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Japanese Culture/Face Masks in Japan


I have recently found NHK World Television on my digital platform and have noticed that a large number of Japanese people wear facemasks (as seen in an operating room) even when there is no air pollution alert. Is there a reason for this or is it part of the Japanese culture of keeping things spotlessly clean?

Hi Harry,
Thanks for this question. This is indeed a typical sight in Japan. Indeed, in China you see a lot of these masks because of air pollution. In Japan, it's because of another reason. When people feel the onset of a flu, they do not want to make others run the risk of becoming infected by them. So they wear the masks to keep the germs to themselves.


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Philip Lafeber


Are you doing business with the Japanese? Do you wonder how to approach them, what to do and what not to do? I am happy to provide some advice.


I have worked for a Japanese company for 6 years and taught myself how to work with the Japanese and also some of the Japanese language. Also, my wife is Japanese, which is why I have also learnt about Japanese in private life.

None. All based on experience.

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