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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Japan's problem with tourist flatulence

Breaking wind (passing gas, flatulence, farting) is being addressed by a Japanese tourism board. They are calling on foreign tourists to refrain from public "belching or flatulence" and have published an etiquette guide which was written after complaints by a Chinese resident who found the guide insensitive.

The Hokkaido Tourism Organization, representing Japan's northern-most island, published a brochure on its website offering polite instructions from public bathing to the proper way to use a Japanese toilet--"if it's yellow, let it mellow, but if it's brown, flush it down."

An entire section of the brochure deals with farting in public, discussing the use of "downwind" and the perils of the "SBD" fart ("Silent But Deadly").

"Japanese etiquette is based on avoiding causing discomfort or nuisance to others," the guide points out with such simplicity that even blathering idiots and liberals could understand.

"Accordingly, Japanese will avoid bodily functions such as belching or flatulence in public entirely, or perform bodily functions as discreetly as possible."

That means when in Japan, Occupy Wall Street liberals are forbidden to defecate on police cars.

Unfortunately, the Chinese-language guide, originally entitled "Common Sense When Travelling in Hokkaido"--upset a Chinese resident who fumed that the diagrams featuring examples of bad tourist behavior were offensive, particularly since it showed a woman who looked very much like her, ripping one off in a crowded elevator.

Her complaint elicited a more foreigner-friendly version with less offensive explanations of Japanese customs.

In the "softer" version of the guide, available in English and Chinese, gone are the "X" marks next to cartoon illustrations of tourists slipping used toilet paper surreptitiously into the pockets of passers-bye, for example, instead of flushing it down the toilet.

Another illustration targeting Chinese tourists shows a reminder not to open products, such as a can of worms, before purchasing them, as is the custom of many Chinese. 

After China was shamed by a slew of well-publicized incidents in recent years, they agreed to monitor the behavior of unruly tourists abroad and punish them on their return home. 

Not to be outdone, Iran and Afghanistan leaders have also agreed to punish their unruly vacationers and will behead those who insult Japan.

Over 100 million Chinese traveled abroad in 2014, spending about $164 million in bargain grabs. But reports of disruptive behavior have put a blemish on their reputation, such as the time a passenger tossed scalding water and noodles on a flight attendant, and another tourist was fined in Thailand for washing her feet in a public toilet. 

Seriously. Thankfully, the toilet wasn't being used at the time.

But say what you want about Chinese tourists, at least they don't kill the residents of the country they visit like some folks do.