Working in Japan – An Interview With Abbott Japan

  • HOW TO
  • JOBS
  • LIVE and WORK
  • WORK
  • Abbott is an American company that has many branches across the world, including Tokyo. What Abbott strives for is to provide the best supplementation and medical devices to support a healthy and long life. The Abbott team consists of researchers and nutritionists to help enhance people’s experience with their company. For more than 100 years, Abbott has continued to progress and innovate for future generations to come. 


    View this post on Instagram


    A post shared by Abbott (@abbottglobal) on

    For this article, we were lucky enough to be able to interview the supply chain manager for Abbott in Japan. Sean lived in the United States all his life and decided to move to Japan in order to connect with his family, learn a little more about his roots, and challenge himself in a completely new environment. He tells us that although the way life is here is completely different, he has learned to adjust to the details that make Japan an exciting place to live. 

    Seeing that Sean lived in the United States for most of his life, we thought he would be a great source to tell us about the differences between the Japanese and American workplace. Everywhere we read different opinions on the workplace in Japan, and now we finally have an honest and personal experience with both places rather than just observations from the outside. 

    Sean explained to us that the differences from a traditional Japanese workplace and that of the United States vary in many areas but the main differences stem from professional communication and decision making processes. Here is what Sean shared with us:

    Professional Communication

    Sean describes professional communication in Japan to be a bit more passive and in the grey between the black and white spectrums of business. There is never a no, but there is not always a yes. He tells us that even though Abbott is an American company with a common goal spread throughout its branches, it still is a very traditional Japanese company due to it being related to healthcare and healthcare being dependent on the country it is being practiced at. Due to this, Sean has become very familiar to the way people speak to each other and has noticed that your words have to be catered to whoever you are talking to. This takes us to the next topic:

    Decision Making Process

    In the United States, Sean tells us that employees usually have more autonomy when it comes to making decisions. Usually, you are given a task or a project and from then on you make the call for it. In Japan, it is completely different. In the traditional workplace, there is a hierarchy in making decisions. You have to contact the levels in this hierarchy in order to get things done, which makes getting things done a little bit slower. 

    Finally, Sean shares with us how he made his transition into Japan easier in the sense of finding jobs that fit his interests and his skills. He advises anyone that in considering moving to Japan for work to contact recruitment companies across Japan. He assures that they will answer your questions and even check your resume so it fits Japanese expectations. 


    All in all, it was great to see a great company flourishing in Japan thanks to all its workers and for Sean to be managing its supply in order to promote a healthy and nurturing way of living. It is important to highlight the efforts Abbott does to provide its best care for the people of Japan and the rest of the world. Checkout their website for more information on their mission and products.

    Japanese website


    View this post on Instagram


    A post shared by Abbott (@abbottglobal) on