There are many unique business manners and customs in Japan. Without knowing some of the basics, you may run into some trouble with your fellow Japanese colleagues.
In this article, we will introduce some manners that foreigners should be aware of before starting their first day working for a Japanese employer. If you are a company that plans to hire foreign nationals, we will highlight some areas you should consider below.
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1. Adapting to Japanese Business Manners and Culture
Japan has a strong hierarchical culture when it comes to age, different career levels, and time of employment. If one has worked for the company before you, they will be considered as your senior (or senpai) and you will be the junior (kohai). Again, this varies depending on career level and age as well, but most of the time you should always respect someone who has joined the company before you otherwise you will be labeled as disrespectful and rude. You must always act respectful around your superiors if you want to fit in. Being a foreigner may let you slide at times, but if you would like to be successful, consider the phrase “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. For more information on this, please refer to our article on how to succeed in business in Japan.
2. Gross Salary Deductions
Japan is a country with a “universal health insurance system,” which means that, in principle, all people living in Japan are covered by public medical insurance and pension plans. As a result, employees are paid an amount equal to the total amount of their remuneration or salary minus the insurance premiums.
Taxes and insurances such as income tax and inhabitant/residence tax, and unemployment insurance premiums (if you are covered by unemployment insurance) will also be deducted from your gross salary. As a result, it is not uncommon that there will be a difference of 50,000 yen or more between the total amount paid and the actual amount (take-home pay).
If you do not have knowledge regarding these deductions when you receive your take-home pay, you may think that the company is paying less than the agreed amount in the contract which may lead to distrust. When hiring a foreigner, it is always important to carefully explain the deductions in the salary and social insurance system.
In this article, we have introduced some key aspects that foreigners should know before working in Japan. It is often told that Japanese business manners are very unique compared to other countries. It is also common to hear that foreigners do not fit in well with the Japanese working culture, so it is necessary to support them every step of the way.
We provide total support for the employment of foreign nationals. Please feel free to contact us if you have any problems regarding the employment of foreign nationals.