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Hard to imagine living without familiar 'pee-po' of an ambulance

16 3 0

Ask any Japanese today what an ambulance siren sounds like, and "pee-po" would be their answer.

Until 50 years ago, however, all ambulances, fire engines and police cars in Japan made the same "woo woo" sound.

Back then, people who heard the wailing of an ambulance would often call their local fire station to inquire, assuming a fire had broken out nearby. And volunteer firefighters even readied themselves for an emergency dispatch.

"These people needed to be able to tell the difference between an ambulance siren and that of other emergency vehicles, and so the ambulance got its own distinctive siren," explained Mikinori Ueoka, 60, president........

© The Asahi Shimbun