How to use the business card
As with a lot of things in Japan, there is a protocol to be followed when presenting a business card (meishi).
The salaryman/woman in a relatively lower position will present their business card first. Proper protocol requires that they state only their company and own last name, and not their title.
So how should you act when receiving a business card?
The namecard is received with a bow, and time is taken to read the company name, title and individual name. A business card is considered an extension of its owner, and as such, should be treated with respect.
After memorizing the person`s name, place the business card in a meishi case. All Japanese business people have a meishi holder and you should get one, too.
When many people are present, the cards may be placed face up on the table. However, this is not generally recommended, unless you see that your Japanese counterpart has done so. Always remember protocol!
Only when these steps have been completed will both parties sit down and the matter of business at hand is discussed.
Tomorrow, we will discuss how to treat the business card.