Birds chirp!

By Hany Assal
Al Ahram Newspaper, Head of Diplomatic Department
April 28, 2023
Transport, communications, and traffic in Japan are something “beyond imagination”!

Eating and drinking is “forbidden” on the metro and trains, and smoking, of course.

Mobile phones «Silent»!

Talking to your neighbor in a loud voice inside the train or on the mobile phone is a “disgrace” and a lack of manners.

Looking at others is a “crime,” and photographing people is a violation of privacy.

Enter the train in line, get off first, then get on.

In Japan, when two met, politeness would be the third of them, and when three met, the “queue” would be the fourth of them!

The state and the government have nothing to do with organizing the queue!

In Japan, you will be sure that the people are the cause of the nation’s revival, not the governments, and that hurling accusations at the state and the administration is just “nonsense”!

Metro in Japan has a precise drip time, but it does not move until after the inspectors at the station make sure that everyone has “boarded” and the doors are closed.

At peak times, this inspector performs the arduous task of “pushing” the passengers into the train using both hands, so that the train can accommodate everyone.

The metro is still the best mode of transportation in the greater Tokyo area, which has a population of 36 million. The cheapest metro ticket costs 130 yen, and monthly subscriptions save even more.

The Japanese citizen is a “master” in saving, and believes in a wisdom that says: “Do not challenge what exceeds your capabilities,” which is equivalent to “stretch your legs on your quilt”!

For example, a citizen whose average monthly income is approximately 300,000 yen, and who needs to pay large sums of it for housing and energy, often does not own a car, and may need to spend 20,000 yen for a ticket for the bullet train, or the “Shinkansen”, if he wants.

Moving from one city to another, which means that he may spend his entire salary on the Shinkansen if he wants to travel with his family members in the same way four times a month, but he often does not do that.

Rather, he prefers to use the regular “Express” train, with a ticket that costs about ten Thousands of yen or less, with the Shinkinsen left to the able and businessmen.

The difference is that in Japan, there is no discontent, no anger, no talk about the rich, “overpowering” and differences, and no one looks at anyone’s pocket, everyone lives according to what he owns, and this is the Japanese policy in how to benefit from the advantages of capitalism, and avoid its defects.

The “simple” Japanese is there, but he has an outstanding ability to adapt, coexist and “content”, which is definitely helped by the high level of public services, especially public transportation.

One of the familiar scenes in the streets of Japanese cities is to see a senior official or company owner with great wealth, or a beautiful elegant woman wearing the latest international brands, on a bicycle.

The cycling path is “sacred” and no one crowds it, and the cyclist adheres to traffic lights like other cars.

The traffic lights themselves in Japan are a "tale".

No one organizes signals or intersections, as the Japanese do not need that. Traffic lights emit sounds similar to the chirping of birds when pedestrians cross, and it is a distinguished service for people with special needs, especially the blind.

Pedestrian crossing either over the white lines at traffic lights, or through pedestrian bridges and tunnels, noting that the rest of the road is closed with iron fences.

Bridges and pedestrian tunnels, some of which operate with escalators, others with regular stairs, and most of them are far apart, but no one objects, and no one complains, not even the elderly and those with excuses, because the system is a system, and any escape attempt from the system means a threat to the safety of people.

You can stay in Japan for months without hearing the sound of a single car!

The Japanese street is silent, except for the chirping of birds!

The taxi in Japan is very expensive, it is true that you feel while using it as if you are in a luxury plane, as evidenced by the fact that the side door does not open or close except “automatically” via a button for the driver who wears white gloves and a full elegant suit, but it is less expensive than any taxi ride in Tokyo or any other Another city up to a thousand yen.

You may be surprised if you know that the real boom in the state of roads, traffic and transportation in Japan has been since the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, during which the Japanese wanted to tell the world “we have returned” after the defeat in World War II, and everything that happened after this date is just improvements to an existing system and Indeed, "working", and successive generations have grown to respect it.

What I said is not intended to “complicate” it.

In the traffic issue, the comparison is even with America and Europe, in the interest of Japan!
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