Wednesday, May 14, 2008

the well-mannered japanese

In collaboration with JR (Japan Railways), the Japan Tobacco Inc. put up this community service message in some of the local trains here.

In this case, they do not have Malaysia's "Smoking is bad for your health" message from the government, but at least they encourage good manners. Not only do many Japanese men smoke, but a significantly large number of women do as well. Understandably Japan is a stressful country to live in, whatmore Tokyo. But I was appalled to see a mother smoking in the smokers' area with her kid standing amongst them.

This may seem like a strange message, but for those who have to endure the rush hour commute, they can readily relate to this. No matter how packed like a tin of sardines the train is, the Japanese somehow manages to squeeze himself into that 1 inch space between the people and the edge of the train. This happens all the time at the main lines even when the doors are about to close.

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