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Why Should You Localize Your Content Into Japanese?

Posted by Anne Q. on April 01, 2020.

Japan, the world’s third-largest GDP, and the world’s third-largest developed economy is the potential destination of many foreign companies. Language and culture differences compared to the West are just the beginning. There are still numerous challenges your company needs to overcome to make a splash in the Japanese countries. Localizing your content into Japanese will create a solid ground for your future success.

Here are 3 reasons why you need Japanese content localization for your company.

1. Risk-Averse Consumers

Japanese people are one of the most careful consumers in the world. While shopping, quality is the top priority. They tend to choose a famous brand with a high price over a cheap product from no-name brands. This behaviour can be explained by the fact that, in Japan, many retailers do not offer return or refund policies. Once they bought something, they will have to use it regardless it’s working well or not. This contributes significantly to the cautiousness of Japanese consumers.

Japanese people go shopping

Even when you manage to catch Japanese consumers’ attention, there’s still a huge barrier. Japanese people pay a lot of attention to little details. There’s no room for mistakes. If your products have a grammar or spelling error, even the smallest, the chance people purchase your products is very little, or even zero. In other words, localizing your content into Japanese with uttermost care is a key to do well in this market.


2. Low English Proficiency

Japanese people prefer using their own language to any foreign languages, including English. They don’t place high importance on learning foreign languages. This can be seen from the EF English Proficiency Index Ranking of Japan. In 2019, Japan ranked at #53 out of 100 countries worldwide and #11 out of 25 Asian countries with 51.51, being in the low proficiency group.

Japanese English Proficiency

In fact, it’s not easy to find a proficient Japanese English speaker to ask for direction, even when you are in the centre of Tokyo. Most restaurants and tourist attractions have only Japanese signs and instructions. If your company wants to conquer this market, there’s no doubt your website, slogan, tagline, product package, or product instruction all need localizing.


3. Search Engine Optimization

According to Statcounter, Google is the dominant search engine in Japan, followed by Yahoo. Does that mean if your company has already highly optimized for SEO in English on Google, you can expect to reach success in the Japanese market in no time? As mentioned above, Japanese people don’t speak English and don’t like speaking English as a last resort, so it’s undoubtedly that all your content in this market needs translating into Japanese. However, translating isn’t enough. To boost your SEO, you also need to use the right keywords in Japanese, with the help of an SEO localization expert.

Search Engine in Japan

With extensive experienced native Japanese linguists and SEO experts, GTE Localize provides best-in-class Japanese localization services. Our team of localization experts will help you with localizing your content into Japanese. Contact us for a 1:1 consultant with our localization experts.