Policing Good Manners in Japan

In the Japanese city of Yokohama, having bad manners will land you more than a scolding from your mother; the city is currently recuiting police to patrol the the its public transportation system to enforce polite behavior. The dichotomy between Japan’s traditional values and the wilder younger generations has grown greater, from refusals to give up seats for the elderly to poor cell phone etiquette. The BBC reports that fully 90% of Japanese people polled believe that “public behavior” has declined. While the police brigade, known as the Smile-Manner Squadron, has no legal powers of enforcement, they hope to inspire better etiquette in public places by setting a good example and correcting rude behavior.

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