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Japanese business card do’s and don’ts

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. DO present your card using two hands with the Japanese text the right way round for the receiver.
  4. DON’T drop your card onto the table for the receiver to pick up.
  5. 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.
  6. DON’T write anything on the card, even useful information you are given. Carry a small notebook or diary for that purpose.
  7. 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).
  8. DON’T put your own or others’ business cards in your back pocket.
  9. DO buy a smart business card holder. There are many beautiful ones available in Japan.
  10. DON’T leave anyone’s card behind forgotten. Your actions will be remembered!