It’s not easy to negotiate cross-culturally. Not only do we tend to misunderstand the behavior of the other party, we often don’t realize how deep behavior differences go. Americans have read that Japanese typically respond to direct questions with vague answers and silence. But that’s only part of the story. This paper tells the rest. The authors explain how Japanese behavior is significantly tied to context. They describe the important cultural mechanisms that affect this context and offer suggestions for Americans who want to handle these situations more effectively.