I agree with John Campbell’s remarks in his March 3 letter, “Japan doing well by its elderly.” The system in Japan is good for the elderly. Ideally there is room for improvement, but how many “perfect” countries do we have in this world after all?
One only has to take a ride on a public transport bus in Japan to understand that the system is indeed quite good for the elderly. There are nonstep buses, and the buses come to a stop and wait for as long as it takes for an elderly person get on from the bus stop and walk to a seat.
When a person wants to get off the bus, he presses a button. Irrespective of age, one need not get up and rush toward the door, because the bus will stop and wait. The elderly don’t have to get up until the bus fully comes to a standstill. The driver waits patiently until the person has safely gotten down.
Sometimes the wait is prolonged as the person fumbles with a purse to pay the fare. The doors close and the bus moves only when the person who got down is at a safe distance from the bus.
I must also mention that the driver, for all his patience, says thank you to the person stepping down, and sometimes even wishes those who have problems walking to “take care.”
It is no wonder that people in their 80s and 90s can use public transport by themselves in Japan.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.