Regarding staff writer Tomohiro Osaki’s Dec. 29 article, “Shibuya shuts parks, thwarting year-end soup distribution for homeless“: I would like to thank The Japan Times for running this story. Shibuya Ward’s closure of the three parks during the new year holidays will prevent supporters of the homeless from carrying out traditional year-end soup deliveries.

As a human being, I feel ashamed by this decision, which was surely made to comply with a meaningless rule to prevent the use of fires in public parks.

I am sure that many readers have experienced pointless rigidity in Japan just because “a rule is a rule” without anyone in authority questioning whether the rule means something.

Unfortunately, although I am a permanent resident of Japan, I have no say even in local administrative issues, notwithstanding the fact that I am asked to pay every yen of national and local taxes here as much as any other citizen of Japan.

Therefore, I can only write these few lines to shout out my anger at this silly and insensitive decision.

Since everything we do in life boomerangs back to us, I am truly worried for those who made this decision, since they have ahead of them a very miserable future.

francesco formiconi

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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