-san' after their last name.

Gift Giving Etiquette

  • When giving gifts it is recommended that the gifts be representing the company or country for which you are from. Good alcohol and Name-Brand products work very well.
  • If you are giving gifts during a meeting with a senior person and their subordinates, it is wise to present the senior with a nicer gift, and the subordinates with a lesser gift.It serves as a sign of respect for the senior's position.
  • When exchanging business cards it is common to accept and give the card with both hands.

Let's Make a Deal

  • When preparing for a meeting be sure to prepare materials in both English and Japanese.
  • Make plans with the company on whether you should bring a translator or if the company will provide an internal translator.

Prosperous Entertaining

Public Behavior


Created with images by Moyan_Brenn - "Japan" • Moyan_Brenn - "Tokyo" • MichaelGaida - "architecture asia building" • photosteve101 - "Red Downy Japanese Maple" • aotaro - "(HMM) 五-5-5-FIVE-5" • K2-Kaji - "soba noodles near buckwheat" • Jungyeon - "udon noodles curry udon curry" • cegoh - "tempura japanese cuisine" • cegoh - "sashimi salmon fish food" • kalleboo - "Train station" • Menswear Market - "Suit and Tie"

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