About Imoto and Trading

What are the advantages of transacting through a trading company instead of doing import/export operations by yourselves?

By outsourcing your import/export operations, you can improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. In addition, you will be able to increase the value of your products by transacting through a trading company highly reliable, and you can import goods from other countries under favorable conditions.

Is there a product category in which Imoto specializes most?

We handle various products, but specialize in tableware and kitchenware, including ceramics, which we have handled since the company's establishment.

Which countries/regions does Imoto specialize in the most?

We can deal with all kinds of countries, but we are especially good at dealing with geographically close East Asian countries such as China and Singapore, as well as North and South America.

How many countries does Imoto import/export to?

We can mediate transactions with manufacturers and buyers in any region upon request. Note that as of October 2022, we have done business with more than 50 countries in the past.

Where is Imoto located?

Our head office is located in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, the center of Japan, and we have an affiliated company in Singapore.
For details, please refer to the Company Profile page.

Are there any minimum capital or sales requirements for first-time traders?

There are no special requirements, so please feel free to contact us.

What is the difference between Imoto and the other trading companies?

Our greatest strength is the trading know-how we have built up over our 120-year history, as well as our domestic and international networks and relationships of trust.
We also provide comprehensive support for your business through a team of staffs with specialized knowledge and skills. And the team includes sales representatives who are fluent in languages know both domestic and international markets, and customs brokers who are familiar with customs clearance as well as the laws and regulations of each country.

What are the business hours for Imoto?

We are open from 9:00 to 17:00 Japan time. Please note that we are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays.

How do I make an inquiry from overseas?

We accept inquiries both by phone and by e-mail form, but we recommend you using the e-mail form if you are contacting from overseas.
For details, please see the Contact Us page.

Can I have a resident staff member support my company’s trading operations?

No, we do not provide permanent trading support.

Products and Transactions

Can I request the import/export of food and beverages?

Yes, depending on the contents and conditions, please contact us for more details.

Can I request the import/export of living creatures or pets?

Yes, depending on the contents and conditions, please contact us for more details.

Can I request import/export of precision instruments?

Yes, depending on the contents and conditions, please contact us for more details.

Can I also request customs clearance and documentation necessary for import/export?

We can improve your business efficiency by handling customs clearance and the preparation of various trade documents such as invoices on your behalf.

Can Imoto attend overseas or Japanese trade shows and negotiate with manufacturers and buyers?

Our staff members can accompany you to attend trade shows held overseas or in Japan and conduct direct business negotiations on the spot. We can also accompany you to visit and negotiate with manufacturers overseas and in Japan.

Is it possible to have local import and export regulations checked?

We can check your products based on the laws and regulations of each country to support safe and smooth import/export. 

Can I ask for advice on planning and promotion of export products?

We are happy to consult with you on product planning and promotion.

Can I ask for advice on sales promotion and sales of imported products?

We also offer sales promotion and sales planning services.

Can I request negotiations to obtain exclusive distribution rights for imported products?

We are happy to consult with you regarding negotiations for exclusive distribution rights.

I don't have any concrete ideas for importing products. Can Imoto provide consultation?

We are happy to consult with you on import products from the initial stage.

If a product has a character design, is it necessary to confirm the license when importing or exporting?

Since different characters have different licenses and rights and obligations, there are cases where approval by the manufacturer or buyer is required for import/export. Please contact us for details.

Can Imoto handle products and manufacturers not listed on your website?

We can negotiate with new manufacturers to purchase products that are not listed on our website.

What will Imoto do in the unlikely event that the product received is defective or damaged?

Although we take the utmost care to control the quality of our products, in the unlikely event of any defects such as inadequacy or damage, please contact us and we will of course take action within the scope of the contract. For those who are concerned about defects or damage, we will provide information on marine insurance, etc. in advance.

Can I request a quality inspection of my exported goods?

Depending on the nature of the product and quality standard, we may be able to accommodate your needs, so please contact us for more details.

Are there any restrictions on the minimum or maximum number of lots of goods to be imported?

The number of lots that can be handled varies depending on the product and the contract, so please contact us for details.

Can manufacturers consult with Imoto about exporting?

We are always ready to consult with manufacturers about exporting, from sales planning to introduction of the most suitable buyers.

If I export products overseas through Imoto, where do I have to deliver them?

As with domestic transactions in Japan, delivery is made to a warehouse in Japan designated by us.

Can Imoto handle customs clearance of goods delivered from Japan to overseas?

For goods exported from Japan to overseas, we basically ask that you (overseas buyer) pick up the goods yourself.

For transactions in Asia, should I contact the affiliate N&I ASIA PTE LTD?

Our affiliated company, N&I ASIA PTE LTD. is basically the Singapore contact point, so please contact us if you are not from Singapore.

Do you have a general catalog that lists all of the products and manufacturers handled by Imoto?

We do not have a comprehensive catalog, as we are constantly updating the products and manufacturers we handle to meet market trends and needs. We may be able to provide catalogs by product or manufacturer. Please contact us for details or visit our Export Goods and Import Goods pages.

Can I request exports utilizing cross-border EC?

We are engaged in export business utilizing cross-border e-commerce such as Amazon and Alibaba. We can also propose the most appropriate export method for your transactions and products, including other options.

Contract, Documentation and Payment

Do I sign import/export contracts directly with the manufacturer or buyer? Or do I conclude them with Imoto?

Basically, you will sign contracts with us in order to avoid troubles and risks that may occur by concluding them directly between manufacturers and buyers.

What costs are incurred when I request import/export procedures?

Various costs will be incurred, including international shipping and delivery costs, general administrative expenses, and customs duties, etc.

What kind of trade terms does Imoto handle?

We can handle FOB, CIF, DDP, and other trade terms that suit your needs.

When do I have to pay the fees?

Basically, we ask buyers to make payment prior to shipment of goods. However, depending on the nature of the transaction, it may be possible to split the payment into an advance and a balance, so please contact us for more details.

What types of trade documents can Imoto prepare on my behalf?

When exporting from Japan to overseas, we prepare various types of trade documents such as invoice, packing list, shipping Instruction, and certificate of origin.

Are the types of customs procedures the same for all countries?

The documents and procedures required for importing and exporting differ depending on the laws and regulations of each country.

Who handles customs clearance for exports from Japan to overseas?

We are responsible for handling customs clearance on the Japan side, but the procedures on the other side are basically handled by the overseas buyer.

Who handles customs clearance for imports from overseas to Japan?

Basically, the export customs clearance is handled by the overseas manufacturer, but on the Japan side, we take care of the appropriate procedures.

How long does it take from application to completion of customs procedures?

It takes approximately one to three working days from application to customs clearance. We try to schedule our services well in advance to allow for the possibility that the customs office may be overcrowded or that some irregularity may be discovered during the application process.

Can I specify a payment method?

You can choose from among our specified payment methods, including telegram transfer and various online payment methods.

Does Imoto accept only Japanese yen as payment currency?

We accept not only Japanese yen, but also American dollars, euros, and other currencies. Please contact us for other currencies.

Can I specify the method of transportation?

You can choose from container ship, air cargo (forwarder), courier (FedEx, DHL, UPS), EMS, etc. Since each has its own advantages and disadvantages, we will propose the most appropriate transportation method according to the nature of your transaction and goods.

Do you support LCL or consolidation shipping?

Considering the customer's desired delivery date, budget, and quantity of goods, we will propose the best transportation method from various options such as FCL, LCL, and consolidation service.

Can I specify a delivery date?

International trade is greatly affected by factors such as bad weather and changes in social conditions, so we cannot guarantee delivery dates, but we will select the most appropriate transportation method to achieve your desired delivery date.


Does Imoto hire new graduates?

Due to the nature of our business, we mainly hire mid-career employees with experience and skills useful in international trade. Please refer to the Recruitment page for the current recruitment status.

Does Imoto recruit mid-career employees?

We mainly hire mid-career employees who have experience in international trade or have mastered foreign languages. For the latest information on recruitment requirements and selection procedures, please refer to the Recruitment page.

I would like to apply for a position. Where can I apply?

Thank you for your interest in our recruitment activities. Please check the latest openings on the Recruitment page before applying. If you have any questions, please contact us through the Contact Us page.

Are there any application requirements such as necessary qualifications or experience?

Some positions may have specific application requirements, such as language proficiency or experience in international trade, so if you have any questions, please contact us through the Contact Us page.

Can I apply even if I have no experience in international trade?

You can apply even if you have no work experience. For details, please refer to the Recruitment page.

Can I still apply even if I am not confident in my foreign language skills?

You can apply even if you do not have any foreign language skills. For details, please refer to the Recruitment page.

Is it possible for foreign nationals to apply?

Foreign nationals are also eligible to apply. For details, please refer to the Recruitment page.

How long does the selection process take?

Basically, we will notify you of the results of the selection process around two weeks of your application.


How are Japanese products received overseas?

High-quality, high-performance “Made in Japan” brand products have always been highly regarded in other countries.
With the rise of cross-border e-commerce services such as Amazon and Alibaba in recent years, overseas demand is expected to increase further in the future.

How does the weak or strong yen affect international trade?

In general, a strong yen is unfavorable for exports from Japan and favorable for imports into Japan. Conversely, a weak yen is unfavorable for imports from Japan and favorable for exports to Japan.
We are constantly monitoring exchange rate fluctuations to make the best proposals for our customers.

Is there anything I should prepare before contacting Imoto?

In order for us to quickly provide you with specific advice and suggestions, we would appreciate it if you could provide us with the following information: details and images of the products you wish to purchase or sell, the services you would like us to provide, and your future outlook for your business.

Does Imoto accept requests from individuals?

We accept requests from sole proprietors, but there are various screening requirements, such as volume of transactions and financial status, so please contact us for more details.

Does Imoto offer educational services or courses related to international trade?

Currently, we do not offer educational services or courses.

What should I do if I do not receive a reply to my inquiry after submitting the e-mail form?

If you do not hear from us within 3 business days of your inquiry, it is possible that it was not processed correctly. Please contact us again or call us.