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Delight in Japanese good manners

Japan is known for its technology, but it is not the only thing that dazzles you about the country

Turki Aldakhil

Published: Updated:

I spent five days in Japan in a visit that was not a first to this marvellous country. Japan is known for its technology, but it is not the only thing that dazzles you about the country.

Trains and vehicles operate in such an orderly manner that if a train is delayed by just a few minutes, it will make breaking news, and apologies, investigations, dismissals and resignations will ensue.

Morals

What impresses me most is Japanese public morals. People bow their heads in respect, and hail one another with statements of kindness, tenderness, respect and good manners. When Japanese give you their business card, they must stand up and give it you while holding it in both hands and bowing their head.

The Japanese are raised on good manners and kindness from an early age, so society can benefit from ethics that refine the soul, elevate man’s status and add serenity to public life.

The Japanese are raised on good manners and kindness from an early age, so society can benefit from ethics that refine the soul, elevate man’s status and add serenity to public life

Turki Aldakhil

I asked a Saudi man who spent years in Japan if all Japanese are this kind and good-mannered, or if this is exclusive to a certain category. He laughed and said: “Ethics are the basis in Japan.

Polite phrases overwhelm you, and you must use them from the second you wake up until you sleep again to be natural here. If you dream of them, it confirms you’ve begun to understand Japanese culture.”

This article was first published in Okaz on Sept. 5, 2016.
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Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.