Japanese business cards are an absolute essential for anyone doing business in Japan – as basic as a business suit in most situations. You will be naked without one.
Here are 10 quick do’s and don’ts for translating your business cards into Japanese and using them.
- DO have a business card translated into Japanese. It is a good idea to have a card with English on one side and the same information in Japanese on the other. You can choose which side to present, depending on the person.
- DON’T run out of business cards mid-way through your series of meetings, trade show, conference or business trip. It can easily happen as you are bound to need more cards than you expect.
- DO present your card using two hands with the Japanese text the right way round for the receiver.
- DON’T drop your card onto the table for the receiver to pick up.
- DO treat any cards you receive with respect. If you are standing up put them away carefully in a business card case. If you are at a sit-down meeting you can lay them out carefully on the table in front of you.
- DON’T write anything on the card, even useful information you are given. Carry a small notebook or diary for that purpose.
- DO carefully look at the cards you receive, even if they are in Japanese. (This is a good time to check the pronunciation of someone’s name or company name if necessary).
- DON’T put your own or others’ business cards in your back pocket.
- DO buy a smart business card holder. There are many beautiful ones available in Japan.
- DON’T leave anyone’s card behind forgotten. Your actions will be remembered!