Business in Japan

As the third-largest economy in the world, Japan is attractive to both job-seekers and businesses partners alike. More than 40,000 Americans already live, study, and work in metro Tokyo alone. Japan is known as a nation of quality and innovation, with strong commitment and loyalty to business partners. Of course, it is always important to do your research and be well informed before looking for a job or business partner in Japan. Please note that the JICC and Embassy of Japan are not able to assist you in locating work or business partners, but hopefully this guide will send you in the right direction.

Working in Japan
We are delighted you are interested in teaching English in Japan! There are many opportunities to teach English in Japan. One can do so through a government sponsored program or through private English schools.

The Japan Exchange in Teaching Program (JET) is a government-run program that sends those with college degrees to various part of Japan as Assistant Language Teachers or Coordinators for International Relations. For more information on the JET Program, please see their website.

Alternatively, many private English schools will sponsor American citizens to come and teach English in Japan. There are a variety of types, including English language schools, Department of Defense schools, international schools, and more. Here is a PDF with some of these schools listed, as well as more information about teaching English in Japan.
There are non-teaching jobs in Japan that are available to foreigners, but you will most likely need a high level of Japanese language comprehension. However, many international companies also have office locations in Japan. There are also many job banks that advertise various jobs in Japan that are available to foreigners. Check our Employment in Japan tab under the Japan Resources page for some helpful tools and links.
Doing Business in Japan
Excellent! To strengthen support for U.S. companies intending to invest in Japan, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has established a “Contact Point for the Promotion of Direct Investment in Japan”. You can find more about this program, as well as contact information, on the main Embassy's website.

Alternatively, you can try contacting the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to obtain some general information. JETRO is a government affiliated organization that assists foreigners with doing business in/with Japan. JETRO can provide market analysis, potential contacts, and much more.

You can also reach out to the U.S. Commercial Service, which offers assistance in exporting to Japan. They offer information such as key market opportunities, entry strategies, technical requirements, and more.
In Japan, business etiquette and protocol are highly valued, but can be a little complicated to understand for foreigners. For instance, Japanese companies often operate under a management of consensus, rather than initiative of individuals, and with a strict degree of formality. However, as long as you show respect and an effort to understand Japanese culture, business partners are generally pretty forgiving. Punctuality, politeness, and good manners are some of the pillars of Japanese business etiquette, but certain details, such as business cards, attire, and seating arrangements are also important. JETRO has a guide for Communicating with Japanese in Business. Additionally, Venture Japan and Japan Intercultural Consulting both have handy guides on Japanese business guides.

If you or your company are located in the DMV area, you can schedule a Business Ettiquette course with our Education Program coordinator. See our Educational Programs page to learn more.