Decisions, Decisions

(Kendo practise at a dojo in Miyamoto Musashi --hardly the time or place to be indecisive)

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked. "Where do you want to go?" was his response. "I don't know," Alice answered. "Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."
Lewis Carroll
Alice in Wonderland

I don't think that this document would be complete without a defence for the Japanese brand of indecisiveness or wishy-washyness. Personally, they actually know what they want (at least most of the time). But, this can often be at odds with the impetus to 'get along with one-another' and/or be pigeon-holed in the category they desire. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but at least these are the two main items. Especially on forms many Japanese will use exceedingly vague statements whenever possible. This is on purpose and it is meant to give them room to 'negotiate' in order to be pigeon-holed the way they want. Additionally, when in discussions, many are rather hesitant to take a very solid stance. This is largely done for purposes of not offending other members in the group. This is something important to be borne in mind for those with dissimilar cultural practises. Interestingly enough, when 'the group' (however it is defined) comes to a decision, all members (without exception) are expected to be completely obedient to the mandate. So, basically, they are hesitant to come to a decision for fear of whatever embarrassment or offence it might cause, but once a decision has been made they will quite steadfastly adhere to it. In come cases the group loyalty is nothing short of fanatical.