Since Japan is island country, we have built many unique cultures rather than other countries.

The business field is not also exception. There are many kind of unique business culture in Japan, which is quite different and unbelievable for the others.

I picked up top 5 Japanese business culture and etiquette to keep in mind, then you’ll be better understanding how to communicate with Japanese client well.

Silence is supreme

Japanese people usually believes that “Silence is Golden”. Talking too much in the meeting or workplace is not preferable. When there is a conflict during the meeting, Japanese people keep silent. Being silence helps to calm effect each other and appropriately formal for business style in Japan.

To learn and respect for Japanese business culture, you’d be better to resist becoming emotional and keep silence for avoiding conflicts directly.

Group-oriented nature

Japanese often prioritise a “team” rather than individuals. Because they are educated as “Joint Responsibility”, which means “individual responsibility is also team’s one”.

To pay attention for this group-oriented culture, you should consider other one’s problem/success as “ the team’s problem/success”. This mind helps you to make the relationship better.

Even when getting praised, it is the usual custom to recognise the whole group of workers rather than individuals.

Seniority system

Japanese company is usually managing staffs as “seniority system”, rarely doing as merit system as US. Age is quite respected here, and high age usually features “high hierarchy” of business positions.

You should be sure to greet the most senior person at first, then the youngest person is the last one. This action features marking the senior person more than younger ones in the group.

Business cards

Exchanging business cards in person is an essential part of the first meeting in Japan. This action allows Japanese to promptly recognise counterparts’ position and their name.

If you’re seated, you should place counterparts’ card on the table and do the most senior one’s card on your business card holder.


As a core of Japanese business etiquette, punctuality is much more important rather than the other etiquettes.

Punctuality features respect and credit to others in this country.

When you have a meeting with Japanese client in person, 10 minutes-prior arrival to the appointment time. Clearly, in case you cannot arrive on time, you must notify the counterpart in advance with a reason and apologise even 5 minutes late.