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> I'm sure the Japanese, among others, would be surprised at
> the notion that apology
> or courtesy for that matter were peculiarly Midwestern USA values.
Even Minnesotans acknowledge the superiority the Japanese have in
apology/courtesy. I worked in a department once with a lovely Japanese
lady who, very politely, did us all in with her unflagging kindnesses
(bringing sweet rolls and tea from the cafeteria to early starters,
making soup at lunch for the whole department on her hot plate,
supplying little flower arrangements on your desk, etc.). We could never
do anything for her that didn't result in an even bigger onslaught of
favors. Masako-san always came out on top and we gave up trying to keep
the favor balance even and practiced being gracious recipients. That's
very hard for a Minnesotan. <g>
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