We’ve just finished hosting some Australian family members for two weeks in Tokyo and Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, including two elementary school-aged children.

They were shocked at how many people smoke in restaurants despite the presence of children, wide-eyed and coughing, at adjoining tables. They also struggled with how few people speak English and the lack of English menus.

I reassured them that, hopefully by the 2020 Olympics, things will have improved. I hope I’m right.

donna burke

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.

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