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Feb 23rd 2008 11:59PM Though culture is mentioned, there are too many problems with this survey and the sample sizes aren't big enough to be statistically significant.
I live in Tokyo, which is surprisingly more rude and unfriendly than the rest of Japan--as is often the case with big cities. But, then that depends upon what neighborhood you are in, what people populate that area, and what criteria are being used.
There are cultural differences and personality differences that can affect the results. In much of Japan, people tend to be more shy than other places, and will be less inclined to pick up papers for somebody because they will feel like they are being intrusive, but people will usually pick up a single item or point out a dropped item. People don't make a point of holdings doors for others here, for it is just not considered a common courteousy, but they won't let a door slam in someone's face either. For one, Japan doesn't even have a history of western style doors; doors were sliding, and their was nothing to hold open, and therefore no door to slam in another's face. Shop openers will almost always thank the customer, but also standardly greet the customer as well, (something that isn't common in many places). In fact, several employees might greet you here, but not offer any assistance, for the customer is often expected to ask for assistance.