Japan’s Bad Manners Crisis

Transport authorities in Yokohama, Japan announced they are to introduce manners monitors on the city’s over-crowed commuter trains, this week, after reportedly claiming that ‘manners have deteriorated to critical levels’ (The Guardian).

9 out of 10 Japanese believe manners have got worse, the Guardian reported, with actions considered rude on trains including wearing strong perfume, reading porno manga comics and ‘talking loudly in groups’.

The new behaviour squad was launched following a campaign by star reporter Atsushi Mizoguchi from Japanese newspaper the Shukan Post, who last week reported that angry commuters are even getting into fights over body space.

"Westerners deliberately avoid coming into physical contact with strangers, and when they do bump into each other accidentally, they apologize immediately," he wrote.

"In some ways, Western children are brought up better mannered than kids in Japan and there is an unspoken rule that everybody has their own private space that other people are not supposed to intrude into,” he claimed (Shukan Post/ Manichi).

Ironically, Mr Mizoguchi’s claims emerged just months after British etiquette bible Debretts surveyed 1,000 women on British men’s behaviour and discovered that 4 in 5  ‘thought men needed help with their manners’ (Daily Mail). 

The Debretts survey appeared two years after British universities expert Professor Steven Schwarz also accused many British students of lacking a ‘basic sense of morality’, with many cheerfully cheating in exams.

“Plagiarism, incivility, rudeness and reneging on legitimate debts- all these are depressingly common among students,” the Professor told the Standard.

Article by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

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