I've been observing the differences in the way Japanese and Westerners (with noticeable difference between those) work. Here are a few good points about the Japanese way that should be copied more systematically in the West.

- When a shop, restaurant or company office needs redecoration or refurbishing, do it as quickly as possible so as not to distrub business (and maybe lose customers or money). Japanese plan everything perfectly and chance a whole restaurant (repaint, change furniture, lights, all !) in just one night. They might close one day, but ideally they should do everything after the opening hours, that is at night. To accelerate the process, engage as many people as possible to be sure to finish in time.

The same goes with construction companies. They repair roads or dig holes in the pavement at night, and if necessary continue working 24h (changing workers I guess ), so that everything is ready in less than no time and doesn't cause trouble to the public.

- Avoid strikes. What is more annoying than a train or plane strike in Europe. I've also seen school teachers picketing and lorry drivers blocking motorways. It causes great trouble to lots of (innocent ) people and disrupts the economy. If there are so few stikes in Japan, it's not only because workers are less inclined to start them, but especially because managers fear them and try to avoid them like plague. It's not just bad for business itslef, it's considered as a shame for company managers, as it means they are so bad that workers have to complain publicly (and sometimes violently). If only Western managers could think like that, they would respond at the first signs of discordance before the strike and act quickly and efficiently to avoid it. I think managers are the first to blame for what happen in their company.

I've learnt that public companies in Japan couldn't strike at all. That also helps reducing visible and annoying strikes - but is it good for personal liberties ?

- Japanese are generally devoted to their job to the point they don't go back home before everything is solved. I know lots of people who have worked 24h in emergency situations or spend their freetime going back to their office (on Sundays and holidays) or working at home. Some will see it either as a lack of productivity (they can't finish on time for their deadlines, so they have to overwork), and others as plain workaholism. If there may be truth in both, they have at least the merit of doing their job properly. I don't think Westerners can go back to such a lifestyle, but it's a fact that this has helped a lot the Japanese economy to become one of the world's first economic power (population notwithstanding).