Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Etiquette police" to start patrolling Japanese Metro

Kind of like Wal-Mart greeters with an attitude.

Badly behaved commuters riding on Yokohama's public transport will soon be risking a dressing-down.

Newly appointed "etiquette police" will be asking travellers to turn down their headphones and give up their seats for their elders and betters.


The team is mostly made up of over-60s, well acquainted with the standards of conduct associated with the "old Japan".

But many of these enforcers will be accompanied by younger bodyguards, should their etiquette advice - diplomatically given, of course - not prove welcome.

The team members, who will be identifiable by their bright green uniforms, will have no legal powers to insist that their advice is accepted by recalcitrant passengers.

But backers of the scheme hope their refined social skills mean they will be able to charm - or shame - culprits into reforming their ways.