Japanese sense of time


Many visitors to Japan are surprised to find that the trains here usually operate on time. In fact, most Japanese like things to proceed exactly as scheduled. According to the results of a survey carried out by a leading watch-maker, about 50% of people answered “within five minutes” to the question “How long do you allow commuter trains to be late before you start getting irritated?”
When meeting someone, it’s regarded as good manners to arrive five minutes before the scheduled time. You will often hear people comment that they went to a meeting place just on time, only to discover they were the last person to arrive! In the case of business meetings, in particular, you may lose credibility if you arrive late. So if you are likely to be late, it’s polite to telephone and inform the person you’re meeting. Many Japanese get annoyed even if you’re only five minutes late for an appointment!

Source : http://www3.nhk.or.jp/lesson/english/tips/9.html

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