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Regarding “Police caution drivers over risk of fatal accidents at dusk” in the Sept. 15 edition, I have always been puzzled as to why Japanese road users, even in the worst weather conditions, habitually drive without using their headlights.

On the nightly NHK news, showing perhaps a blizzard in Hokkaido or a blinding typhoon in Kyushu, it is the same picture, only a small minority of drivers seem to have the common sense to switch on their headlights. Even driving through dark highway tunnels, I am always astonished at the number of cars and trucks that deliberately drive without lights. Why?

Hesitating to conclude that most Japanese are mentally deficient in this regard, I must assume there is some deep, cultural explanation for this phenomenon. I would appreciate it if any reader could explain this seemingly suicidal behavior.

JO KOEN
WAKAYAMA

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.