The Importance of Learning Business Japanese

Edna B. Shearer

Recent news reports have people always looking at China is the next big thing in world economies. However, it is important to know that Japan still remains one of the largest economies in the world. Not only is Japan’s infrastructure still much better than China’s, but Japan is China’s biggest trading partner keeping them one of the most important countries in Asia.

Some people might think that learning business Japanese is a thing of the past, but they would be seriously mistaken. Japan is going to remain a strong economy and one that serious businessmen should not ignore. Even if China eventually becomes the biggest economy in the world, and they are still a long way away from match United States, Japan is going to do directly benefit from China’s growth. The only other nation that even comes close to benefiting from China’s growth is Australia.

Business is a very important part of the Japanese culture. There is also a very strong sense of honor and respect when it comes to business dealings in Japan. Taking a small step towards respect can equal a giant business contract down the line. In Japan it is not just about the money. A business person from the United States who takes the time to learn business Japanese will most likely receive much better contracts and much better terms than somebody who does not.

What makes it even more surprising that more Western businessmen don’t do this, is that there is no expectation for you to be fluent in all Japanese. Even learning respectful greetings, polite small talk, and basic business Japanese can go a long way towards building and overseas relationship. When doing business of any kind in Japan it’s not only the company that is judged, but many people are surprised to learn that the individual the company sends is also judged. An excellent person from a mediocre business can sometimes get better contracts than an average person from a fantastic business.

When so few people are willing to go the extra mile why wouldn’t someone take the extra steps to learn basic business Japanese in order to help your business? Simple positive impressions like this are a big deal and Asian business and the sooner that more people realize this the more successful they will be doing business in Japan. Every nation has there own way of doing things, but there is little question that knowing even a little Japanese can go a long way.

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