Japanese business culture is often considered formal and polite, and understanding the customs and etiquette can be crucial for success in a business setting. Whether you’re attending a meeting, giving a presentation, or networking with colleagues, having a few key phrases in your arsenal can help to break the ice and create a positive impression. Here are five essential Japanese phrases that will come in handy in business settings:

“Yoroshiku onegaishimasu” (よろしくお願いします)

This phrase is used to introduce oneself and is often translated as “please be kind to me” or “pleased to meet you.” It’s a polite way to start a conversation and establish a relationship with someone.

“Sumimasen” (すみません)

This phrase is used to apologize, and it’s essential in Japanese business culture. Whether you’re running late for a meeting or need to ask for clarification on something, “sumimasen” is a polite and effective way to express remorse.

“Dōmo arigatō gozaimasu” (どうもありがとうございます

This phrase is used to express gratitude, and it’s a polite way to thank someone for their time or assistance. It’s essential for building relationships with colleagues and clients.

“Shōchi shimashita” (承知しました)

This phrase is used to indicate that you understand and will comply with a request or instruction. It’s a polite and professional way to show that you’re on board with a plan or proposal.

“Shitsumon ga arimasu” (質問があります)

This phrase is used to ask a question, and it’s a polite and professional way to seek clarification or further information.


By understanding and using these five essential Japanese phrases in business settings, you’ll be able to navigate Japanese business culture with confidence and professionalism. Knowing these phrases will help you to establish positive relationships with Japanese colleagues, clients and partners, and will facilitate communication and understanding.

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