Get Ready For Japan 2023– 6th edition – Testimonials

The 6th Get Ready For Japan (GRFJ) programme was organized by the EU-Japan Centre on 15-26 May 2023. 14 companies (12 SMEs and 2 start-ups) from 8 EU member states participated in this year’s programme. The 2-week Get Ready for Japan scheme offers EU managers the unique opportunity to experience and understand both the cultural and economic elements that define and explain Japan's business and technological achievements. Continuously improved to meet the latest expectations about business in Japan, the programme provides EU businesspersons with professional Japan-related expertise. It is focused on business management and consists of a combination of lectures, case studies, role plays and company visits. This is designed to help participants become thoroughly informed about the actual conditions of Japanese business through practical analysis and research. During the programme, 9 lectures on Japanese culture, economy and marketing in Japan, 2 regional visits to Ota City Industrial Promotion Organisation and Yokohama City, 1 company visit, and a 2-day joint seminar on “cross-cultural communication and international business management and negotiation for international business operations” were organized. Within the frame of the mission, some participants could also benefit from individual company meetings with potential Japanese partners organized physically or virtually.  

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GRFJ participants

Participants’ comments and testimonials

This enthralling collection of testimonials showcases the impact that the Get Ready for Japan programme had on participants. Through their testimonials, participants reveal the profound shifts in perspectives that took place as they navigated the Japanese business landscape. Assimilating invaluable lessons on adaptability, respect, and harmonious collaboration, they witnessed the efficacy of the art of Japanese business etiquette in establishing enduring connections and effective communication strategies.

“Even if I used to go to Japan every year to promote our company’s services, the opportunity to participate in the Get ready for Japan programme came exactly at the right moment. This 2-week intense programme gave me a precise 360-degree picture of the current Japanese business world: the lectures about the culture, the history, the politics and macroeconomics of Japan, and business intercultural management, reminded me of many cultural gaps that I encountered in my career and gave me ideas on how to overcome them. I got to better know Japanese customers’ behaviour and learned various tools that I will certainly use in my daily business with Japanese counterparts. 
It was very interesting to compare what we learned to the culture of the different participants’ countries too, since it gave us a European perspective. The programme exceeded my expectations with its high-quality lectures and business experts that we had the chance to meet! The part I liked most was the roleplay exercises that we could experience in Prof. Parissa Haghirian classes: it was really useful meeting very experienced Japanese businessmen and women and asking for their suggestions and advice!  
Even if I have a lot of experience working in Japanese with Japanese customers, I recommend the programme to people who want to approach the Japanese market for the first time and those who want to develop or diversify their business in Japan. I was honoured to be selected to participate in the “Get ready for Japan” programme, thank you.” 
By Giulia Ciammaichella, CEO, Link Japan srl

“It was an amazing experience to learn so much about Japan during the 2-week stay in Tokyo. No matter what I had learnt beforehand during online webinars by the EU-Japan Centre, eventually in Tokyo I have realised that “nemawashi” plays not only a key role in doing business in Japan, but it’s the only way to do so. In addition, cultural barriers and specific business communication styles are as important as “nemawashi”.
Thanks to the training course, we have changed the entire process of preparation of a business proposal for our Japanese customers. Company presentation, production processes in terms of prototype manufacturing, quotation and business communication will be adapted to Japanese requirements. 
Please be prepared for a time-consuming, highly structured process that requires your full and long-term commitment. No matter your knowledge and experience, please expect the unexpected. Japan is a place unlike any other on the globe. Thank you very much, arigato gozaimasu!”
By Piotr Woloch, Business Development Manager, MDT sp. z o.o.

“Gained knowledge from GRFJ programme helped us understand the root causes of issues in the areas we have been having difficulties with while doing business with Japanese clients. Main areas we will improve are related to communication, response timing and managing expectations. GRFJ programme's seminars on communication were very helpful in understanding first-hand the areas we could improve in. After the program, the differences between EU and Japanese companies’ management style and culture are much more visible and understandable. With an understanding of the challenges between EU and Japan companies, it is much easier to relate and seek common ground while doing business together.”
By Justinas Slekys, Project Manager, Altechna R&D

GRFJ participants 2

Published: October 2023