What are the Difference Between JP and US Companies?

03.06.2024 | Blog

According to an article, there are 8,874 Japanese companies in US. (1*) 

Japanese companies in the U.S. also vary in industries, including manufacturing, food, and services. Most Japanese companies are located in large cities, such as the suburbs of Chicago in Illinois, Los Angeles in California, and Dallas in Texas. This blog will answer questions for those who want to work for a Japanese company in the US.

Below are some differences between in JP and US companies 

  US Japan
Dress code: Office casual Formal dress code (Dark colored or black suits, with a white shirt and tie)
Employee relationship: Department does not hang out much outside of work Hang out as a group after work. Ex: Karaoke or Nomikai (Drinking party)
Decision-making: All employees have more autonomy Top-down hierarchy. Employees can't make any decisions without approval from superiors.  
Time: Regular work hours Some companies require overtime.
Social life: Prioritize family over work Prioritize work over family
Risk management: Take risks in trying something fresh Stick with old ideas to avoid risks
Salary: Job-based employment, merit pay system Membership-based employment, seniority-based pay system


Overall, while American companies emphasize individual achievement, Japanese companies tend to emphasize teamwork to achieve results. Japanese companies are suited for those who are good at teamwork, wanting to work in a stable environment, desiring to be competitive based on comprehensive skills rather than expertise.

What Recruiting Looks Like? 

The basic approach to recruiting and assigning positions differs between Japan and the United States. Japanese companies hire groups of new graduates in April each year and consider their assignments after they join the company. After that, it is common practice to develop employees via job rotation through sales, administration, and other departments while observing their aptitudes.   

On the other hand, in the U.S., personnel are hired according to the positions they apply for. As a result, transfers between departments are rare. 

What Promotion Styles Look Like? 

Japanese companies have a culture that values employees very highly. Many Japanese companies still have a lifetime employment system, and once a person joins a company, he or she tends to work there until retirement. Therefore, a lot of time and money is spent on employee training. Promotions are often made within the company, and there are many opportunities for departmental transfers and cross-training, especially in the early years of employment. Also, the lifetime employment system is the one of the key reasons why Japan has a lower unemployment rate (2.5%) compared to other countries. (2*) 

Promotions in Japan are often based on contributions to the company, long-term performance, and company history. The pace of promotion is slower, but in return, long-term employment is guaranteed. In the case of American companies, the pace of promotion is much faster, but there is less guarantee of employment. Promotions are mainly based on short-term, individual performance, and do not seem to reflect the company or team performance.

What are advantages of working at Japanese Companies? 

The advantage of working for a Japanese company in the U.S. is that it incorporates both cultures, so there is less culture shock for those working for a Japanese company for the first time. Many Japanese companies in the U.S. have adopted the American culture, so they are always looking for positions that require hiring new people, just like American companies. 

For those who would like to work at a Japanese company but are not comfortable going to Japan, working for a Japanese company in the U.S. may offer less culture shock. 

How Do you Look for Japanese Companies in the US ? 

Here are some ways to find a position in a Japanese company in the US.  

  1. Look up positions on job search websites, like Indeed or LinkedIn 
  2. Contact employment agencies specializing in Japanese companies 

We are here to help people who are looking for positions within Japanese companies and wanting to utilize their experiences in US! 

Phone Number: 773-672-8920 / 773-672-8950

Email: ryamamoto@bond-consultants.com 

LinkedIn: Bond Consultants| LinkedIn



(1*) 海外、アメリカに進出する日本企業数 2022年版 - Simple Marketing 365 (cimplexmarketing.com) 

(2*) Japan Unemployment Rate (tradingeconomics.com) 

 日系企業と外資系企業の違いは?働き方や向いている人の特徴を比較! | Indeed (インディード) 

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