Japan’s Cultural Norms, Values and Business Practices

Japan’s Cultural Norms, Values and Business Practices

Dalman and Lei from U.S.A have received an offer from an international group that they could not decline. However, the business group is from Japan and the cultural practices and business operations between the two countries are quite different. Therefore, Dalman and Lei should have some knowledge about Japan’s culture, values and business practices that will help them conduct the operations. Similarly, the greeting rituals and nonverbal behaviors are some of the critical issues that should be considered in their meeting. I choose Japan because it is one of the most developed countries in the world with a stable economy. Similarly, they care much about representing their country’s business.

The following are some of the things that Dalman and Lei should keep in mind. In Japan, English is not widely used, and the locals prefer to use Japanese. Also, the time zone between the two countries is different. Washington, DC is 13 hours behind Japan. Japan depicts a different greeting ritual than the U.S.A. The greetings are formal and ritualized. When in a meeting, the Japanese prefer a foreigner to be introduced. If a person introduces him/herself, the Japanese consider that as an impolite action (Weck, & Ivanova, 2013). Similarly, the Japanese culture value to bow as a form of greeting. Therefore, foreigners should not expect to shake hands. On the nonverbal communication, the Japanese prefer nonverbal messages to spoken words. For example, for them nodding in more important in listening and their perception is that the listener is paying attention (Weck, & Ivanova, 2013). Also, a person is not supposed to frown when a colleague is speaking. The action is interpreted as a disagreement with the idea being said. Japanese culture allows little physical contact, and when a foreigner stands close to Japanese local for long, it is considered inappropriate.

The country also portrays different business meeting etiquette. Dalman and Lei should telephone the business partners for an appointment rather than sending them an email, letter or fax. Moreover, Japan value punctuality and being late is listed among the disrespectful things to have happened (Soares, Farhangmehr, & Shoham, 2007). The corporate culture does not allow humor in a business meeting. Therefore, it is categorized as immature and childish behavior. Besides, when the Japanese are in business group meetings, they try their best not to show emotions. The cultural practices in Japan are considered unspoken rules that the society and the foreigners are assumed to know.



Soares, A. M., Farhangmehr, M., & Shoham, A. (2007). Hofstede’s dimensions of culture in international marketing studies. Journal of business research,60(3), 277-284.

Weck, M., & Ivanova, M. (2013). The importance of cultural adaptation for the trust development within business relationships. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 28(3), 210-220.