Common Japanese Networking Etiquette

If you're planning to do business in Japan, it's important to understand the country's unique business culture. Etiquette and respect play a significant role in Japanese business, and networking is no exception. Japanese networking etiquette is essential for building relationships and conducting business successfully in the country. In this article, we will explore some of the key Japanese networking etiquette tips, including using respectful language, exchanging business cards, and gift-giving. Whether you're a business traveler or an expat working in Japan, following these etiquette tips can help you navigate the intricacies of Japanese business culture and build strong relationships with your Japanese colleagues and partners. By mastering these cultural nuances, you can make a positive impression and achieve success in the Japanese market.

Use polite language

When addressing others, particularly those in senior positions, in Japan, respectful language is essential. When addressing someone, always use titles with an honorific meaning, such as "san" or "sama."

Hand out business cards

A significant aspect of Japanese business culture is the exchange of business cards. Before putting your business card away, give it to the other person with both hands and take the time to read it.


In Japan, bowing is a common way to show respect. It is appropriate to bow slightly while introducing yourself when meeting new people. The situation and status of the person you are greeting determine the depth of your bow.

Dress to impress

Dressing professionally and conservatively is important in Japan. Women should wear a conservative dress or suit, while men should wear a dark suit and tie.


Gifts are frequently given as a token of appreciation and respect in Japan. Gifts should be beautifully wrapped and presented with both hands when given. Don't give gifts that are too expensive or out of place.

Avoid confrontation directly

In Japanese culture, it is considered impolite to express disagreement directly and confrontation is generally avoided. Instead, try to reach a middle ground or a compromise.

Respect one's privacy

Personal space is highly prized in Japan. When speaking with someone, it's important to keep a respectful distance and avoid making physical contact unless the other person asks you to.

In conclusion, networking etiquette is an important part of Japanese business culture. Knowing and adhering to these traditions can help you build strong relationships with Japanese partners and coworkers. Mastering these customs and traditions can help you succeed and develop lasting relationships with your Japanese counterparts, whether you are a business traveler or an expat working in Japan.

Date published: 2023/03/17