It is amazing that hanko seals have hundreds of years’ history (the May 3 article “Abe directs review of hanko custom”). It was new to me that they spread among the public in the 19th century. In terms of its experienced craftsmanship and tradition, this custom should be handed down to the next generation. However, in practice, during the outbreak of the coronavirus, commuting to just affix personal or company seals is entirely a different story, because the commuters are forced to be exposed to three Cs — closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings. As a result, infections would be on rise throughout Japan.

Abe’s government should promptly establish and publicize a set regulation rather than relying on each company, so that more commuters’ lives can be protected and ultimately saved.

Mieko Okabe

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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