• Edmonton, Alberta

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I recently spent more than two weeks traveling in Japan. I certainly expected a progressive, modern, efficient country, and that was the case. I was especially amazed at the respect that Japanese people show each other in everyday life — in restaurants, subways, stores, hotels, shops, etc. I was also constantly amazed at how clean everything seemed to be. Even large cities like Tokyo and Kyoto seem so neat and tidy, well-run and safe.

In North America, we struggle constantly with issues like litter, graffiti, noise, increasing crime and extraordinarily rude behavior from individuals who value personal freedom over societal norms. As a society, Japan has many aspects we in North America would do well to emulate.

bernie poitras

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