How to refuse a toast?
It's impolite to refuse to drink when a host suggests a toast, as the refusal will make the host lose face, or not feel respected. Stating medical reasons in advance is always a good way to ensure that no one is offended. If you feel you have had enough, smile and politely indicate this to your host.
The most common expression for toasting is ganbei, or "bottoms up."
If you clink glasses with someone, always keep the rim of your glass below the rim of other's glass as a sign of respect. You don't have to drink to the dregs, unless someone specifies banbei (half glass) or ganbei (draining glass).
Punish toast? Just for fun!
Sometimes -- for instance, being late or having made a mistake (jokingly), you may be 'punished' to drink three glasses of alcoholic beverage in succession to show you're sincerely sorry. This 'punish toast' is, of course, just for fun.
How to start a conversation?
There are no firm rules regarding dinner conversation. It is safe to follow the host's lead. Depending on the closeness of the relationship, business may or may not be discussed.
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