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What is a Business Continuity Plan(BCP)?

Have you ever heard “Business Continuity Plan” which is often abbreviated BCP? This word is very important and highly recommended to remember when you start and survive your business especially in Japan where natural disasters often occur. 

In this article, we explain the meaning of BCP and the reason why it is important for people who want to continue their business in Japan. In addition, we also discuss the main processes and the cautionary points when you make your BCP.

What does a Business Continuity Plan(BCP) mean?

Business Continuity Plan(BCP) means a plan or a process when the business cannot be continued due to kinds of emergency or disaster. In Japan, it is not legally required to make BCP when you start your business, but recently more and more companies have prepared BCP for a sudden emergency.

the difference of the meaning from “disaster prevention planning(防災計画)”

There is a similar word “disaster prevention planning(Bosai Keikaku=防災計画)”, but the meaning of it is a little different from BCP.  Both are made to keep to a minimum of damages and to recover as quickly as possible when there is a severe impact on business, but disaster prevention planning is a plan only for disaster. BCP is not only for disaster but also for any emergency and problem.

Benefits of BCP

There are mainly 3 reasons why BCP is recommended for your business.

1. Your business can be more successful

Firstly you can be more likely to succeed in your business if you have BCP in advance. Even if an emergency occurs and your business gets damaged accidentally, your business can recover more quickly thanks to BCP. If the recovery is fast, you can minimize the financial risk and damage of your business, and also can preserve your own market.

2. You can get a high reputation

Almost all the company get confused by sudden emergencies and disasters, and the business is often stopped. It means that there is a high possibility that customers and fans of the business leave. On the other hand, if your business recovers quickly from stagnation thanks to BCP, you can get a higher reputation and larger trust from your customers.

3. You can save your employees

In the end, BCP can save many lives in your company. Your business exists based on your companion, team members, and partners, so companies have the responsibility to save their lives physically, mentally, and also financially even in a severe situation.

Why is BCP important especially in Japan?

The biggest reason why BCP is important in Japan is that Japan often has natural disasters. It means that business in Japan has more possibilities to get damaged from natural disasters which nobody can prevent. Compared with other countries, there is a great danger of natural disasters in Japan, and here are the examples.

  • Earthquake(Jishin=地震)
  • Tsunami(津波)
  • Typhoon(Taihu=台風)
  • Volcanic eruption(Kazanfunka=火山噴火) 
  • Heavy rain(Oame=大雨)
  • Flood(Kozui=洪水)
  • Sediment disaster(Doshasaigai=土砂災害)

If you want to learn more about natural disasters in Japan, please read the following article.

Procedure for making BCP

There are main procedures when you make a Business Continuity Plan(BCP). In this section, we will summarize 2 main points. (※The procedure is roughly explained, not in detailed.)

1.Think about the initial movement for saving lives

When an emergency or natural disaster suddenly occurs, what is the highest priority to be dealt with, and how to correspond firstly? Of course, there are a lot of things to do when you face a crisis situation, but you have to choose the smartest action step by step. For example, we have to take actions like lifesaving, the way to escape from the building, and safety confirmation. At this time, BCP is very useful if it is made assuming initial movement with priority. 

2. Make “to-do list” and plan the process to continue your business

1st step to do as we discussed above is about when an emergency has just happened. After that, you have to recover your business and turn to normal. BCP requires the process until starting your business again, including correspondence with business partners. Then you need to make a kind of list to do for recovery and arrange in order based on priority.

Cautionary points when you make BCP

Although you make a BCP and prepare for the case of emergency, BCP sometimes does not work. To avoid this kind of situation, here are 2 cautionary points when you make BCP.

1. There can be unexpected emergency

BCP does not work and the problem cannot be dealt with when an emergency is unexpected. Therefore it is important for you to make some scenarios that can deal with any situation.  In addition, BCP should be shared in your company and it is needed for employees to understand it. For any situation, it is recommended for all the companies to practice executing BCP like training before emergency and disaster become real.

2.BCP should suit the system and the structure of your business

Even if the plan and the procedure look perfect, BCP sometimes does not perform well. One of the causes is that BCP does not suit the system and the structure of your business. Then it is important to confirm whether BCP is made based on your business style, system, and structure.

Conclusion – Succeed in your business with BCP!

In conclusion, BCP is the planned process that helps you when your business suffers from a crisis situation due to any emergency and disaster. Japan has a lot of potentials to get natural disasters because of geographical reasons,  it is more important to prepare BCP if you do your business in Japan.

If you make BCP, there are some points you should not miss because it sometimes does not work for an unexpected situation. However, you can be more successful and get some benefits if BCP is made finely. Therefore let’s prepare BCP and we hope you succeed in your business in Japan!

Notes for the readers:

Please use this article only as a reference, not as a legal guideline. Therefore, will take no responsibility or liability, so far as legally possible, for any consequences of your actions. This article was written by Kyoko, a SUGEE writer, on 22 June 2020.


[1] BCP(事業継続計画)とは? 背景や現況、目的や防災計画との違い、メリットや問題点、作成方法について(2020) Retrieved 21 June 2020 from

[2] 十分な備えで会社を守る! 今からでも間に合う災害対策 | KDDI (2020) Retrieved 22 June 2020 from,%E3%81%AB%E3%81%97%E3%81%A6%E3%81%8A%E3%81%8D%E3%81%BE%E3%81%97%E3%82%87%E3%81%86%E3%80%82
[3] 「BCP(事業継続計画)」とは 企業が策定する目的やメリット (2020) Retrieved 22 June 2020 from

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