The May 20 Bloomberg article “Trash troubles pile up in China’s Garbage Era” reminded me of my first trip to China as a student of Chinese four years ago. It was a trip mainly to the former “Manchukuo,” a Japanese puppet country before and during the war. In the major cities of Harbin and Changchun, we saw two people cleaning both sides of the street. They were picking up garbage wearing luminous-colored jumpers. We assumed they were employed by the local government.

Actually we saw more trash there than in our city, Fukushima. As a longtime volunteer garbage collector in our neighborhood along the river bank, I am always complaining about why many people seem indifferent to keeping up public places such as the river bank, where many people stroll.

I want to suggest to local government that we, too, need garbage collectors like the ones in major cities of northern China. I want to live in a place free from garbage!

masayuki aihara

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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