Experts have warned that some Tokyo train lines will be forced to function without resident weird guys in the not too distant future if current trends continue. The startling news came at the release of a new report which outlines the knock-on effects of the declining birth rate in Japan.
“We are entering unchartered waters with this,” explained Namboku Line Superintendent Yari Makkuri. “We’ve always had our passengers with Down-syndrome, autism, alcoholism, or general social retardation who we could rely on. A future without these types would indeed change the zeitgeist.”
Across town in Shiodome, Toei Oedo Line Senior Clerk Hito Banju presses down lightly on a row of the venetian blinds allowing for a better view of the platform below. His white gloves and starched grey cap rest neatly on top of the Birthrate Impact Report that he’s just read to me. “Maybe this report will convince the LDP that we must open the door to more foreigners… once and for all.
“The New York railroads have an abundance of nutters. They’ve got the onanists, the psycho dancers, and all those intimidating beat box guys. And here we are staring into the abyss. Where are we going to be when there are no big and scary special needs folks on our trains? ”
So far offers from Sydney and London transport authorities to round up a certain number of “special cases” and send them to Tokyo have been met with a mix of curious caution; will the Aussie bogans and perennially pissed Scotsmen be able to seamlessly adapt to the ways of Japan? That’s the question that Makkuri and Banju are asking the experts, and the answer is likely to decide whether commuters will ride in comfort or wariness in the future.