The Japanese business culture is based on the tradition of ethical communication between people. The principle of strict subordination works as the key element of all the business and social contacts in Tokyo and other cities of the country. The corporate culture in Japan includes serious rules which are concentrated on the specialties of polite interpersonal communication. The frivolous discussions in an informal manner mean disrespect according to the old Japanese traditions. This approach to business etiquette can be demonstrated in the example of the Toyota Motor Corporation, which is the largest automobile company in the country. The main aspects of cultural intelligence which the workers need to know before starting communication with the Japanese representatives are the importance of punctuality, speaking on a distance, and restraint in statements.
The punctuality is one of the key elements which American employees will need to take seriously if they want to build trustworthy and effective business relations with Japanese people. According to Batyko (2012), corporate managers in Tokyo and all over the country require prompt and meaningful communication for the establishment of new economic ties. This attitude concerns all the parts of the specific interpersonal communication standards during meetings and during virtual communication. As Okazaki (2012) mentions, business activities in Japan are organized in a punctual way because it helps workers to coordinate their moving around the city and to be everywhere in time. At the same time, according to Wolf (2013), punctuality can help in the integration with the group, which is also significant for getting trust. The approach to human relations in Japan depends on acting as the calm individual with the aim of building long-term relations on respect and ethical behavior.
Speaking on a distance during the meetings means that the representatives of the Toyota Motor Corporation will not appreciate the informal type of speaking with hugging or even handshaking. A small greeting bow would be the best effort to start an effective contact with the Japanese worker. It will be better to communicate with the representatives of the Japanese company in groups and not individually. The group about five persons will be able to get more respect because it will show the seriousness of intentions. They will need to work with foreign personnel as colleagues who can also consult them on the topic of arranging business deals with Americans. All the communication needs to be concentrated on building long-term relations with the Japanese company.
Restraint in statements will mean that while being in Tokyo and speaking with the Toyota’s representatives, American employees will need to behave as polite persons. They will visit formal meetings and discuss the possibilities of international cooperation. According to Nakagawa, Nakagawa, Fukuchi, Sasaki, and Tada (2018), the transfer of Japanese business style is significant because it will help to assimilate the actions of people from the USA to the traditions of the foreign country. However, if the Japanese partners organize an informal meeting with exotic food, it will be a matter of respect and honor to visit it.
All in all, the complex of ethical behavior and communication according to the principles of punctuality, speaking on a distance, and restraint in statements can serve as the first steps towards the effective business cooperation with Japanese companies. Toyota Motor Corporation is a company that works according to the traditional views on business in Tokyo. The global communicational standards start adjusting the work of Japanese companies to modern world interpersonal speaking, but it happens slowly. This is the reason why nowadays it is better to follow the key elements of corporate and social systems, which are interpreted as common in the Japanese community.
- Batyko, R. (2012). The Impact of Corporate Culture on Public Relations in Japan: A Case Study Examining Tokyo Electric Power and Toyota. Public Relations Journal, 6(3), 1-19.
- Nakagawa, K., Nakagawa, M., Fukushi, H., Sasaki, M., & Tada, K. (2018). Japanese Management Styles: to Change or Not to Change? A Subsidiary Control Perspective. Journal of International Business and Economics, 6(2), 1-17. doi:10.15640/jibe.v6n2a1
- Okazaki, T. (2012). Punctuality: Japanese Business Culture, Railway Service and Coordination Problem. International Journal of Economics and Finance Studies, 4(2), 277-286.
- Wolf, R. (2013). Management Relations in the Work Culture in Japan as Compared to That of the West. Innovative Journal of Business and Management, 2(5), 116-122.
- Yoshida, T., Yashiro, K., & Suzuki, Y. (2013). Intercultural communication skills: What Japanese businesses today need. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 37(1), 72-85. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2012.04.013