Japanese business etiquette is much more formal than other countries. Politeness and respect for authority is a must and you should always address them in ways that show regard for their standing and position held within a company. We have compiled seven phrases that will help you with your business dealings whilst travelling in Japan on business.
1. Watashi no namae wa ‘Brown’ desu – My name is Brown
Before conducting any business matters with a Japanese firm it is important to introduce yourself properly. The Japanese almost never address one another using first names. You could condense this phrase to ‘Brown desu’ which means the same thing, it is just more colloquial and less formal and it is also much easier to remember. Just a reminder to use your last name and not Brown! (unless of course your name is Brown).
2. Hajimemashite – Pleased to meet you
One of the most important factors when dealing in business with the Japanese is to exchange business cards when you meet with them for the first time. They believe that these are the face of every business and offering a card is a very important gesture for them and it is always nice remark how happy you are to meet your business counterpart.
3. Gikan arimasuka – Do you have the time?
You definitely don’t want to be late to your meetings, especially in Japan. Tardiness will not be accepted and this phrase will go a long way to help you arrive on time whether you are catching a train or a taxi.
4. Watashi wa golf no game o ukeilemasu – I accept your game of golf
Playing a game of golf and securing a deal with a Japanese company go hand in hand. If you are asked to partake in a round, please accept. You will be amazed at how far it will take you.
5. Gaishoku ikaga desuka? – Would you like to have dinner?
Even though you will be expected to dine with your Japanese friends after your round of golf, it is still nice to ask them to dinner before they ask you. It will show you’re interest in them and their company.
6. Gokuroosama deshita – Thanks for your hard work
Everybody loves a pat on the back and acknowledgement of a job well done. It never hurts to express your gratitude to those you are working with…a few kind words always pays off.
7. Itsuka mata oaidekirukoto o nozonde imasu – We would love to see you again
And finally, once you have talked shop for two days straight, use a phrase the Japanese love to use when they are saying goodbye and off to think about the deal you have put before them.
A few simple business phrases will help you muddle your way through a visit to Japan to seal the deal for the boss. Now all you have to do is practice them until you have them down pat.
Written by Tara Blair
It is almost as good as dream comes true for Tara Blair when she got an offer as a travel writer, infusing her love for travel and her passion to share wonderful moments with her fellow travellers. Tara also loves yoga and
teaches part-time in a local studio.