I was recently in Japan with a delegation of India Design Council to benchmark Good Design Award and G Mark, so that we can have something similar in India soon. There were 16 of us. We met many Japanese, had many lectures to us and visits to various companies. There were visits to Museums and then a few dinners etc. This was the second time that i was in Japan. Last was in 2003 to give a speech a Design Congress (Visualogue) in Nagoya. So this time few things impressed me in Japan…or rather few things i noticed with ourselves (read Indians) 1. Japanese walk fast; They are much smaller, but they walk very fast, or briskly., with a definite sense of purpose and urgency of reaching some where. Almost always it is an effort for us Indians to match steps and to walk with them. Also we try and shirk walking even very small distances. Perhaps our cities make us lazy like that. Well its not just japanese trait..i think everybody walks faster than the Indians..even in europe and Americas – you will hardly see Indians matching steps and walking with the host..we mainly follow..trudge along. 2. Japanese speak less: They speak less, precise and again purposefully. They almost always have a POA (Plan of Action) or SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). They keep their personal belief aside when executing a POA. and it is followed to the seconds. It is surprising how aligned they are on certain issues at least when they articulate them. There is a general agreement and no deviation from agreed facts. triviliaties and personalities dont colour the views. Thats good for the visitors, since you understand clearly and without ambiguity. We on the other hand love to point out our personal views, opinions and differences even when describing something very basic. We like to go round and round a subject without focusing on a issue. It is a good entertainment for the hosts as they perhaps never get a unified POV. 3. Japanese speak very soft; japanese need a PA system to speak to each other in meetings ( by the way this behaviour is not true in Bars and Pubs)..they speak very light, their vehicles dont make noise too..infact other than the hand driers in toilets..nothing makes sound in Japan..everything is quiet. No honking on roads, cell phones are always silent.. I never heard a cell phone sound (from japanese)..and when someone speaks they never jump ion to make a point, dont cut a talk or cross question. They agree more than disagree. Never shout across the room and always run to the person, stand close to him and then talk. I noticed much more, many subtle things, many things we should learn for our own good. How to be organised and efficient…i think the moment we can settle on a time allocation for being Indian (Chaos) and turn japanese (order) for everything we do…we will make great progress. By the way recession is bad in Japan too, and they are now focussing on India to invest in and have business ties.