Japan Considers Changes to Time-Honored Traditions
Exchanging business cards face-to-face is a time-honored tradition in Japanese culture. Business leaders, government officials and others almost always give the cards to individuals they meet in person.
This ritual, however, is under pressure as Japan's government urges people to accept a "new lifestyle" to battle the new coronavirus.
Experts this week amended guidelines for person-to-person interactions. The new rules include a call to wash your hands often throughout the day and follow rules for social distancing.
The guidelines also suggest traveling to work at different times of day and using video conferencing for meetings. They also express support for the exchange of "meishi," or business cards, to take place online.
On Monday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe extended a nationwide state of emergency through May 31. However, he added that some areas with fewer infections could begin to ease public safety restrictions.
Exchanging business cards in Japan is a well-planned ritual that foreign business leaders are often advised to learn. The idea is to avoid offending possible business partners or customers.
The ritual involves taking out a new card from a card holder - not a coat pocket or wallet, then exchanging cards with the right hand. After that, each person looks at the received card while making small talk, often about the information on it.
People depend on business cards to exchange contacts "and start conversation," said Chikahiro Terada. He is chief of Sansan, an internet-based business card management service.
His company will offer an "online meishi exchange" for business customers starting in June. "It's ice-breaking," added Terada.
Japan has not had the explosive rise in infections seen in many other countries. However, public broadcaster NHK reported Thursday that the country had about 15,500 confirmed cases.
The coronavirus health crisis is increasing pressure to change many traditional activities that have long been criticized.
Abe recently told cabinet ministers to amend rules and identify wasteful methods with the idea of cancelling or simplifying them. Among the common customs that critics note is the stamping of official paper documents with traditional "hanko" seals.
The coronavirus "is changing the work culture in Japan in many different ways," notes Jeff Kingston. He is director of Asian studies at Temple University's school in Japan. Kingston said the coronavirus has sped up changes, but this takes time. "It's not like turning a light switch off and on...," he said.
I'm Mario Ritter, Jr.
1.paper documents 纸质文件
One way to remove private information from paper documents is to blacken it out with a pen.
2.switch off 关掉
You may find you've got so many things to think about that it's difficult to switch off.
3.business card 名片
I'm moving into a new flat, so this is my business card.
4.taking out 拿出
He lightened his bag by taking out some books.
5.Business leaders, government officials and others almost always give the cards to individuals they meet in person.
meet in person 见面
If we ever meet in person, I will have to buy you dinner.
The Executive Committee may meet in person or by conference call.
6.They also express support for the exchange of "meishi," or business cards, to take place online.
take place 发生
A total solar eclipse is due to take place some time tomorrow.
Elections were postponed the day before polling was due to take place.
在日本的文化中，面对面交换名片是一项历史悠久的传统 。商业领袖、政府官员和其他人几乎总是将名片亲手递给对方 。
本周，专家们修订了人际交往的指导方针 。这项新规包括要求一天中要经常洗手，以及遵守社交距离规则 。
该指南还建议错峰上下班，以及开会采取视频会议的方式 。他们还表示支持线上交换名片 。
周一，日本首相安倍晋三将全国紧急状态延长至5月31日 。不过，他补充说，一些感染情况不严重的地区可能会逐渐放松公共安全限制措施 。
在日本，交换名片是一项精心策划的仪式，外国商界领袖经常被建议学习这一惯例 。此举是为了避免冒犯潜在的商业伙伴或客户 。
这项仪式包括从卡夹而不是外套口袋或钱包内取出一张新卡，然后用右手交换卡片 。随后，双方可以在闲聊时查看对方名片上的信息 。
寺田智宏（Chikahiro Terada）表示，人们依靠名片来交换联系方式和“开始交谈” 。他是基于互联网的名片管理服务公司Sansan的负责人 。
寺田补充说，他的公司将从6月开始为商业客户提供“在线名片交换” 。“这是破冰性举措” 。
日本并未像其他许多国家那样出现感染人数爆炸性增长 。不过，日本公共广播公司日本放送协会(NHK)周四报道称，日本约有1.55万确诊病例 。
安倍最近要求内阁大臣们修改规则，并筛选一些无用性措施，以取消或简化这些规则 。批评人士注意到的一个常见习俗是在官方纸质文件上加盖传统的“签章” 。
杰夫·金斯顿(Jeff Kingston)指出，这种冠状病毒“正在以许多不同的方式改变日本的工作文化” 。他是普尔大学日本校区亚洲问题研究部主任 。金斯顿说，冠状病毒加快了变化，但这需要时间 。“这又不像开关灯那样简单......”他说 。