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THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARIL... - page 7 / 38

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tailored to the marketplace. Most packaging or labeling will have to be changed for the Japanese market, as American packaging is normally too large.

Marketing:

10.When ready to market your product, use the ATO offices as resources for information on promotion and marketing.

Tips to Deal with the Japanese Japanese business people, no matter how Western they may appear, do not always approach business relations in

the same way as Americans or Europeans do. Some differences are simply due to the language barrier, others are due to differences in deeply held traditions and practices. To help bridge these gaps, we suggest that you: Speak slowly and clearly, even if you know that your business counterparts speak English. Use clear-cut, simple words and expressions when writing in English. Use e-mail and fax, rather than telephone, whenever possible. Make appointments as far in advance as practical. Carry plenty of business cards (meishi). Present them formally at each new introductionand be sure they have your personal information in Japanese on the back. Be on time for all meetings; the Japanese are very punctual. Be braced for negotiations which require a number of meetings and probably several trips to reach an agreement. Be prepared for misunderstandings; use tact and patience. Be aware that in Japanese, Hai,‖ (yes) may mean, ―I understand,‖ not, ―I agree.‖ Limit the discussion of business at evening meals, or when drinking with new Japanese counterparts; these occasions are for getting to know one another and building trust. Be aware of major Japanese holiday and business break periods, e.g., the New Year holiday (approximately from December 30 to January 3); Golden Week, a combination of national holidays (April 29 - May 5); Obon, an ancestor respect period lasting for about one week in mid-August during which many companies close and business people take vacations.

Consumer Preferences, Tastes and Traditions These ideas may help you consider your product approach.

Japanese consumers: Are highly concerned about food safety and traceability commonly used terms are anzen and anshin that respectively mean ‗safety‘ and ‗peace of mind‘; Place great importance on qualityproducers that fail to recognize this will not succeed; Appreciate taste and all of its subtletiesand will pay for it;

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