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Business card etiquettes to follow in Japan

24.05'13 - Jörg Nitzsche, Japan Interpreter

If you are visiting Japan for business, do not forget to carry your business cards. In Japan, they are exchanged constantly and that too in a proper manner.

Business cards are usually exchanged at the beginning of a meeting. Cards are given and received with the right hand or with both the hands and with a slight bow.

If you are given any business card, examine it very carefully. You may read out the name or the designation of the person on the card. If you can not read Japanese language and don’t know how to pronounce a particular Japanese word, you may always ask your Japanese colleagues for the correct pronunciation. It would show your interest, as well as respect for the other party.

During the meeting, you must place the card on the table in front of you. When the meeting is over, put it in the business card holder or portfolio. Never ever put the business card in the back pocket of your trousers. It may offend your Japanese business partners/colleagues.

When you are exchanging your business card with someone higher in the rank, always stand up to show your respect.

You must get your business cards printed in both English and Japanese language. When you give the card, the Japanese side must face the recipient. It is a good gesture of showing that you are serious, and respect their culture and business etiquettes.

Invest in good quality cards and always keep them in top notch condition. Your business card is going to give an impression about you and your company. Try to maximize your business opportunities by following proper Japanese business etiquettes.


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