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No business is an island, and networking is an essential part of Japanese business culture. There are numerous networking groups, clubs and professional associations dedicated to business and individual professions. You can find out more about them in Japanese business magazines and journals and on the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry website.
Typically, you will have to sign up to the business group to become a member and pay an annual membership fee. In return, you will gain access to the group's networking events, publications, online resources and consultation services. There is detailed information on how to become a member, along with various types of membership and the respective fees on the group’s website. Most of these groups have regional and local branches.
Among the major business groups and networks are:
Some networks are specifically dedicated to women in business. These membership-based networks offer support to businesswomen in Japan and organise regular training and networking events. Some of the most prominent networks include:
In addition to this, there are numerous professional networks and associations dedicated to individual professions, such as the Computer Software Association of Japan, Japan Petrochemical Industry Association and Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies. There is an extensive list of professional, governmental and business associations in Japan on this Web Japan page.
As elsewhere in the world, online networking sites have also become very popular among professionals in Japan. These networks enable companies and individuals to create online profiles and join interest groups. They can be useful tools for self-promotion, recruitment and making new contacts in your field. The most widely used networking site among professionals in Japan is the global networking site LinkedIn. The two most important Japan-based social networking sites are Mixi and Gree.
Expat business people may also be interested in the country-specific business groups in Japan. A good starting point is to approach the respective country's Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Most Chambers run clubs both for business people from a particular country and Japanese business people who want to do business with that country. These clubs offer consultation services and organise networking events for their members. For other expat groups in Japan, see Expat Groups in Japan.
Sections in EMPLOYMENT AND BUSINESS IN JAPAN:
» Finding a Job, CVs, Interviews and Etiquette for Expats in Japan
» Work Culture and Labour Market for Expats in Japan
» Expats Owning and Operating a Business in Japan
» Business Groups, Associations and Networking for Expats in Japan
» Business Taxation for Expats in Japan
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If you are considering moving to Japan or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Japanese section including; details of immigration and visas, Japanese forums, Japanese event listings and service providers in Japan.
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