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Dear Alice,

I was a bit of a car nut when I was a boy, and while I’ve moved on to other interests, my eyes still tend to be drawn to automobiles. This is why, on my first visit to Japan just recently, I couldn’t help but notice that Japanese taxi cabs have their rear view mirrors mounted all the way forward over the front wheel wells. Regular passenger cars, on the other hand, have their mirrors where I’d expect them, which is to say on the side by the door. So, what the heck is the reason for those forward mirrors on taxis?

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