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Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2000


Make graffiti vandals scrub walls


With regard to Japan's burgeoning graffiti problem ("Shibuya residents furious graffiti seen as art," Sept. 10), I noted a program on Nippon Television several months ago that reported that the defacing of commuter trains was costing a private railway company "billions of yen" in cleanup costs.

Perhaps it is time for Japan's juvenile authorities to take a hint from the United States and implement "community service." Putting offenders to work removing their mess has two arguments in its favor. In addition to removing the graffiti, those who faced the prospect of being obliged to spend several hundred hours scrubbing at walls with rags and paint thinner would very likely exert not-so-subtle pressure on their peers to refrain from further acts of vandalism.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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