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Top 15 Tips On Doing Business In Tokyo

Top 15 Tips On Doing Business In Tokyo
Top 15 Tips on Doing Business in Tokyo
(Last Updated On: February 3, 2021)

Every country has to make up different rules about foreign nationals. Some of them don’t allow foreigners to own businesses, while others tax foreign companies. Although taxes are important, and everyone should be willing to pay them, they should not burden startups too much. There are a few countries that make simple rules and tax laws for foreigners to motivate people to contribute to their economy. When the state gives such relaxations, they attract foreign investors. Japan is one such country where it is very easy for foreigners to own businesses. As long as someone has the right amount of money and a good business plan, they will be able to succeed in Japan.

Top 15 Tips on Doing Business in Tokyo:

Tokyo is not only the capital and the most populous city of Japan; it is also considered the economic center of the country. It attracts millions of tourists every day. People from all over the country come to Tokyo for work. These are some of the reasons why the city is ideal for starting a new company. However, if you are coming to Japan from a foreign country, you will need to learn about the native culture. You won’t be able to run a company successfully if you are not familiar with the local business culture. Here are the top 15 tips on doing business in Tokyo:

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  1. Invite Linguistic Experts:

If someone is not fluent in English, then the only way to make them feel comfortable during the meeting is to invite an interpreter. However, if you are inviting an interpreter, make sure that the conversation is shorter so it can be interpreted in time. Plan all of your presentations with this thought in mind that the interpreter will have to explain all of it to the attendees so they shouldn’t be too long.

  1. Get Your Business Cards Ready:

Exchanging cards is very common in Tokyo. Even if you are only going to meet someone once, you should hand over your card to them. But it is important that your card has your details in both English and Japanese. And while presenting the card, use both hands and keep it between your thumbs and index fingers.

  1. Introductions:

Handshakes are not very popular, but if you do want to go for them, remember that the Japanese prefer light ones. The best way to greet someone is by bowing at 45 degrees with your hands on the side (if you are a man) or joined in front of your belly (if you are a woman).

  1. Conservative Dressing:

Even in industries where there are no strict dress codes, the Japanese prefer to dress conservatively. Both men and women go for conservative clothing for all types of settings.

  1. Slip-on Shoes:

In Tokyo, you may have to visit places with your investors where shoes are not allowed. If you are wearing slip-ons, you won’t have any problem taking off and putting on your shoes. You should also wear new socks, so you don’t get embarrassed in front of your hosts when you take off your shoes.

  1. Brochures:

The way you introduce your company is very important in Tokyo. Since the people of Japan love paper-based introductions, you can get brochures printed and distribute them during a presentation. Make sure they are translated into Japanese too. Even if your audience is fluent in English, they will be happier if you provide them with content in their language.

  1. Be Punctual:

If you are on time for a meeting, then according to the people of Tokyo, you are ten minutes late. The only way to be on time is to come early for every meeting.

  1. The Linguistic Barrier:

You may find everyone in the business world to be fluent in English, but that won’t be the case everywhere in the city. For instance, if you are going to take a taxi to work, make sure you have the address written in Japanese so you can communicate with the driver easily.

  1. How to Address:

In Tokyo, it is better to address people with their last names, followed by san. If they ask you to call them by their first name, even then, you should add the suffix of san to show respect.

  1. Facebook Account:

People in Japan don’t rely on LinkedIn, so be prepared to share your Facebook account with them. You can make a separate account for work if you want, or create custom lists for new friends on your current account.

  1. Be Patient:

Decision-making is a long process in Tokyo, so be patient after presenting your pitch. Give people some time to think over your proposal.

  1. Bonding Time:

It is custom in Japan to go to restaurants and karaoke bars after a meeting. You will be expected to participate in fun activities. Your hosts will use this time to bond with you, so don’t hold back.

  1. Learn a Few Phrases:

You don’t have to learn Japanese, but learning a few common phrases won’t hurt. In fact, it would be a good way to impress your hosts by showing them that you care about their language.

  1. Protect Others:

If you are sick, wear a mask. If you have a cold and flu, don’t blow your nose in public. Protect others if you want them to respect you.

  1. Assign Roles:

For every meeting, assign roles to everyone and don’t divert from them. Otherwise, the attendees will get confused and lose interest in the conversation.

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