Local authorities in Tottori prefecture are increasing foreign language signage to deter travelers from defacing the famous Tottori Sand Dunes, The Mainichi reports. Officials have added signs in English, Chinese, and Korean explaining that writing and drawing in the sand dunes is classified as vandalism under an "ordinance to protect and rear Japan's Tottori Sand Dunes initiative."

The massive Tottori Sand Dunes are the largest sand dunes in Japan and Tottori's main tourist attraction, and are protected by an ordinance against vandalism, but prefectural government officials are concerned that many foreign tourists do not understand the rule. The Mainichi reports that officials have counted 3,334 incidents of "sand graffiti" since the ordinance was launched, with 228 incidents in 2018 alone.

Government officials report incidents such as a foreign man and woman writing "Happy Birthday Natalie" in the dunes and being ordered to clean it up earlier this year. Tomihisa Ikeuchi, an official with the government's natural green resources division told The Mainichi that a lack of employees who can explain the policy in foreign languages makes matters more difficult. "We are concerned about whether the rules are fully understood, but we want to continue to protect views of the beautiful sand dunes," he said.

While the ordinance was originally launched in 2007 in response to multiple incidents of fire works and littering, it also classifies drawing and writing in the sand as graffiti, which hopefully the new signage will help convey.

By - Big Neko.