Unique Characteristics of Japanese Conversation That Foreign Entrepreneurs in Japan Should Understand

【Koshida Accounting Firm Column Date:

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18. – Albert Einstein




Hi, my name is Taisei Koshida, and I am a certified public accountant and tax accountant.


I aim to assist non-Japanese business owners who struggle with reading or writing in Japanese. If you find the Japanese tax return system challenging, I can help you with your tax filings.


If you are unclear about the unique characteristics of Japanese conversation, you might find this blog helpful.




The behaviors of Japanese people mentioned below are not motivated by ill intent. They are simply differences from Western customs and may include actions that signify a desire to get along well with others.


Avoid Staring into Speaker’s Eyes for Long Periods

Many Japanese find it uncomfortable to maintain eye contact with the speaker for an extended period. This does not mean they are not seriously listening to the speaker.


Frequent Nodding

In Japan, nodding frequently during a conversation indicates active and deep listening.


Easy Inquiry about Personal Matters

Japanese people tend to ask questions about personal topics such as age, physical attributes, and family matters, even during initial encounters. Especially, people from the Kansai region tend to exhibit this tendency strongly.



Our accounting and tax office has been actively assisting foreign business owners in Japan with accounting and tax matters. Also, not only in the tax and accounting field, our office can support your business in Japan in the fields of visa, registration, social insurance, and law by networking with specialists. Plus, we have networked with specialists in web marketing, building websites, and business consulting suitable for Japanese customers. All services are provided in English. Please feel free to reach out to us through the inquiry form.