When doing business in Japan, its not only good to know conversational Japanese phrases but also some good Japanese business phrases when it comes to the actual business meeting. Below are some helpful phrases for you to become successful in doing business in Japan.
The very first time you meet someone say:
Hajimemashite. Watashi no namae wa ________ desu.
(Hello, It’s nice to meet you. My name is _____________).
As you do this hand the person your business card and do not forget to give them a polite bow.
During the course of your meetings or exchanges, even while dining with your Japanese client or future/potential business partner, you want to remember these phrases to keep the respect and politeness level going. When an event is just occurring and/or your Japanese host is paying your meals you can say: Domo arigato gozaimasu which means thank you very much. Along the same lines, you can also say Gochisosama deshita, which means thank you but literally means, thank you for spoiling me, I feel so humbled. When someone says domo arigato gozaimasu or gochisosama deshita to you, just reply with a simple Doitashimashite, which means, it’s my pleasure or it was nothing.
If you are at a dinner with a customer and he/she offers you a drink, or even other offers during business meetings you can say Onegaishimasu which means if you please. When you say something wrong or if you accidentally hit or step on someone else’s toes in the train, you can say Gomen nasai or Summimasen which are sorry and excuse me and can be used interchangeably depending on the context and how polite you are looking to be. When you are leaving, don’t forget to give a customary bow and say: Domo arigato gozaimasu. This means thank you and a very subtle way of saying good-bye, but leaves the room open for meeting again. Saying Sayonara would not be advisable because that implies a final farewell and never come back or a long-term farewell.
You don’t need to be a Japanese expert speaker because just speaking enough Japanese makes Japanese people appreciate you. In fact, it helps with all kinds of relations, even for your customer such s with a polite greeting or praising them for doing a good job.
However, this isn’t the only thing you need to know in order to become successful while doing business in Japan. Attitude and understanding cultural cues is a must, especially when it comes to company structure, social hierarchy and how business is actually conducted according to Japanese social rules.