Aha – do I have your attention? I tell you honestly that of the countries visited, “Japan was the cleanest, litter free country including the entire continent of North America (what I’ve seen of it) and the countries of South East Asia, (again for the lands that I’d been to.”
There is an underlying group mentality and that is to respect their city. If the city is held in high regard inhabitants want to keep things clean, after all, that’s how they were taught.
Reason #1: There are hardly any trash cans and I did find that annoying in the short time I was there, but allow me to explain…The Japanese people put their litter or garbage, if you will, in little plastic bags and carry it home to toss out along with their household trash. However, there are usually trash cans found, and maybe it was designed that way, near smokers stations.
Reason #2: The Japanese employ their aged or seniors, it is a good way to keep the unemployment rate down. They are mostly menial tasks but in America those jobs are for the public employees who treat the menial job and a high wage is paid for: sign holding, guarding roadsides to make sure cyclists do not park on the pavement, waving people out of gas or petrol stations and yes, even more litter pickup.
Reason #3: Japanese people learn at an early age and all through their time in school not to make a mess because they will have to clean it up themselves. The Japanese students clean their own schools. For example…at the end of every school day the students get into groups and clean a particular area of the building. Those clean and respectful ways carry into adulthood.
Reason #4: They are particular about how their garbage is sorted (sounds like me, actually all 4 of the reasons could be applied to me. My daughter always complains about my neatness and I always complain about her sloppy ways, so it’s a mutual thing…kinda’). The Japanese go a step farther than I do. They separate their plastics, (I always considered plastic recyclable) recyclable, combustibles, etc. I said they were particular about it.
So the Japanese culture is good. If the citizen’s of the world followed the Japanese moral routines I think perhaps it would help us all to grow and be better citizens.