Business mail

3 tips to make good impression with gmail to Japanese

Do you write gmail or email to Japanese colleagues or partners in daily work? How do you make your sentences easy to understand for them? Do you know what type of construction would be simple for them?

You’ll find the answers in this article. I’m gonna describe you how Japanese people read an email and explain how you should change the way of writing. Because I work for a Japanese company in Europe and exchanging emails with many variety of people from different countries, I know exactly what is making headache and what not.

So if you give a bit of effort from now on, you are much more liked by your Japanese clients.

3 tips to make good impression with gmail to Japanese

Break the text of emails so they can look parallel

It is easier to show a screenshot to explain what I’d like to say.

gmail 例

The longer your email (Text) is, it is easier to open a reply window to write a message by seeing the message from you in parallel. Then I can answer to your question one by one, means break the text so that your partner doesn’t have to scroll up and down to look back your message.

Only talking about gmail with Japanese businessman, even if it is strange to break in the middle of a sentence, you can do it. It is highly appreciated.

Use bullet points to convey your message clearly

Whether you answer the questions, or you would like to ask some points, you should always use bullet points. Firstly, by using bullet points, you can make your gmail as constructive as possible. That could make your message shorter which might help your Japanese partner to understand what you want to say.

Secondly, there are also so many Japanese businessmen who feels that his “English skill” is weakness. So to make your gmail as simple as possible bring your message much quicker to be opened.

2020-03-08 15.08.13

Write always your name at the beginning in the reply

This is for better recognition from who the email comes from. Why is it important? You might have experienced that you want to look back emails to see who said what. But the email was sent to many related people and everybody replies to that email, so long conversation and not just within two of you. And sometimes the email address is not directly giving the name. But you want to know who wrote that before starting reading the text. Finally, you find at the end of long text who wrote that message.

That’s why, the more replies pile up from several persons, the more important to write your name at the beginning of the reply.


Dear Ms. xxx
This is Nagahori writing.
Regarding the matter we had last month, I would suggest to change 
the developer to speed up our project.

This seems weird, but quite common for Japanese businessman. Don’t be afraid to implement it. But again, this will work only 1) several people are involved and answering, 2) when you reply after somebody else.

Yuki Nagahori
BA in German / Japan Country Manager at editorial company → Sales → currently sales planner based in Hamburg, Germany