June 10, 2010
Jun 10, 2010 | Issue: 846 | No Comments | 1,620 views

Illustration by Enrique Balducci

All Wrapped Up

Regarding “Talking Trash” (The Last Word, May 28): Is this a joke? Japan’s entire waste disposal policy should be changed because of Jesse Veverka’s frustration at forgetting to take trash out of his pockets before he washes his clothes?

Your pockets are stuffed with trash because “it’s a better alternative than littering.” EXACTLY!! It seems a lot of other people are thinking the same thing because as far as my neighborhood and the places I frequent in Tokyo are concerned, I don’t see a major street littering problem.

He writes: “The thinking goes like this: by limiting the number of public trashcans, you encourage people to ‘manage their garbage.’” OK, so where’s the problem? I get a sense that people (including Jesse Veverka) are managing their waste. Maybe it’s only in a country such as Japan that a policy of social responsibility like this could work. I guess that since there aren’t many public trash cans, people are taking that trash home and recycling—which could be a factor in the high recycling rate—or waiting until they find a convenience store and then recycling (using the special bins as mentioned above) or putting it in the washing machine.

As far as the supermarket carrot example goes, I agree it’s a waste, but I would hazard a guess that most people don’t buy raw carrots, eat them and throw the wrapper on the street. They take plastic wrapped vegetables home. The example doesn’t fit with the argument for more public trash cans.

“An emphasis on reducing what becomes waste” equals less waste, which in turn should mean less need for trash cans, right?

The funny thing is, I, too, often have to empty trash out of my pockets and my bag when I get home, and for exactly the same reason as Jesse Veverka—because I don’t want to litter the streets. But is this really another thing stretching me or anyone else to their limits?—lostandfound*

A River Runs Through It

Regarding The Small Print (May 28): The Tone River forms the border between Chiba and Ibaraki. Are you being elitist calling it “Chiba’s Tone River”? Don’t make me sic Sarah Palin on you. As a former southern Ibaraki local, allow me to educate: the term for something that involves both prefectures is “Chibaraki.” See what I did there?—Anonymous

Samurai blues

Regarding “FIFA World Cup” (Sports, May 28): I think [Japan] has got a decent shot against Cameroon in their first match, and if they can win that and build up some confidence in themselves, they might even be able to beat the Netherlands or Denmark (but not both), and make it through to stage 2, and possibly even the quarterfinals. I don’t think anyone seriously expects them to win, but I think they definitely have the potential to make a darned good showing.

And at the end of the day I think it’s important to remember that it’s just a game… Provided the French lose, because they’re absolutely insufferable when they win anything.—Frungy**

Japan has the same problem with soccer that it has with every sport it tries to play internationally. The governing bodies for every sport are waaaaay behind the times. They are run by old men who played the game 40 or 50 years ago and have no idea of the training and tactics that need to be used to succeed outside of Japan. Nothing will change until free thinkers take control.—Okikibi**

*taken from the Metropolis online comment threads
**taken from the Japan Today online comment threads

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