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Lesson Transcript


Becky: Hello, and welcome to JapanesePod101.com. This is Introduction to Business Culture, Lesson 5, Visiting a Japanese Company. In this lesson, we’ll teach you how to behave when visiting a Japanese company. I’m Becky.
Risa: ...and I’m Risa.
Becky: If you work for, or with, a Japanese business, sooner or later, you’ll have the opportunity to visit another business.
Risa: In Japan, there are certain ways of entertaining customers.
Becky: So, the visiting party will need to respond accordingly.
Becky: In this lesson, we’ll look at numerous things, such as how to prepare for a polite visit, how to greet the people you are visiting, what to do when you’re offered a cup of tea, and so on.

Lesson focus

Becky: Let’s get started. What do you need to do in preparation when you are visiting a Japanese company?
Risa: There are three points to consider. First, make an appointment.
Becky: Don’t just show up unannounced, as that may greatly inconvenience the person you are visiting, or you may not even get to see them at all.
Risa: I think this rule is true in many other countries, too.
Becky: Yes, it is. This may be something that you’re already used to doing.
Risa: Second, prepare your business cards.
Becky: We learned earlier in this series about the importance of business cards, so make sure you have some prepared and that you take enough with you.
Risa: Remember, a business card is not just a card.
Becky: It should be treated as being on the same level of importance as the person themselves.
Risa: So make sure that you have a business card holder.
Becky: Then, you can keep the card nice and clean and show the right amount of respect to the card.
Risa:...and last but not least, be on time!
Becky: Right, that’s very important. Japanese society, in general, is very punctual.
Risa: It’s a good rule to leave your office early.
Becky: And then, you can arrive early for your appointment. Ten minutes early is a good time to aim for.
Becky: Okay, now let’s see what to do at the reception desk. What should you say to the receptionist?
Risa: Usually, Japanese business men start with the greeting, いつもお世話になっております。(Itsumo o-sewa ni natte orimasu)
Becky: This expression literally means "I am always indebted," but a more natural translation is "thank you for your continuing support." Then, you introduce yourself. Risa, let’s hear an example in Japanese.
Risa: 「いつもお世話になっております。日本商事の田中と申します。」(Itsumo o-sewa ni natte orimasu. Nihonshōji no Tanaka to mōshimasu.)
Becky: This literally means "I am indebted to you, I am Mr. Tanaka of Nihon Shoji." Then, you can give the details about your appointment.
Risa: For example, 「2時に営業部の鈴木様とお約束がありまして参りました。」(Ni-ji ni eigyōbu no Suzuki-sama to o-yakusoku ga arimashite mairimashita.)
Becky: This means "I have made an appointment with Mr. Suzuki from the sales department at 2 o'clock." Risa, can you repeat “Mr. Suzuki” in Japanese?
Risa: 鈴木様 (Suzuki-sama)
Becky: When you mention the name of a person you have an appointment with, it is important that you add "sama" to the person's name, rather than "san." This extra level of politeness is important.
Risa: We have two more tips for you! The first one is about お茶 (o-cha)...
Becky: ...which is "tea"...
Risa: ...and the second one is about 見送り(miokuri)
Becky: ...which means "seeing off." When visiting a Japanese company, you’ll very likely be served tea. But, no matter how good it looks or how thirsty you are, don’t start drinking it immediately.
Risa: Please wait for your host to say どうぞ(dōzo).
Becky: In this situation, it means "please, go ahead." Waiting for your host to give you the go-ahead is good manners.
Risa: Don’t worry if you don’t finish the tea.
Becky: If you don’t finish drinking everything by the end of the meeting, you don't have to make them wait for you to finish it or quickly knock it back. If you just say, "Sorry, I can't drink it all," that will be fine.
Becky: Okay, now let’s see how to behave when the meeting is finished.
Risa: It’s rare for people to say goodbye in the meeting room.
Becky: Right, your host will often come with you to the elevator and see you off there, instead.
Risa: And your host will bow to see you off until the elevator door closes.


Becky: Those are the key things you need to remember when visiting a Japanese company. If you want to find the related Japanese keywords, make sure to check out the lesson notes.
Becky: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.
Risa: Bye!