Japan’s public service example

“Japanese soccer fans clean up stadium, showing why they are the nicest in the World Cup…” is the title of this short video. And not for the first time. They do it all the time.

So what has the Japanese sports fan habit of treating public spaces as one might treat one’s own home got to do with omotenashi ?

Plenty.

The ethos that lies behind omotenashi is “serving others with no expectation of thanks”. Just for the sake of it and just because it is the right thing to do.

And while none of us are there there to thank these decent young people personally, we all feel the same degree of respect and gratitude if for nothing other than the example they set.

Roll on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The world is about to get a Japanese master class in fair play, self respect, hospitality and friendship.