TIPs FOR BUSINESS IN JAPAN
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Japan has many unique business customs, some of which are difficult for Americans to understand. Following are some representative examples of Japan’s business customs. When you do business with Japanese people, of course, it is not a problem if you behave based upon your own country’s customary professional habits. However, if you behave according to Japanese manners, you would be absolutely respected, and it could lead your business to have greater success!

 

 Bowing
 Business Cards Exchanging
 Where to Sit at Restaurants
 Dining Manner

 Gifts and Gift-giving

 

 

Bowing

 

Bows, called o-jigi, o-rei or rei, are the traditional greeting in Japan, but bowing is not only reserved for greetings. Bowing is a gesture of respect. Different bows are used for apologies and gratitude, to express various emotions (such as humility, sincerity, remorse, or deference), and in various traditional arts and religious ceremonies. Basic bows are performed with the back straight and the hands at the sides (boys and men) or clasped in the lap (girls and women), and with the eyes down or closed. Bows originate at the waist. Generally, the longer and deeper the bow, the stronger the emotion.

 

Bows can generally be divided into three main types: informal, formal, and very formal. Informal bows are made at about a fifteen degree angle and more formal bows at about thirty degrees. Very formal bows are deeper. Good news: this difference of angle is difficult to use correctly even for Japanese. Therefore, in any situation, a bowing of about 30 degree angle would be alright. 

Tip: One of the common mistakes Americans make is that Americans usually try to keep eye contact during the bow. This seems weird to the Japanese. Keep in mind that customary bowing requires breaking eye contact during the bow.
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Business Cards Exchanging

A person is expected to present a business card or meishi upon meeting a new business partner. The presenter holds the meishi out with both hands and introduces his/herself by company affiliation, position and name. The card should be held at the top two corners using both hands, face up and turned so that it can be read by the person receiving the meishi. When receiving a meishi, one should hold it at the bottom two corners using both hands. Placing one's fingers over the name or other information is considered rude. Upon receiving the meishi, one is expected to read the card over, noting name and rank, then thank the presenter and bow.

Tip: A received meishi should not be written on or placed in a pocket immediately after receiving; it is considered proper to file the meishi at the rear of a meishi case or if you are attending the meeting, to put the meishi on the table during the whole meeting.
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Where to Sit at Restaurants

Japan is a county which puts great value of seniority or ranking (person’s professional title). Interestingly, specifically at a formal dining occasion, where to sit is implicitly determined based on one's seniority or ranking. We explain this rule by providing two different types of rooms where "seat one" is most valuable and "seat of the highest number" is least valuable (For example, in the example Room #1 below, if there are people age 50, 40, 30 and 25, a person age 50 sits down in seat one and a person age 25 sits down in seat four):

Do you see the reason behind this rule? The key is the person sitting at the highest-numbered seat. Usually, the youngest or lowest-ranked person has to "work" during the meal, such as calling a waiter/waitress, ordering dishes and drinks, and calling a taxi when guests go home. In other words, the person closest to the entrance has to leave the room many times.

Tip: The above rule also applies to where people sit in a taxi. Think about the reason!

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Dining Manner

It is considered polite to clear one's plate; usually there is NO " to go box" in Japan. It is impolite to pick out certain ingredients and leave the rest. One should chew with the mouth closed. It is polite to lift bowls or small plates to the mouth rather than bringing the eating utensil from the dish to the mouth. Rice is generally eaten plain or sometimes with nori (dried-pressed seaweed) or furikake (various seasonings). Pouring soy sauce onto plain white rice is not a Japanese custom, nor is it common to pour soy sauce directly over sashimi or sushi. Instead, soy sauce is poured into a small dish that is provided, and the food is dipped into the sauce. When eating sushi, one should dip the sushi topping side down into the sauce; leaving stray grains of rice floating in the sauce is considered uncouth. It is still uncommon for Japanese people to eat while walking about. Some consider it rude to eat in public or on trains, but this is not practiced universally. In Japanese restaurants, customers are given a rolled hand towel called "Oshibori"; it is considered rude to use the towels to wipe one's face.

Tip: Unlike in the US, in Japan you don't need to provide a tip for ANY service, including dining or even at a hotel. In Japan it is considered that tip is already incorporated into the price provided.
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Gifts and Gift-giving

When unwrapping a gift, Japanese people may carefully remove the paper and the seals and keep the paper as a compliment to the presenter. The presentation of the gift is an important part of an interaction among people; Gifts are carefully wrapped. Gifts are not opened immediately.

Tip: Traditionally, it is considered polite to take the gift home as is and send a thank you note later.  Therefore, if Japanese people don't unwrap your gift immediately, it doesn't mean your gift is not appreciated by the receiver. In the case you would like her/him to unwrap your gift immediately in front of you, ask her/him to do so, which is not considered impolite.  
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Source of reference: Wikipedia