Negotiation & Follow Up

Don’t be afraid of silence as it causes less anxiety than in the West, and is often used as a negotiating tactic

Negotiation in Japan can be long and frustrating

Decisions are made only when every stage of the hierarchy gives their blessing to an agreement

Things move slowly

Decision-making process can seem very long and drawn out

Patience is essential in these situations

Oral agreements carry as much weight as written contracts

Connections and relationships are golden in Japan

If you get to the point of needing legal counsel, you do have options

There is no reason why you can’t use your own legal team to engage with them, if things aren’t too complicated

You’ll probably want to make use of one of the local foreign legal entities in Japan, or sign one up in your own country, which has affiliates located in Japan

When making use of ‘outside’ information, be careful not to use, it in a way that would be insinuating that you are trying to contradict what you’ve heard from the Japanese counterpart

Iif looking to introduce a new idea, it could be a long process

Many younger generation Japanese with some English skills, will be more open to new ideas at a quicker pace

The business pace in Japan is relatively slow, the slowest in Asia

Be prepared for many rounds inclusive of visits to each other’s place of business, teleconferences, emails and entertainment

The internal approval process is a long procedure.

Don’t assume anything is final in your business agreement or negotiations, until it is clearly written and signed in a contract by both parties.

There might be a Memorandum of Understanding or a Letter of Intent, or emails saying ‘yes’

‘Yes’ could simply mean ‘I understand’ rather than ‘Yes that is how we will do it’

The Japanese are very analytical in their process. They want everything analyzed as much as possible

It frustrates many Westerners how detail-oriented, the Japanese can be on issues or points that we would never pay any attention to

If the company has a way of doing things, then it has to be done that way

Keeping in touch, a dinner or karaoke from time to time, holiday cards, can all be prerequisites to a successful long term partnership

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