CROSS-CULTURAL BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN UNITED STATES AND JAPAN 5

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Introduction

Japan and America have good business relationships.  As a businessperson, it is important to learn and be acquainted with the behaviors and the culture of each party in order to appreciate and improve your success in business.  There are various aspects in cross-cultural business relationships that should be known when interacting. These includes; liaisons, ambassadors, conversations, speeches, relationship building, creation of trust, understanding the vehicles of cross-cultural exchange and a glimpse of various symbols and metaphors used among many others.

In liaisons, Americans engage in communications more often and like interacting more compared to the Japanese. The level of forming relationships among American is high, as they do not like to be silent. They are extrovert and most often, they initiate their communication. A phenomena that is contrary to Japan.  Furthermore, they are good ambassadors of peace in their communication. They endeavor to feel happy and make friendships

Americans are good in speeches and prefer direct communication/conversation and there yes or no means that and “ok” means that everything is in order. An interruption while someone is talking is seen as rudeness. They keep strict deadlines and value time (Jungbok, 2011, p. 6). Like japans American are uncomfortable with same-sex touching. They also like smiling even to strangers and are good at building relationships. They also keep a distance when in a conversation. On the other hand, Japans are not good time managers and often will arrive at their meeting behind schedule (Jyh-Shen, & Lee, 2008, p. 1180). Japans interpretation to smile is different, as a smile may not be associated to happiness.

When it comes to creating acquaintances, Americans are good at creating and developing trust through their interactions. Therefore, they develop long term relationships even after the interactions and meetings are over. On the other hand, Japanese, will not establish a lasting relationship after the transactions are over.

When it comes to gifts, US companies have discouraged it but in the occasions that gifts are given, they should not appear as bribes. However, a modest or an invitation for a meal gift is acceptable. American cherishes order and it is not right to jump a queue, as this is taken as disrespect and rude. They also do not allow chewing of toothpicks in public places (Qin, 2006, p. 34). In Japan, both business and personal gifts are very important. The gifts are wrapped in distinct colors with bias of white and bright colors.  These gifts are exchanged by both hands and are not opened in the presence of the person who has given the gift.  Gifts considered good includes; top choice beef, alcohol like quality whisky and brandy.

In Japan culture, people bow to each other upon their first meeting as a symbol of peace and greetings. The level of a bow is determined by the status of an individual and after the bow, a business card is given (Griffith, Myers, & Harvey, 2006, p. 10).  In conversation, Japans   avoid overuse of long hand gestures and putting on unusual facial expressions as this could distract them. They also do not use “Ok” sign because to them it implies money (Penn, & Mooney, 1986, p. 206). Both hands do the exchange of business cards as a sign of respect. They first exchange the cards before embarking on their business meetings. Last name is used in introductions with a word san meaning Mr. or Ms. In the negotiation process Japans do not like using the word no and instead may you yes implying no. On the other hand,  in America a firm handshake of approximately 3-5 seconds is given as  a way of greeting  upon meeting and leaving a meeting with an eye conduct. In business meetings, eye conduct shows sincerity, interest and confidence.  People may embrace one another and in their introduction, they use titles such as Mr. Mrs. And Ms with a full name (Fischer, Franziska, & Sattler, 2010, p. 824).  A smile shows friendship and asking of permission is paramount.

Vehicle of cross-cultural exchanges tools or programs helped in the nurturing of relationships between the Japanese and the Americans. Japanese used gifts to win trust and create relationships with the Americans. On the other hand, Americans rarely exchange gifts but easily sign agreements and exchange programs of students and professionals. This enhances their relationships in collaborating and transacting business.

Therefore, in business, it is important to familiarize with various vehicles for cross-cultural exchange to ensure that you fit into different cultures.   An understanding of these cultural aspects will facilitate easier cohesion, level of communication and coexistence.

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