Japanese Business Teams

The Japanese do not really undertake training sessions on teambuilding — they are naturally group-oriented which underlies the need for a truly consensus approach to issues.

The consensus-building process or nemawashi (literally root binding) determines that agreement is sought before a formal meeting in order to avoid any direct confrontation. Thus arriving at a meeting expecting issues to be thrashed out in a direct and forthright manner will almost always lead to disappointment.

It is also important that group members maintain face in front of other group members, which amongst other things means that people must be seen to be modest and humble. Self-promotion in the western sense is seen as childish and embarrassing behaviour.

The group or groups to which a person belongs are a life-defining set of relationships and the importance of these group relationships should never be underestimated. Therefore, Japanese businessmen (and women) will often socialise in teams after work. Dinner and drinks are an important work and social function and should be encouraged.


This country-specific business culture profile was written by Keith Warburton who is the founder of the cultural awareness training consultancy Global Business Culture

Global Business culture is a leading training provider in the fields of cross-cultural communication and global virtual team working.  We provide training to global corporations in live classroom-based formats, through webinars and also through our cultural awareness digital learning hub, Global Business Compass.

This World Business Culture profile is designed as an introduction to business culture in Japan only and a more detailed understanding needs a more in-depth exploration which we can provide through our training and consultancy services.

Country Breakdown





Japanese Yen


$ 4.94