Out all hours, originally uploaded by Joseph Tame.

A couple of days back Danny blogged about leaving bags on chairs in restaurants to save a table whilst going to order. That reminded me of the practice of local plant shops, where they leave half of their stock outside every night, just protected by a net. I know of a couple that do it round here.

I like that. Shows that people can be trusted.

Having said that, when I attended the local park meeting there was talk of the newly-planted shrubs being stolen. I’m guessing it’s because there’s less chance of getting caught if you steal from a park vs. a shop.

The local toilet seat shop does the same. They leave a range of loo seats out overnight – the good ones with built in washlet (thing that squirts water at your bum after you’ve done your business).

Ho hum.

3 Responses

  1. Yeah, go ahead, leave things out. :-p

    The hub and I left an empty cloth carrying bag in a bicycle basket for 5 minutes while we went into a shop in Koenji. When we came back, it had been stolen.

    The hub left his wallet in the back of a cab accidentally. It was stolen.

    The hub accidentally left his bike key in the lock overnight and the next morning, the bike was stolen (from in front of our apartment so it wasn’t in a busy or high traffic area).

    The hub accidentally left a very nice coat on a rack on the subway. It was stolen.

    About two years ago, I was at a local green grocer that had food stacked out front and the bike parking/security guy wasn’t around. Someone grabbed some food and walked briskly away without paying for it (I saw this clear as day).

    Japanese people cannot be trusted if the situation is such that they think there is a low likelihood of being caught. My guess is that the areas where these things are left out are somehow in view sufficiently that there is concern for being caught. Either that or the items (toilet seats, plants) are of sufficiently low interest or large size that they aren’t the type of thing people will steal. Possibly, there are also security cameras some place that is not obvious.

    Just last week, I was walking around my neighborhood noting that every single house has bars over the windows and that at least 1/3 of them have signs about their security cameras and systems plastered on them. If people can be trusted, why so much security? Why so many bars? The Japanese clearly don’t trust each other. I’m not sure why we should trust them more than they trust themselves.

    But don’t take my word for it. Leave your your MacBook Pro someplace in public where there aren’t a lot of people around and it’s a fairly enclosed space such that prying eyes can’t easily see someone pick it up, and see if it gets stolen. I’m betting you don’t really believe people can be trusted.

  2. If anyone responds with the tedious, “Japan is safer comparatively than anyone else”, then I have no respect for their opinion. I’m so sick of everyone thinking bad behavior or problems in Japan are immune from discussion or criticism because it’s worse somewhere else. It is possible to discuss Japan as a separate entity without bringing in comparisons. Yes, Japan has less reported and registered crime than comparable cultures. That doesn’t mean that it’s safe or people are more ethical. 😛

    Japan has less crime because it has socialist policies which keep a fairly stable middle class group of people in it rather than creating a gap between the rich and the poor. People with a lifestyle which is the same as their neighbor’s and who feel relatively secure tend not to commit as many crimes.