Why do young people don’t offer seats with elderly in Japan?

If you have already visited Japan, you’d be overwhelmed by the respectful manner of Japanese people. But why is it when riding public transportation such as bullet trains or buses, you will see young people sitting on the seats while there are some elderly that remain standing. Unlike in Philippines, although some youngsters don’t give a care these days still the practice of offering seats to elderly and women specially if you are a guy remain still.So why these respectful and polite people don’t give up their seats for those who are older than them?Japanese Train

Like in most countries, showing respect and priority for the elderly is considered as a good sign of having manners in young people. But if you spend enough time in Japan chatting with elderly people, you’ll see it’s not just about being polite, it’s about handling appropriate social skills!japan-priority-seat-sign-2

After living so many years in Japan, i asked one of my co-workers about what I see whenever I used public transportation like trains and she explained to me that whenever she gets on the bus or train and someone offers her a seat, she would come up with the thought: “Am I becoming that old that I need a young man to give me his seat?” It is like reminding her , “Hey, You’re getting old!”I myself once encountered the same situation where I offered my seat to an older woman, but the result was, no matter how much she kept saying thank you to me, she never took the seat, so we end up standing together until my stop.Japanese Trains

Even if you have the good will of offering your seat, it doesn’t mean other people have to accept that kindness of yours. There are some people who are afraid they will cause you “inconvenience or trouble” or simply “don’t want to receive your pity”.

With Japanese people who don’t want to be seen as “elderly” or “causing trouble for others”, if you insist to offer them a seat,the best thing to do is,pretend that you’re about to get off  at the next stop. Just stand up and walk toward to the exit, or to another cabin. Just stand up and leave the empty seat, if people see that empty seat and if they are willing to sit, they’ll go directly and take the seat themselves. You don’t need to say it.

 (c)japanese trains, japantoday, about japan
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