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Japanese teach Parisiens about street tidiness

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I've always been impressed with the mindset of most Japanese with regards to litter... getting worse in some areas recently though. Before coming to Japan, I never thought about litter much, but now I find it hard to understand why people would litter when it takes so little effort not to. Good for this group to take initiative.

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That's the Japanese mindset which you have to love! Nothing better than having a clean world to live in.

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One of my reasons for disliking Paris is that it is so dirty. Other than that it is overpriced and overrated!

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I wish the Japanese would follow the same mind set at the beach though. Pocari Sweat cans and empty cup noodles don't make beaches pretty.

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They should hit Rome next where they'll definately have their work cut out for them.

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One of the things I liked about Japan so much. And it doesn't take much to do anywhere else! Where I live, we'll never be able to overcome the sand in the winter and the dust in the summer, but people are stepping up on keeping the community or wherever they happen to be tidy.

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Nothing wrong with this mindset. I'd like to see it practiced in the mountains, empty fields (bordered by fences), rivers, and small forests, etc., that are otherwise like dumpsters (especially for appliances!), though. There's an odd mindset that as long as you can't see it, it's not there, it seems.

The city streets themselves are a lot cleaner in Japan, though, granted.

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omg monseur Atwan... what a character...

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japan needs more public bins, though. there are basically NONE. if it wasn't for convenience stores there would be nowhere to dispose of rubbish at all

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The cities are clean in Japan, but out in some of the smaller towns and villages, and even in ther countryside it can get bad. Someone has already mentioned the beaches, which are often full of Orion or Kirin beer cans in Okinawa, thrown in by fishermen.

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this article reminds me back when I was in college and a japanese student from my class finished drinking her water and then began her quest to find a recycling bin. Another student looked out the window and said something like "wow, she really went out of her way to recycle that bottle" lol we laughed but now after living in South Korea for 2yrs I understand and admire the Japanese mindset when it comes to trash,recycling, and a clean enviroment. Japan has to be one of the cleanest countries in the world.

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Outside of some of the bigger cities Japan is like one big junkyard.Japanese should start here rather than overseas.Drive from Tokyo on route 4 all the way up to Fukushima,that is some of the ugliest scenery you will see,comics littered for 4 hours and rusted derelict buildings,cars,you name the trash and you can see it.

Moderator: Back on topic please. The subject is Paris.

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When I was living in Paris, I thought "What a dirty place! But hey, that might be because it is a capital. What do I know, coming from my small village?" Then I arrived in Tokyo and I could see the difference! I believe those Parisiens are thinking "We have people paid to do that, it's not my job". I think those kind of actions are useless in Paris ... people who were already careful not to throw things away will agree with them, the other will just laugh or something ... Also, more garbage collector in the street would help, or at least ashtrays ...

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This team needs to come to Nagano, especially the eastern part.

What's the point in having clean cities if they simply dump their garbage in the countryside.

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Japan has to be one of the cleanest countries in the world.

You've got to be kidding. Yes, in general, the cities are cleaner, but have you ever visited the rural areas or the beaches? It's absolutely disgraceful the amount of junk in these areas. The beaches look like garbage dumps, and the forests are filled with abandoned cars, appliances, etc. Of course, the beach pollution is blamed on Japan's neighbors (China, Korea, etc), but I never knew that the Chinese liked Sapporo beer that much, or that the Koreans drank so much Aquarius. Really, the Japanese should clean up their own beaches and forests before they worry about cleaning Paris.

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as many point out gomi get picked up int he cities by city staff, local shops & the banning of smoking in places help............but head out into the country & it get bad pretty quick. About the best(polite) word I can come up with to describe the countryside is SHABBY.

I applaude these folks in Paris but so much needs to be done here in Jpn but will not likely happen

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Just about any country in the world could teach japan about beach tidiness....

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Soldave, i agree in the countryside there is more litter than in the city, i hope they did not scratch their names in the monuments

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japan needs more public bins, though. there are basically NONE. if it wasn't for convenience stores there would be nowhere to dispose of rubbish at all

totally agree, most of the time I had to keep my garbage on me a whole day before fiding where to trash them during my last visit here -_-

I'm living in Paris and since the ban of tabacco in public places, bars, cafe etc. you can find cigarette butts (tons of it) in front of all those places. I just hate smokers for this... >_< There are trash bins everywhere in this city!

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It makes me LMAO when I talk about Paris with some Japanese friends (especially the ladies is their thirties).

Those anti-littering dudes might have gotten the Paris Syndrome (check this out, it's outstanding).

Well, it's a good move. But as I know Paris really well, I am afraid one of them might be beaten up (and for no reason, some Parisians, and especially the one living in the suburbs, might do it just for fun).

Live Paris alone!!!!!!!! (Chris Crocker style). There are much better places in Europe. My top three:

1)Berlin 2)Brussels 3)And of course Geneva :D

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Reading some of the posts here, I am slightly bewildered. Paris is notoriously dirty, yes, but Japan? Where do you people live? The litter in this country is appalling. maybe not so bad on some of the streets - but ever looked into a toliet in a train station? Ever seen the cigarette butts and empty cans where people gather? Ever driven along an expressway or seen some of the junctions, or traffic lights, where people dump their gomi? Not to mention Japan`s disgusting beaches. Ive even seen obaa chans dumping plastic bags full of gomi into the sea, weighted down with stones to make them sink to the bottom. So, to read that these wonderful Japanese citizens, albeit well-intentioned, are cleaning up Paris while their own country is a bit of a mess . . .its strange, to say the least.

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Seriously, when I lived in a more rural suburb in Japan some years back right outside my home, in a bamboo grove at the base of some small mountains, there were abandoned scooters, helmets, an entire refrigerator, hundreds of VHS cassette cases (some with the peeling porn labels still on), domestic garbage, old TVs, and you name it. Last time I went back to visit much of it was still there.

As to recycling and bins, it's up and down. Japan used to have more garbage bins in public places, but after 9/11 they were scared people would put bombs in them and removed them from subway stations and some from parks, etc.

Shiningfinger: On that note, when I lived in Korea quite a while ago for a stint I noticed, too, how horrible the general garbage and get, and man oh man is garbage collection day ever a horrible sight! Still, that's the cities. The country side is pristine, comparatively speaking, from what I saw. Recycling is really not all that old a concept in Japan, and still most recycling is thrown in the trash once it reaches the recycling depots/warehouses (people don't bother to clean out the cans/bottles, etc.). In the last two years recycling here has increased dramatically and many localities are now enforcing relatively strict separation policies (paper, newspaper, books, plastic, PET bottles, glass, aluminum, etc.), but there's still a long way to go.

Ah well... the story is in good spirit.

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Paris, like the rest of France, had a major dog poo on the sidewalks problem. This is now less of a problem because the French, not the Japanese, finally decided that they were tired of stepping in other people's dog's dog poo no matter how much they loved their own dogs. So there is less dog poo on French streets these days after a concentrated anti-poo campaign. Now, cigarettes is the latest thing to get the boot. Suddenly French public places, including restaurants and cafes, are no smoke free. No thanks to the Japanese, who added to the pollution before the ban.

I would like to send a contingent of French ecologists into the Japanese countryside to clean it up. Besides the bags of garbage, neatly wrapped in plastic bags, the countryside is filled with industrial refuse. The French would near high tech equipment to clean up the Japanese countryside.

It is certainly heartening that these Japanese have been able to escape their concrete homeland and helped clean up beautiful Paris. Paris is no doubt grateful.

Their next job should be to help the Metro crickets. Since the ban on smoking in the metro the crickets have been unable to feed on their favorite food, tobacco from cigarettes. The Parliament has set up an emergency Metro cricket committee to deal with this problem. So far voluneers have been depositing cigarette and cigar butts in cracks in the Metro. But what we need is a horde of Japanese tarheads to give the crickets of Metro the butts they usually dump in the street or inadvertently stick on the arms of passersby.

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The Japandese don't get it, and i'm surprised nobody here commented on the fact that this "environmental" group is sponsored by a tobacco firm.

Only in Japan i suppose.

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The Japandese don't get it, and i'm surprised nobody here commented on the fact that this "environmental" group is sponsored by a tobacco firm.

and a beverage maker! so that's the PET bottles as well! bit like punching someone and then giving them a band-aid, eh?

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jonnyboy at 10:15 PM JST - 26th March

Do you not think that punching somebody & then giving them a band aid is a nice thing to do, rather than not give them a band aid?

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nonsense

how many hundreds of kilos of jet fuel was poured into the atmosphere for this environmental project?

and very few people noticed that it was sponsored as most charitable events are by the tobacco and alcohol conglomerates tying to put the clean on their image.

when are people going to begin to look critically at these kinds of things. there is without a doubt a heavy minus on the aggregate social benefit here if one factors in the good will the death merchants receive, the environmental damage from the transportation, and of course the nonsense of any japanese trying to put forth japan as anything other than a land awash in their own garbage. honmachi may be clean, just step down the street to namba or nishinari ku to see the real japan.

this reminds me of the 'white band' anti poverty campaign a couple of years ago and the fact that when none of the funds was going to provide aid to the poor was uncovered, the chairman just responded that they never claimed the funds were going to be used as aid.

be smart. dont give to organizations that suck at the trough of the death merchants. be critical and check to see if there if the positives supersede the social costs of projects that you might think of sponsorin

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As a Canadian only & never been outside of my country bar a few times I was down in the USA to race m/cs. From day one of my parents teaching me to drive a car or when learning to ride a m/c on my own back in 1946. I have never tossed things to the curb or road side. It is just human nature of me.

Yet for some time I have seen people off to the sides of some highways collecting littler into orange/red bags. Becoming so common now that I do not stop to ask what they are doing.

How can Cdns to humans be that filthy I have to wonder?

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Japan has to be one of the cleanest countries in the world.

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888naff ... seems you haven't read the previous posts ^_^.

I was thinking that if the countryside is that dirty, that might be a good thing to take that in picture and create a website to expose it, with the name of the place and the date. Japanese might feel ashamed or something and might decide to act against that.

If all foreigners worked together, we could even create this website in any languages!

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Can't remember what it was like in Paris, but Nice was full of dog shit everywhere. Why would you clean up the place when the locals themselves don't give a damn?

My advice to the Japanese - come home and clean the place here. Just came back from a lovely scenic spot in Kyoto. Saw a couple of old sofas dumped near a hiking trail.

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Japan's beaches are worse than Paris' streets. Start at home...........and don't forget the 100,000+ unmarked toxic waste dumps here. Minamata, itai-itai etc. etc. etc. Clean up Japan first. then go preach. America could do likewise!

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Start at home...........and don't forget the 100,000+ unmarked toxic waste dumps here. Minamata, itai-itai etc. etc. etc. Clean up Japan first. then go preach. America could do likewise!

Odd and slightly silly comment.

They didn't fly from Japan to Paris just to clean up Paris and preach about cleaniness. The volunteers, as per the article, live and work/study in Paris.

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Do you not think that punching somebody & then giving them a band aid is a nice thing to do, rather than not give them a band aid?

i think you're totally missing the point of that little saying

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I have always Japanese people to be rather slovenly. In their homes, they do just enough to get by and at the last minute or the next day. Someone is always leaving a can of coffee in the parking lot or tossing a lid from their ice cream cup in a bush. I've never seen let alone done that in my time in the U.S.

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I saw three different revered members of our senior management age group - navy-blue suited, white-shirted and gyoza-reeking only last evening, within a fifteen-minute walk of my gaff, all demonstrating that they were more than qualified to give masterclass lessons in something the french take pride in:

Voiding one's bladder on a public thoroughfare.

There are many similarities between these two great cultures, non?

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Japanese kids have to spend 20 minutes every day cleaning their own school. This is something I believe that every single school in the world should do.

But Japanese believe that they are only responsible for cleaning their own space. I asked about 100 Japanese why the beaches in Japan were so dirty and the answer I uniformly got was that the beach does not belong to them so they don't care. Japanese only care about keeping what is theirs clean. This is mostly to avoid public shame or ridicule. Lake Biwa and Mt Fuji are classic example of Japanese public spaces being taken for granted and heavily polluted with trash. It is one of the great contradictions of this country. Personally I think keeping your own place neat, tidy, and super clean but then littering public spaces, like beaches and parks, smacks of hypocrisy and is quite frankly ridiculous.

This is why this article is so surprising to me.

I applaud these volunteers, I think its magical, although I don't understand their motivation in the slightest. It is truly bizarre. Who on this planet truly understands the mind of the Japanese?

Maybe they are out to make JTB some more money!! I am cynical.

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Japanese teach Parisiens about street tidiness

And, who taught the Japanese?

Japanese kids have to spend 20 minutes every day cleaning their own school. This is something I believe that every single school in the world should do.

Unfortunately, as much as kids cleaning schools does enforce cleanliness into their environment, the problem is, the schools are not cleaned properly and are bacteria factories. I am surprised there aren't more cases of dermatitis and warts spread through he schools. I don't wanna touch diseases that can be transmitted through toilets because most toilets in public are disgusting. Bleach is a dangerous substance, so the kids don't use it to clean toilets. Are they cleaning them or just wiping away the stains?

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This could be a chance for cultural exchange. Japan can clean French rivers and France can clean Japanese rivers. Neither seems to notice the condition of their own rivers.

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