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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.

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