Q Why are announcements made at stations and on trains such a nuisance?

A The Japanese are basically a people who like to do things for others. Announcements such as, "When leaving, please make sure to take all your belongings with you," or "Please walk within the area marked by the white line," can all be interpreted as looking out for the welfare of the other.

However, these announcements perhaps can just as well not exist. Announcements such as, " Please enter without pushing," can be interpreted an outright distrust of the character of the passengers that many Japanese also find too much to take.

Responsibility should be taken by each individual to look out for themselves while commuting. Peiiinent announcements such as the name of the station one has arrived at, the name of the next station and instructions for transfening should be all that is necessary, but there invariably are some announcements that go a little too far.

Lurking under the pretext of service lies the tactic of the Japanese to avoid coming under fire from the public. This is an age when PL (product liability) is being called to account for damages. There is the not-too-funny story about a manufacturer being held responsible for the accident that occurred for not stating specifically in the instruction that cats should not be put in the microwave oven. This is also true in the service sector.

Unnecessary announcements like the above might be a means of avoiding responsibility should anything occur to provide a pretext of, "after all, we did warn you."