I think Japanese society is very strict. As you know, Japanese people are very punctual. In addition to that, we keep our promise pretty well. We are very serious. So, do you think that we are very strict if people are late on time or broke our promise?
Basically we are very strict against such kind of stuff. If people were late on time, broke our promise or forgot to hand in documents, we tended to judge the person is lazy and he/she is lack of his/her responsibility against his/her tasks. In Japanese society if you were evaluated like that, it might be hard for you to survive in Japan.
I think that in western culture, western people are also very strict against such kind of stuff. I have heard if people forgot to hand in their documents that are very important for them; application documents, or people cannot hand in them on time , in public it is very difficult to be accepted them after later.
In public both our societies are very strict even if there is difference to what degree we can accept.
On the other hand, how about private promise stuff? I think that Japanese society is slightly lenient than western society.
For example: if you cheated your girlfriend, and she knew that, do you think she forgets you easily?
Of course it depends on their relationships, but I guess most of the time your girlfriend is very strict against you, and you have to apologize her very hard from the bottom of your heart. She might not forgive you even if you tried to keep apologizing.
However, in Japan we have “Dogeza” culture. I can’t tell you that it would be effective for Japanese girls because right now Japanese girls have become much more westerners. However, if you try to apologize with the Dogeza style, you might be able to get a chance that she would forgive you.
“Dogeza” is our traditional manner. If we really would love to change other people’s opinions or ask a favor, we sometimes use the manner to others. “Dogeza” has very strong apologizing style and strong activity for Japanese people. When Japanese people look at it, most of us are inspired because kneeing our both legs and hands on the ground and bowing is very humiliating.
On the other hand, when we express our appreciating emotions, we also do “Dogeza”. For instance; before Japanese girls have a wedding, they do “Dogeza” to their parents to express their appreciating emotions. In my case, I did “Dogeza” to my parents before my wedding date. I appreciated my parents how much I appreciated about raising me until I grew up while I was doing “Dogeza”.
In addition to that, You can look at the “Dogeza” style greeting in both a Japanese tea ceremony and a flower arrangement. We use the greeting style in our dairy life. At the time, the style does not have such apologizing and appreciating meanings. The style is just our manner to greet each other.