Michael Hoffman’s Dec. 2 Timeout column, “Silent majority blasted by political noise,” lent me yet another moment to think about Japanese politics and election campaigns.

The noise from public-speaking candidates is legendary. In fact, with the continuous cacophony of public announcements — don’t forget your umbrella, watch where you’re going, report suspicious people, be careful of the doors, thank you for coming and have a nice day — Japan is a very noisy place in direct opposition to the Zen myth of aesthetic sensibilities and harmony with nature.

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