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Given the phone number in English:

(012) 345-6789

how do you write this in Japanese? Is it:




or somewhere in between? My personal research suggests the first one is the right way to do it, but I'm suspicious. Thanks!

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googling Japanese business cards doesn't show 012・345・6789 at all. (012)345-6789 was more common and some cases had it as 01 2345 6789 – Olumide Feb 27 '14 at 20:56
up vote 5 down vote accepted

On my (and others') Japanese business cards, we use spaces or dashes, never dots. International formatting is appropriate, even if you don't expect to give your card outside of Japan. So these are all appropriate:

  • 03 XXXX YYYY
  • 08-XXXX-YYYY
  • 080 XXXX YYYY
  • 080-XXXX-YYYY
  • +81 3 XXXX YYYY
  • +81 90 XXXX YYYY

Out of my many business cards, I have none that use parentheses for the area code. A couple of times I've seen parentheses used for a small edge case of international dialing, like so:

  • +81 (0)80 XXXX YYYY
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I have never seen dots been used during my entire life; dashes are used.

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Should it be (012) 345-6789 or 012-345-6789? – Panzercrisis Feb 27 '14 at 23:48
Parenthesis are used to indicate that you can omit that part under some situations (like calling from within the city). So if it's the city code, you can use parenthesis (but using dashes all the way is ok, too) – Enno Shioji Feb 28 '14 at 8:51

I'd say that phone numbers, like addresses, should be written in the format of the country where they reside.

Periods (not middle dots) are used by a few countries, e.g. Belgium: 012/34.56.78.

If it's a UK phone number, (0123) 456-7890 seems to be the common format.

If it's a Japanese number, then (012) 3456-7890 works (except for the "free dial" numbers, which use format of 0120-345-678 or (0120)-345678).

If you're putting the number down on a business card which you may give out in different countries, then the most appropriate is probably the international format: +81 12 3456 7890 or +44 123 456 7890.

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