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September 2002

Doing Business w ith the Japanese

Useful Dos and Do n’ts

(1) Business Cards & Int roductions

It is often said that Japan has been westernised in many ways, so there is no longer such a
huge cultural gap between our two countries.
However, doing business with the Japanese is different in many important and often
subtle ways. By taking the time to understand some fundamental concepts, which
underlie Japanese business customs and practice, you can greatly enhance the chances of
achieving a successful business relationship with the Japanese. Their standards are very
demanding, but it is often said that if you can sell in Japan, you can sell anywhere!
The ‘Dos and Don’ts’ in this and later newsletters will help you to build a good relationship
with Japanese clients without feelings of embarrassment or confusion.
First meetings with Japanese people are vital in
establishing a strong and trusting relationship. Editorial
The Japan Centre North West is a
(1) In Japanese business great attention is given to partnership of the four Greater
formality, form and process. The business card or Manchester Universities. It
meishi is indispensable for doing business in Japan. It promotes business, academic and
is advisable to take a stock of business cards to cultural relationships between
Japan, and it helps if they have English on one side Japan and the North West of
and an accurate Japanese translation on the other. England. We offer a full range of
Japanese language business cards are more than a business services, custom-
matter of courtesy: they reflect your business sense designed, to help British
companies and public
and your attitude to Japan. The exchange of business
organisations that deal with Japan.
cards should be treated with the greatest of respect. This is the first edition of the new
Japan Centre newsletter. Designed
(2) The business card is exchanged while bowing
for our business clients, the
slightly or immediately before bowing. If possible newsletter will provide Japan
giving and receiving the business card with both business information, sector
hands is preferable. reports, and other Japan-related
news and events.
(3) On handing the card over, you should state your
company and name slowly and clearly. Individual Contributions Welcome.
identity is often less important than the company
you represent, so stress your company name when To advertise in the next issue,
introducing yourself. If you can, learn to introduce please contact Noriko Kajihara
yourself in Japanese. Tel: 0161 275 3740
(4) The card should be handed over so that the
recipient does not have to turn it around in order to
read it. When receiving a card, it is considered very
impolite to put the card away without studying it

(5) Once you have received the various cards, you

should place them neatly on the table and refer to
them every so often throughout the meeting.
Company Interns for Japanese Students

20 Japanese students from Nagoya University of

Commerce and Business Administration have recently
successfully completed a four week unpaid internship
at companies and organisations across the region as
part of the unique Frontier Spirit Programme. The work
experience was preceded by a two-month intensive
Business English course at UMIST’s English language
Teaching Centre. Students were placed in a range of
organisations including companies that export to Japan

such as Lynton Lasers based in Holmes Chapel;

government bodies such as Warrington Borough
Council; tourist organisations, such as the Salt Museum
in Northwich; arts organisations, such as the Contact
Theatre in Manchester; and schools such as Johnson
Fold Community Primary School in Bolton. Work
placements were matched according to the students’
wishes and skills. The students were able to gain a solid
grounding in a sector of their choice working in a
British working environment. From the hosts’
perspective, having a Japanese volunteer proved

invaluable, from a business, cultural and personal level. The

Programme was launched in 1998, running twice a year, and
numbers continue to grow. The Programme is of mutual
benefit to both the Japanese students and North West
business, commercial, industrial and cultural organisations.
Those with established links to Japan, or intending to enter
Japanese markets, particularly attest to the contribution of
the Japanese interns. The success of the Programme can be
judged from the growing number of organisations who wish
to participate, and from the number of ‘repeat orders’ from
those who have already experienced its benefits.

If your company is interested in hosting a Japanese student in the future, then please contact
Noriko Kajihara, Development Executive on 0161 275 3740 or contact her by e-mail on

Japanese intern

A Japanese student has finished his 4-week work Photo of NUCBA

placement at the Business Creation Unit, Manchester student
Science Enterprise Centre (MSEC).
Mr Norimitsu Tashima, from Nagoya University of
Commerce and Business Administration in Japan
helped them to improve many aspects of their
Norimitsu described his work experience as follows;

“I’ve learnt a great deal about attitudes towards work from Dr Delcloque. Although he was
always busy, he concentrated on his work all the time. I really respect him. Thanks to this
programme, I am quite confident now because I had a lot of opportunities to use my
business skills, and English which I acquired at UMIST. I really appreciate that Manchester
Science Enterprise Centre (especially Dr Delcloque) and the Japan Centre gave me such an
incredible opportunity. I couldn’t have experienced it if I hadn’t joined this course.”
Interview with Dr Philippe Delcloque
Manchester Science Enterprise Centre (MSEC)
Business Creation Unit

“The Manchester Science Enterprise Centre

facilitates the transfer of knowledge, science,
engineering and technology from the Manchester,
Salford and Liverpool campuses to the real world.
We provide academic programmes at
undergraduate and postgraduate level to help this
process. Flagship course is the Master of Enterprise
which could be of interest to Japanese students.”

- What are the positive points of having a Japanese student in your work place?
“We are building significant international links, including with Japan, and we are setting up
a unique new Centre in Intelligent Computer Assisted Language Learning (ICALL). We will
always be happy to take on at least one Japanese placement student. We have no shortage
of interesting projects which they can work on.”
- How would you describe Norimitsu's character?
“Nori came to work every day with a smile and a spring in his step. I could not have wished
for a better student, I do like working with Japanese students and scholars, and their
general attitude is excellent.”
- Would you be interested in hosting a Japanese student in the future?
“Absolutely, I would like to take on at least one student every time they are available.”
- How can work placements benefit your business?
“We are a strong multilingual, multicultural, small team. Taking on foreign placement
students reinforces many aspects of our work. Our Enterprise laboratory full of
postgraduate students of all nationalities is a good environment for your students, indeed,
Nori made some useful contacts.”
- Do you have any other comments you would like to make?
“I would just like to thank the staff at the Japan Centre for providing us with the
opportunity and for the professionalism with which they handle placements.”

Japanese Language Training for Business

Doing business in the environment of a radically different language and culture presents
challenges but also offers opportunities and great rewards to the carefully prepared and
forward thinking business. Whether your opportunities are in Japan itself or in collaboration
with Japanese partners here in the UK or elsewhere, the importance of thorough
preparation cannot be overemphasised. Success has come to many UK firms and
organisations that have decided to invest in success in business through Japanese language

The language unit at the Japan Centre North West has been providing high quality, custom-
designed training packages to firms and organisations in the North West and elsewhere in
the country since 1989. Using a unique combination of professionally qualified and
experienced British and Japanese bilingual teaching staff, we can help you and your staff
acquire skills which will aid your development of relationships, enhance your image, and
position you to exploit opportunities in this major and dynamic market.

Language training can be provided for those going on short trips or longer placements as
well as those dealing with Japanese clients and visitors here in the UK. The skills are of great
value in themselves but so also is the impression of seriousness and commitment to a
relationship with Japan. Even basic language training can lead to successful partnerships
and deeper penetration of an enticing market which may all too often be perceived as

For more information about Language Training, please contact Jonathan Bunt, Associate
Director, on Tel:0161 275 3044 / Email
The Japan Unit, Trade Partners UK works with many
organisations in the UK and Japan, from Government
and the private sector, to help companies grow their
business in Japan and win work with Japanese
partners and customers in markets around the world.
It also provides help and advice on many aspects of
exporting to Japan. A range of initiatives can help
you do more business in the market.
It pays to keep in touch with the Japan Unit! As well as

gaining up-to-date information on market developments and forthcoming events, you

will have the chance to meet other people, both Japanese and British, directly involved
in business between the UK and Japan. This opportunity to build up a network of
Japanese business contacts can be an invaluable aid to developing your business in this
ever-changing market.

Export Promoters and Consultants

The Export Promoters and Consultants work within the Japan Unit. They are
experienced industry experts seconded from the private sector to provide a business
perspective on developments in Japan. They can provide general advice on doing
business in Japan and on specific market sectors.

Sectors are chosen by Trade Partners UK in consultation with industry stakeholders to
encourage UK trade and investment in selected industries. Selection of sectors is based
on market information from the UK and Japan. Sectors are chosen where opportunity is
seen to export to Japan and where good UK industrial capability exists to exploit such

Opportunities for British companies from a wide range of consumer, industrial and
service sectors exist in Japan. The Japan Unit also supports a wide range of initiatives led
by industry bodies in sectors other than those below and runs cross sectoral events and
missions open to all companies. If your sector is not mentioned, contact the Japan Unit
and you will be put in touch with the person who deals with your product or service.

Construction and design Lifestyle and design

Electronics Investment
Next Fashion and textiles Software and Communications
Issue Healthcare

How can the Japan Centre help your organisation?

The Japan Centre North West services include: translation & interpreting, business
card translation & printing, ‘Doing Business with the Japanese’ Briefing, Japan
Relocation Service, Japanese Language Tuition, North West Relocation Service for
Japanese Visitors and Opportunities to host Japanese Students for Short-term
Voluntary Work Placements.

For further information, please contact

Emma Johnson Photo of Mr.

Associate Director Scott Baron
Japan Centre North west
The University of Manchester
Waterloo Place
176 Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9QQ
Tel: 0161 275 2305 Fax: 0161 275 3354 Email: