I found the Nishiki Market officials naive in “Tourist hubs struggle to stop the practice of eating while walking” (May 8). The association cited fears of driving away foreign tourists should there be a hard penalty against eating and walking but refused to recognize that simply asking tourists to “cooperate” won’t be enough to minimize food spillage and littering.

The association’s faith in “cooperation” reflects a rather common mindset in Japan that unwritten social rules, rather than laws with clear punishment, are enough to deter deviant behavior. From standing on the right side of escalators to talking quietly in trains, locals are socialized from a young age to act in certain ways in public to not inconvenience others.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.