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Last Updated: Wednesday March 26 2008 09:22 GMT

'Manners police' strike in Japan

Japanese commuters piling onto a tube train

Mind your manners! That's what badly behaved commuters riding on public transport in Japan are being told.

A new team of "etiquette police" have been given the job of telling nuisance travellers to turn down their music and give up their seats for elderly people.

Japanese culture is seen as one of the politest in the world, but some people are worried standards are slipping.

A recent survey found nearly nine out of 10 people who took part thought public behaviour was getting worse.

Some of the things people thought were unacceptable included chatting loudly on mobile phones, applying make-up in public, and listening to music on "leaky" headphones.

The etiquette squad is mostly made up of people over the age of 60 as they're considered to know what sort of behaviour is associated with the "old Japan".

They won't have any legal powers to force pesky passengers to behave, but it's hoped they will be able to charm the culprits into seeing the error of their ways.