The Importance of Learning Business Japanese
Recent news reports have people always looking at China as the next big thing in world economies. However, it is important to know that Japan is still one of the largest economies in the world. Not only is Japan’s infrastructure still much better than China’s, but Japan is China’s biggest trading partner and keeps it one of the most important countries in Asia.
Some people might think that learning business Japanese is a thing of the past, but they would be very wrong. Japan will continue to be a strong economy and one that serious businessmen should not ignore. Even if China eventually becomes the world’s largest economy, and they are still a long way from matching the United States, Japan will directly benefit from China’s growth. The only other nation that even comes close to benefiting from China’s growth is Australia.
Business is a very important part of Japanese culture. There is also a strong sense of honor and respect when it comes to business in Japan. Taking one small step toward respect can amount to a giant business contract down the road. In Japan it’s not just about money. A US business person who takes the time to learn business Japanese will likely receive better contracts and much better terms than someone who does not.
What makes it even more surprising that more Western businessmen don’t do this is that you are not expected to be fluent in Japanese. Even learning respectful greetings, polite small talk, and basic business Japanese can go a long way toward building a relationship abroad. When doing business of any kind in Japan, not only is the company judged, but many people are surprised to learn that the person who ships the company is also judged. A great person from a mediocre business can sometimes get better contracts than an average person from a fantastic business.
When so few people are willing to go the extra mile, why wouldn’t someone take the extra steps to learn basic business Japanese to help their business? Simple positive impressions like this are a big problem for Asian businesses and the sooner more people realize this, the more successful they will be doing business in Japan. Every nation has its own way of doing things, but there is no doubt that knowing even a little Japanese can go a long way.