Based in Japan, with 15+ years of experience

Science Marketing, Copywriting, Content for Japanese Businesses

Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, all over Japan

Made in Japan, to the World

A US PsyD/MBA with a strong support team

English Copywriting, SEO, and Sales & Marketing Content in Japan – Key Industries and Issues

Japan is a highly developed economy with major multinational companies in every sector you can think of. Yet small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs, or chuushokigyou) are the heart of the economy.

The exact number of companies in Japan varies, but a 2016 economic census found 5.6 million official business establishments (source). Of those, an estimated 99.7% are SMEs (source).

Japan is an industrious country!

Until the “lost decade” of the 1990s, Japanese companies could rely on a robust local economy to support them. Overseas business was generally limited to MNCs and to various specialized companies.

The modern, globalized economy has changed that. There’s a weaker yen, dormant economy, aging population. Japan also has a new wave of young entrepreneurial minds aiming at the global market. Inbound tourism is another big factor.

English communication is more necessary than ever in Japan.

However, many Japanese people and companies struggle with this. They tend to rely on referrals and trusted brands in doing business. This slows them down and limits their choices. It wastes time and money.

It also creates unnatural marketing, which starts with unnatural or unsuitable English. A native English content manager and copywriter in Japan is indispensable.

When Japanese companies try to work in English, especially SMEs and startups, main problems are:

  • Poor English quality because of poor translation, lack of original English copywriting, and lack of understanding of English tone
  • Copying Japanese design in sales and marketing materials, including websites
  • Using a rigid format that Japanese like, but many English speaker find cold; such as a stiff message from the company CEO and highly impersonal language
  • Not showing value propositions or USPs because they are too indirect or humble
  • Using Asian fonts when writing in English

These are issues that can all be corrected with professional marketing, copywriting, translation, and editing. Typically, native English speakers are needed for this.

So why does this rich, highly educated, and innovative country continue to struggle with English branding, marketing; and even with basic English communication?

The main reasons are:

  • Over-reliance on referrals, recommendations from inner-circle, big-name companies, friends of friends
  • A combination of pride, shame, and modesty
  • Reluctance to listen to non-Japanese ideas at an equal and serious level
  • Simple lack of awareness of the impact of English language
  • Lack of competitive fire, seeking the status quo instead of winning

These aren’t character judgments and they’re not blame. They’re what I have seen through working in Japan, with Japanese organizations.

All of these can change.

Ready to get started? Or make improvements?

Main services:

  • Original SEO copywriting for your website
  • Translation-based copywriting
  • Making an English version of a Japanese site (not recommended, but sometimes OK depending on the design)
  • Original or edited marketing and sales text
  • Certified editing of your current English website and other customer-facing materials

You’ll get advice, consultation, help on finding not just ways to present good English, but also to change corporate culture.

You’ll get personal and meticulous copywriting, editing, and digital content planning in Japan and for Japanese businesses and entrepreneurs.  We’re on your team.

Whether you’re in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, or anywhere in Japan, let’s win together. Contact us.

Current and completed works in Japan

  • Web copywriting, Japanese-to-English translation, original blog posts (Tokyo, SaaS company)
  • Web copywriting, landing pages, PPC ads, website design coordination (Fukuoka, academic services company)
  • Social media copywriting, blog writing and editing (Tokyo, novelty company)
  • Website translation, copywriting, editing, proofreading (Kobe, auto import-export company)
  • Translation, web design, copywriting (Tokyo, international NGO)
  • Scientific press release writing (Tokyo, Osaka, Kanazawa, others; academic authors)
  • Translation, editing, proofreading (Tokyo, translation company)
  • Scientific manuscript editing (1,000+ authors in Japan)
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