I spotted six young Japanese ladies in High Street, Sliema a few days ago, with garbage bags in hand, picking up rubbish on the street, pavements and doorsteps.

I thanked them in Japanese – “Arigatogozaimasu” – for their effort, although I saw other people shaking their heads at what they were doing.

I asked them if they were part of a ‘Clean up Malta’ campaign. But they said they were here studying English and will be leaving this week and so wanted to do something for Malta before they leave.

In the World Cup, the Japanese spectators cleaned up the stadium after Japan played and the football team cleaned up their changing rooms after being knocked out of the tournament, leaving a note of thanks in Russian for the Russian people.

The Japanese nation seems to have a lot to teach us about tidying up after ourselves.

I was very impressed with their beautiful act of service.

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