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    Japan Introduces Silent Taxis

    Japan Introduces Silent Taxis

    Japan Introduces Silent Taxis

    A Japanese taxi company recently introduced a 'silent taxi' service, where drivers are expected not to make conversation with customers, to a mixed response throughout the nation.

    Miyako Taxi  — operating primarily in Kyoto, the country's former capital with a population of 1.5 million people — aim for their silent cabs to create 'an in-car atmosphere that provides the most comfortable ride for passengers through limiting the driver's speaking'. 

    While some readers of leading newspaper Japan Today said that they welcomed the service, many raised concerns about the requirements' effect on drivers' emotional health and wellbeing. 

    One person said that it risks 'sucking the humanity' out of the job, requiring drivers to 'be like robots all day, merely picking up passengers and dropping them off, without being allowed to have a chat'. 

    Others argued that the demands were inhumane, asking 'humans to be less human', expressing symptoms of 'a society living in fear [. like] a haven for the terminally petrified'. 

    Speaking to South China Morning Post, Yoshio Ito, a Miyako Taxi spokesman, said: 'We started this service on March the 21st with five of our taxis. We have had a lot of very positive feedback from customers, both in person and through our web site.

    'There are some customers who really just want peace and quiet as soon as they sit down, and we have found that our ‘silent taxis’ are particularly popular with young salary-men; we think this might be because they are always so tired from work.'

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