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Japan - Business


Business in Japan can be highly formal and greetings are usually rather ritualistic due to the hierarchical society; a third party introduction is useful. A polite bow is customary; the more senior the person, the deeper the bow. Business cards are exchanged often, using both hands. It can be useful to have cards printed with both English and Japanese, and one should present the card with the Japanese side facing the recipient. Punctuality is very important and dress is formal. Women can encounter some sexism as traditionally women are seen as caregivers and wives. Gift giving is an important aspect of Japanese society and in a business context gifts are usually given after the first or second meeting. It is wise to consult someone locally on what is appropriate in order not to cause offence. Business hours are usually from 09:00 to 17:00 on weekdays; some businesses are open on Saturdays from 09:00 to 12:00.

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