In fact, in Japanese culture, individuals are encouraged not to make direct eye contact with others since it is considered rude. For example, Japanese children are trained to gaze at the necks of others since the eyes of others are still in their peripheral view.
This is because in Japanese culture, it is important to show respect to others. Making direct eye contact with someone else is seen as a sign of disrespect. It is therefore inappropriate for foreigners to do so when visiting Japan.
However, this does not mean that you should avert your eyes when talking with Japanese people. On the contrary, keeping your eyes open and looking them in the face shows that you are willing to communicate openly and honestly with them.
So, while making direct eye contact with someone in Japan would be considered inappropriate, keeping an eye on them when speaking will help them feel included in the conversation.
While keeping eye contact is valued by Western Europeans, it is not valued by those of East Asian cultural origins.
Making direct eye contact for a long period of time is also inappropriate because it could be taken as an insult. However, glancing at someone over the shoulder or through the chest is acceptable.
In business settings, making eye contact with everyone in the room is important; however, breaking eye contact when speaking with a superior or colleague is appropriate.
In general, in Japanese society it is not considered appropriate or polite to make direct eye contact with another person. However, glancing at someone over the shoulder or through the chest is fine.
Most Asian cultures make eye contact. Children in China and Japan, for example, show respect for the elderly by avoiding direct eye contact. Avoiding staring someone in the eyes is not considered disrespectful or indifferent in these cultures. They also do not consider it to be inherently subservient.
In Korea, making direct eye contact with a person of authority such as a teacher or parent is considered rude. It is assumed that you will know their status and place in society based on this fact. Direct eye contact is therefore used as a means of showing awareness and interest, rather than as a way of asserting oneself. In India, making direct eye contact is considered aggressive.
In Asia, then, keeping your gaze lowered is considered appropriate. This is particularly true for children in Asia who are taught from an early age that they are responsible for their own behavior; it is not considered respectful to stare someone else down.
It is considered impolite in Japan to establish eye contact with another individual. Making eye contact with another individual during a conversation is also considered impolite. People in Japan like to remain to themselves, thus establishing eye contact with a random stranger is considered weird and is often avoided.
In Japan, it is customary to look people in the eye when you are talking to them or writing letters. Doing so shows that you are respectful of their opinions even if you do not agree with them. It is also appropriate to glance at someone without making direct eye contact since this shows that you are still paying attention to them even though you are doing something else at the same time.
In Japan, it is considered rude to stare at another person for longer than necessary. If someone makes inappropriate eye contact with you, take this as a sign that you should look away immediately.
Japan is a very polite society, therefore it is important to be aware of the proper ways to address other people. For example, when meeting new friends, it is acceptable to use their first name only. When writing to someone, using their full name is appreciated rather than your informal greeting (e.g., "yo" or "how're you doing?".)
In conclusion, looking someone in the eye in Japan is a sign of respect, so avoid making awkward eye contacts if you want to keep all parties involved satisfied.