SOURCE: Reuters, "Town gets Divine Help with Litterbugs", December 2, 2004
KEYWORDS: hide, presence
"A Japanese town believes divine help played a role in getting rid of litter in parking lots and roadsides. The town of Nagato in Japan's Nagano prefecture wanted a way to control the garbage dropped by tourists passing through on their way to nearby ski areas. The city decided to place statues of a Buddhist figure at parking spots on the main road through town. In the four months following the appearance of the statues, which were carved by local residents, litter almost disappeared. The Japanese news agency NHK interviewed drivers, and found that the religious statues had a unique influence. One driver who was interviewed, said, "I can't drop litter now, not with the statue looking at me."