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A city Japan is having a problem graffiti. However, it is not the usual type of graffiti paint from spray cans being used to write walls. It is graffiti in sand. Officials the city of Tottori are asking tourists to refrain writing messages and pictures in the sand of its giant sand dunes. The officials said the graffiti causes damage to the dunes and destroys the pleasure others get looking the sand. They said that more than 3,300 cases of 'sand graffiti' have occurred the tourist hotspot the last decade. The Mainichi newspaper said there were more than 200 cases reported last year. In January, two overseas tourists were ordered to erase a 25-metre-long message that read: 'Happy Birthday Natalie'.

The Tottori Sand Dunes are famous Japan for their natural beauty. They are the largest and longest sand dunes the country and form part a scenic geo-coastal park the Sea of Japan coast. The biggest dune is 50 metres high. The dunes stretch 16 kilometres along the coast. The local government wants to improve tourists' understanding the importance the dunes. It will set more signs in English, Chinese and Korean asking people to respect the dunes. More and more tourists are visiting the site each year. A spokesman said: "We are concerned whether the rules are fully understood, but we want to continue to protect views the beautiful sand dunes."

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