This article tests the hypothesis that 'love thy neighbour' values, victim and offender needs, and belief in benefits can predict willingness to participate in a restorative justice meeting. A postal survey sought the views of 1,355 Australian and Japanese offenders or victims, or relatives of victims, of violent crime. For all groups, 'love thy neighbour' values influenced perception of victim or offender needs. Needs differed across cultural groups. For Australians, the relevant needs were victim voice and amends and offender reintegration and rehabilitation. Needs relevant to Japanese victims and offenders were victim forgiveness and offender reintegration and rehabilitation respectively. Restorative justice realises shared social values, but does so through different culturally-based beliefs about human needs. This study underlines the importance of respecting the different ways in which cultures may wish to practise restorative justice. Such differences, nevertheless, should be the subject of open dialogue about basic purposes and how practice connects with restorative justice ideals.