In Japan, commercial negotiation is most often carried out in groups; you almost never meet a Japanese alone to talk business, but a delegation made up of several players from the same company. In Japanese culture, a single individual has very little decision-making power because he is part of a group and has to inform the group of the discussions he has had with you. It is the group that makes decisions, and this consequently lengthens the negotiation.
[...] Personal relationships It is also clear that the relationship created is primarily personal. Indeed, Japanese culture places great importance on the person itself. The relationship established is between the Japanese counterpart and the person representative of the foreign company wishing to enter the Japanese market and not the company itself, which would be considered too impersonal. Modesty and humility are attitudes that will win you favour with your Japanese counterpart. An obstacle to master: the language of work in Japan In general, there aren't a lot of foreign languages used in Japan. [...]
[...] So, do not hesitate to write as many as documents relevant to your business meetings and contacts, in English as you please. The French do not have a better reputation with respect to the use of foreign languages, so if you speak English, do not hesitate to use small simple sentences and speak slowly so that your partner can grasp the information. Arrive on time for business appointments The Japanese are punctual and even show up for appointments with a few minutes to spare so as to be received at precisely the appointed hour. [...]
[...] Include your title and the name of the department to which you belong in your company. Also indicate the means through you can be reached at your company (telephone, fax, email, etc.). Ensure that your personal information such as your photo or your home address does not appear on your card. The business card is very important in Japan. Here are a few points to bear in mind while exchanging cards at a meeting: Business cards should be exchanged at the beginning of a meeting. [...]
[...] In Japan, to avoid disputes related to a contract, all points of agreement are detailed in a contract. The procedures to be used are also stated, and at the end of the contract, both parties need to put in their signatures and affix their seals at the time of writing the contract. After the meeting Before leaving your audience, do not forget to offer your gift. The Japanese often add an apology to the gift that they give you by saying that the gift is just ‘something insignificant'. [...]
[...] If you are not able to learn much about your Japanese contacts in France, it is always possible to make this preliminary approach one of your first steps in Japan. You can request advice from French professional organizations or the economic services of the Embassy of France in Tokyo. It is recommended to complete this process before embarking on any negotiations. Then, upon arrival on Japanese soil, it is necessary to identify the person(s) with whom you will have to negotiate. [...]
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