International Business Seminars

International Business Seminars - Module 1 & 2 – Program Orientation & Introduction to Japan

Module 1 & 2 – Program Orientation & Introduction to Japan

Virtual Japan Home

Please note all times are listed in Pacific Daylight Time.

DateTimeActivityModule 1
May 15, 2021
5:00 PM PDTProgram Orientation (Live interactive discussion)
• Outline structure of virtual experience
• Faculty presentation on key concepts, expectations, and desired outcomes
• Meet fellow students
6:15 PM PDTIntroduction to Japan (Live interactive presentation)
• General cultural introduction
• Business cultural introduction

Module Zoom Meeting Link:
Please click the link below to join Virtual Japan Zoom Meeting Room.

  1. Program Orientation and Intro to Japan Zoom Meeting

Module 1

Program Orientation:

(Live Interactive Discussion)

During this presentation, your leaders will outline the structure of this virtual experience and set the expectations for this program. This time will also be used to get to know your fellow participants and break the ice so that the group can work together more cohesively. We hope you will get a lot out of this experience and perhaps make some lasting connections and friendships!


  1. Welcome – “What do you want to get out of this seminar?”
  2. Introductions
  3. Outline Structure
  4. Basic Layout of the Program
  5. Ice Breakers

Professor Introduction:

(Live Interactive Presentation)

After you have all gotten acquainted with your leaders and fellow students, the faculty will present on key concepts, expectations, and desired outcomes of this program. Now is a great time to ask questions so use the chat function included in the Zoom meeting room to ask questions that the faculty can answer when they are done presenting. Throughout this whole program, we encourage you to ask any questions you may have. Those questions can either be emailed to JD before or after a session or typed up using the chat function in the Zoom meeting rooms to be answered when the presentation is done.


  1. Key Program Concepts
  2. What to Expect
  3. Desired Learning Outcomes
  4. Professionalism & Punctuality
  5. Respect, Culture & Language

Dr. Robert King, West Texas A&M University

Dr. Robert King

Dr. King is the Director of Graduate Business Programs, an Assistant Professor of Marketing, and a Wilder Professor of Business at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX. Dr. King teaches Principles of Marketing, Advertising, Strategy and Digital courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level and most recently won the 2019 Teaching Excellence Award in the Paul & Virginia Engler College of Business. Dr. King has led students throughout Europe and Asia.

You can reach Dr. King at:


J.D. Parker, Program Manager, International Business Seminars

J.D. Parker

JD has spent the last 15+ years devoting his life to international education and intercultural understanding having taught both in the US and overseas. JD has developed and led programs for both undergraduate and graduate students throughout Asia in the fields of business, history, food studies, geography, languages, and literature. JD holds a Master of Arts in East Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Kansas and a Master’s in Educational Administration and Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in History from West Texas A&M University. JD has taught at the university level in both the US and Japan and is fluent in Japanese. JD loves ultimate frisbee and was even named to the Japanese national team while residing in Japan.

You can reach J.D. at:

Module 2

Introduction to Japan:

(Live Interactive Presentation)

During this presentation, your leaders will outline the structure of this virtual experience and set the expectations for this program. This time will also be used to get to know your fellow participants and break the ice so that the group can work together more cohesively. We hope you will get a lot out of this experience and perhaps make some lasting connections and friendships!


  1. General Cultural Introduction
  2. Business Cultural Introduction

General Cultural Introduction:

(Live Interactive Presentation)
Japan, pronounced in Japanese as “Nippon” or “Nihon”, which translates to “the land of the rising sun” is a Pacific Ocean island nation off the coast of mainland Asia. It is comprised of approximately 6,900 islands and it’s landmass is slightly larger than the state of California. The most prominent and populous islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyushu, making up 97% of the country. Within these islands, there are 47 prefectures with a total population of 127 million (11th in the world). 73% of the country is mountainous, however, a majority of people live on the coastlines, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The population density in Japan is 347 per Km2 (899 people per mi2) with 91.8% of the population living in an urban area. Japan is the world’s third largest economy and considered one of the safest countries in the world.

The culture of Japan stands as one of the leading and most prominent cultures around the world, mainly due to the global reach of its popular culture. Many worldwide cultural phenomena like anime, manga, cosplay and kawaii were started in Japan. Japan has a fascinating and multifaceted culture; on the one hand it is steeped in the deepest of traditions dating back thousands of years; on the other it is a society in a continual state of rapid flux, with continually shifting fads and fashions and technological development that constantly pushes back the boundaries of the possible. Ranging from Japanese food culture to traditions like tea ceremony and martial arts, Japan has a wide array of cultural phenomenon that are distinctly Japanese.

Business Cultural Introduction:

(Live Interactive Presentation)
Greetings in Japan are very formal, ritualized, and hierarchical. It is important to show the correct amount of respect and deference to someone based upon their status relative to your own. It is considered impolite to introduce yourself, even in a large gathering. While foreigners are expected to shake hands, the traditional form of greeting is the bow. How far you bow depends upon your relationship to the other person as well as the situation. The deeper you bow, the more respect you show. Japanese people often rely on facial expression, tone of voice and posture to tell them what someone feels. They often trust non-verbal messages more than the spoken word as words can have several meanings. It is considered disrespectful to stare into another person’s eyes, particularly those of a person who is senior to you because of age or status. Most people in Japan will avoid eye contact in public to give themselves privacy.

Business cards are exchanged constantly, with two hands and a slight bow, in the Japanese business environment and with great ceremony so invest in quality cards and keep them in pristine condition. It is also advisable to have your title on the card, so your Japanese colleagues know your position within your organization. Appointments are required for any business interaction in Japan and should be made over the telephone several weeks in advance. Punctuality is very important in Japanese society so strive to always be on time or early for your appointments. The Japanese are looking to form a long-term business relationship so prove you’re trustworthy by responding quickly, providing excellent service and never refusing a request, no matter how difficult. The Japanese keep their presentations formal and stick to the facts so do not expect humor to be interjected into their presentations and you should follow the same etiquette when giving presentations as well.

When compared to western society, Japanese people are typically non-confrontational, and have a difficult time saying ‘no’ so you must vigilantly observe their non-verbal cues to see when they are displeased. To avoid discomfort, it is best to phrase questions in a way that they can answer ‘yes’ like saying “Do you disagree with this?” Japanese people seldom grant concession as they expect both parties to come to the table with their best offer.
Japanese do not see contracts as final agreements so they can be renegotiated. Never lose your temper or raise your voice during negotiations of any kind, as this reflects poorly on you and your organization. The Japanese tend to remain silent for long periods of time and some close their eyes when they are listening intently so be patient with them and try to work out if they have understood what you said using non-verbal cues. It is important to remember that the hierarchal structure in business management is the essence of corporate culture in Japan. Each person is clear about their role and functionality within the business.

Optional Activity Reminder:

Tomorrow there will be an optional Japanese cooking class. You should have received the ingredients list last week to ensure you will be prepared for the class but if you have not received it, please let JD, or Cherry know so they can send you the list!

Questions or Assignment Upload:

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