Cultural difference

Occasionally something reminds you of the deep cultural differences between races. The Toyota recall of hundreds of thousands of its cars was one. The president of Toyota appeared with a facemask covering his mouth and nose – in itself a PR own goal in a west obsessed with the burka. Why as he wearing it? Pollution? To protect himself from germs? Actually to stop himself passing on a cold – a common sight in Tokyo and an eloquent metaphor for a fundamentally different view of society. Another was provided by a friend of mine who is now the chairman of an Asian conglomerate. He was negotiating with a senior government official in Beijing who appeared late for a morning meeting with an apology and a brief explanation that she had just had an abortion...
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