Japan Today

Peter Mark Hamann comments

Posted in: Osaka train driver apologizes to Japanese passengers for ‘having many foreigners’ on board See in context

The announcement was certainly very unfortunate, but the issue is not that simple. Generally speaking, people are expected to be quieter and more considerate on trains than I've experienced outside of Japan as a social norm and also simply because there are often extremely crowded. Of course, that does not excuse the announcement (and most Japanese realize that).

Although most foreign visitors are considerate, when they are loud, they are often very loud, especially a certain breed of Americans. (Apologies to all other Americans, but I'd have to admit that once upon a time I was probably one of the loud ones.) So it's a two-way street. The smart (considerate) thing to do is to study the basic social norms of any country before you visit so that you can allow for them the best you can.

Let's hope that the train drivers have learned their lesson, and that the rest of us all do our homework before traveling abroad.

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