work in Japan

Work in Japan

Globalization & the Struggle of Japanese Companies

More foreign companies are setting a branch in Japan, but they struggle to adapt to the local culture. The country is geographically isolated and its people give much importance to traditions and Japanese uniqueness (the nihonjinron logic), so it is not easy to understand and follow the untold rules – especially in a business setting. It is even more difficult for Japanese companies, who don’t always know how to deal with another culture. With globalization, however, enterprises will have to overcome those problems and be more opened to the world. Why Japan Experiences Difficulties Japanese companies struggle more at a global level than other multinationals. They lack global human capital since…

Challenges

Reading the Air: the Best Skill When Working in Japan

If you are a foreigner working in Japan, you may have heard the phrase ‘kuuki ga yomenai’ 空気が読めない (a person who ‘cannot read the air’). It is said that women read the air better than men in Japan, but everyone is supposed to understand what is implicitly said, especially in a business setting. As you may know, the Japanese communication style is very indirect, what is said is not always what is meant. In the same way, what is not said has a meaning, you must ‘understand the atmosphere’: a silence, a look – if it is a glance or a gaze, the message conveyed is different, etc. Reading the…

Set up a Company in Japan

How to Build Your Network in Japan

Whether you want to do business in Japan or already work there, networking is essential to achieve success. But how to build and feed your network in Japan? Places First, even though social media is essential, it is not easy to expand your network well without actually meeting people. Not only in Japan, but everywhere else: if you overlook the importance of physical contact, your number of connections will not increase very fast, or not increase at all. But Japan has some specificities concerning the places you should go to meet professionals. Nomikai The word nomikai means ‘gathering to drink’ and it is a big part of the Japanese (business)…

Work in Japan

What Japanese Think of Foreigners Working in Japan

Because of its aging population, Japan is trying to attract more foreigners as a workforce. In 2019, 1.7 million immigrants were living in Japan, but it was not enough: the government revised laws to bring in more talents. Even though foreigners are needed, however, the archipelago remains a country where collectivism and homogeneity reign supreme. If you want to work in Japan, you will have to follow its tacit rules and understand its culture. What It Is Like to Work in Japan First, you have to understand how Japanese companies work and what the typical mindset is. Unlike in the West, the word ‘company’ implies more a whole than many…

Strategy for success

What Business Loyalty Means in Japan

When we think about Japanese workers, we imagine someone working hard, all day long and who never misses work. It is called being loyal to one’s company, and it is a core value in Japan. But it does not apply only to companies, but also to suppliers or customers. Therefore, if you want to enter the Japanese market or work in Japan, you will have to understand what loyalty means and how people display it.  Seller – Buyer It is fundamental for Japanese salespeople to build a strong relationship with buyers – and it is part of their jobs. As a consequence, many buyers have only one supplier for specific…

Work in Japan

Business Cards in Japan: Theory & Practice

Whoever wants to do business in Japan heard about business cards and their tacit rules. If you master the Japanese culture, people will certainly have a better image of you. Instead of being the gaijin (foreigner) who wants to do business, you show that you put your shoulder to the wheel and value the Japanese culture, not only the Japanese market. The exchange of business cards (meishi koukan 名刺交換) is an essential element since a real business relationship cannot be built without it. But too many rules seem to exist: are they truly followed by businessmen?  Business Cards Rules 名刺のルール (meishi no ruuru) First, let’s see what Japanese and foreigners are…

Co-working spaces

Coworking Office Spaces in Tokyo

Shared work-spaces are becoming more and more popular within white collared jobs. Not only is it just a cheaper alternative for companies, but it has also become a popular choice for small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs. It enables their employees to have more flexibility and provides a different experience from traditional office spaces. Benefits of co-working Spaces First, good working conditions equate to good work. If you choose a bar or a café as your office, it will be noisy and your table will not be as convenient and large as a desk. You will not have everything within easy reach, in case you need more pencils, sheets or if…