Tokyo police launch weeklong anti-groping campaign on trains

Tokyo police launch weeklong anti-groping campaign on trains High school girls hand out fliers and tissues at Ikebukuro station to raise awareness of groping on trains.

TOKYO —

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department launched an anti-groping campaign on Monday, with some 200 people including high school girls handing out fliers and tissues at Ikebukuro station and plain-clothed officers being posted aboard trains on lines which run through Tokyo.

Police said that plain-clothed male and female officers trained in anti-pickpocketing and other crime-prevention measures would patrol carriages from Monday to Friday this week.

Police also said they would beef up their uniformed presence at major stations on the following nine lines: the Saikyo line (which had the most reported incidents of groping last year, accounting for 11% in total); the Yamanote line; the Chuo line; the Keihin Tohoku line; the Sobu line; the Keio line; the Odakyu line; the Keio Inokashira line; and the Tozai subway line.

According to police statistics, there were roughly 1,600 reported incidents of groping in Tokyo last year. Nearly half occurred between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., during the morning rush. Over 70% of incidents took place on trains, with another 10% taking place on platforms or within stations. Nearly 50% of victims were in their 20s, and around 35% were teenagers.

Police said the number of incidents is increasing, and there have already been nearly 1,000 reported cases of groping or photos being taken up skirts in the first half of this year.

News reports

  • 0

    Razor

    This should be a national shame for Japan. I wish some day that a visiting head of state could say to the prime minister or emperor, "I hear you have to have special cars on trains just for women because of the groping problem. Is that true?"

  • 0

    neverknow2

    trained in anti-pickpocketing and other crime-prevention measures

    Any more info?

    It is true about the women only carriages. There are a hell of a lot of perverts here compared to other nations.

  • 0

    noborito

    Razor, yes segregation is alive and well. Now women and men ride separately because they can't keep their hands off each other. I expect the foreign car to come once there are more of us.

  • 0

    spudman

    What a laughable sham the "safe Japan" campaign that the police and politicians push down peoples' throats is. Worse is the complete lack of moral fiber in the young generation of Japanese "men". Bushido values went down the toilet with the introduction of heated toilet seats and men sitting down to pee. Grow some gonads men and if you see a groper pull him by his until he stops it. Fathers and mothers encouraging their daughters to not take a back seat to men would also help in raising assertive confident women who don't look like targets.

  • 0

    timorborder

    Now the interesting thing will be whether or not the police catch any fellow police officers during this period. It has happened before and it will be interesting to see if it happens again.

  • 0

    ratpack

    Police also said they would beef up their uniformed presence at major stations on the following nine lines..........Ummm sorry to be stupid but why on earth would you inform the gropers where you will be patrolling? They will just go elsewhere.

  • 0

    M51T

    They should just provide 'Gropers Only' carriages on trains.

  • 0

    NeoJamal

    The density of passengers in train cars and the number of groping instances are positively correlated based on the evidence that most groping instances occur during rush hour.

    This is just my observation but, you will not find any other urban agglomeration in the world with rapid transit systems that pack as many people into cars as the Chuo-Sobu and Saikyo lines on weekday mornings. For commuters who ride on those services, there's bound to be many people's buttocks to come into unintented long period of contact with luggage or body of other commuters. The groper takes advantage of this situation, based on his own perception of plausible deniability, he acts on mischief.

  • 0

    mrsynik

    So thats why two cops were standing at the end of Akihabara Station this morning? Just standing around in uniform wont catch these guys. J-Cops really arent very bright are they.

  • 0

    bushlover

    They should put cameras up schoolgirl's uniforms to try to catch the hands on camera. Then they can match the hands to the accused person's hands. Who gets to place the cameras? Trained cops?

  • 0

    Gaijinocchio

    Solution: drastically decrease the price of/remove road tolls.

    More people will drive because it's cheaper, less people packed into trains, fewer incidents of groping on trains.

  • 0

    gogogo

    Nice effort but the cops recently have been arrested for doing this. I think this effort is to divert attention away from the fact a few cops in the past month have been arrested for doing this and to educate the rest of the police force that you shouldn't do this.

    Still I probably shouldn't knock a gift horse the the month.

  • 0

    sn00z3

    I think there is special cars for the ladies, of Tobu tojo line 2 cars in front, but it will run only for rush hours.

  • 0

    BuddhismTech

    Why did Tokyo finally launch the weeklong anti-groping campaign on trains in 2009? This campagin should begin in 1927/1928, when the Tokyo subway's operation began for the first time.

    Maybe more and more men are getting dirtier, because they are under the influence of the Internet porn's growth.

  • 0

    Sidwarwick

    I bet one of the cops gets busted.

  • 0

    wawawasuremono

    It's cruel but it's reasonable that when you ride a packed commuter train headed for Tokyo or Osaka during rush hour you must assume the risk of being groped. The introduction of 'women only trains' was not only an equitable relief but also a resignation by rail companies that there's very little that more that could be done with respect to the fine balance between gains and losses made by their limited resources as a for-profit entity.

    However, that is not to say that society is satisfied with that. This anti-groping campaign is effectively demonstrating that society and the public sector is prepared to shoulder what it thinks is the burden of the costs that can help to tackle the groping issue even further. I however doubt that this new method as described in the article will be effective.

  • 0

    LouReed

    1000 people out of how many traveling on the train this year seems like a pretty low number to me. It has to be like .01 percent. Maybe they should limit the number of people they are cramming on to each train as a way to keep people from smashing into one another.

  • 0

    dr_jones

    This is so boring! How about a week-long pro-groping campaign? Everybody may grope freely ... of course women are welcome to grope men too.

  • 0

    kirakira25

    If they simply taught women not to put up with this crap and fight back the number of groping incidents would decline dramatically.

  • 0

    chotto

    with some 200 high school girls handing out fliers and tissues at Ikebukuro station

    Every groper's dream; tissues and high school girls in Ikebukuro. Why not have a campaign along the lines of 'Knee him in the balls, hard'.

    A friend of mine has been groped several times when she was a high-school girl, her sister too. She said she couldn't tell who was doing it 'cos the train was so packed / didn't want to cause a scene. I think girls / women need to be told they have the right to retaliate in order to prevent further groping, and actively encouraged to exercise this right.

    So thats why two cops were standing at the end of Akihabara Station this morning? Just standing around in uniform wont catch these guys. J-Cops really arent very bright are they.

    Well hopefully, it's probably so when a girl or woman pulls said perv off the train, there's someone immediately there to arrest the sh!t.

  • 0

    rokudenashi

    "This should be a national shame for Japan."

    This is not a Japan specific problem. It's problem wherever large numbers of people are crammed together and men think

    Moderator: The discussion is about Japan, not other countries.

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department launched an anti-groping campaign on Monday, with some 200 high school girls handing out fliers and tissues

    I wonder how many of these poor girls are going to be groped by Japanese Salarymen this week whilst trying to spread the good message?!

  • 0

    Yelnats

    I watched a woman undercover cop nail a guy. It was great and she was hot. The guy looked really scared.

  • 0

    salarymanblues

    It is disingenuous to run this campaign and at the same time do nothing about the mountain of train-grope porn movies/manga that exists here.

  • 0

    FryingMonkey

    This is freeking great! I want a T-shirt! I think they would fly off the shelves. But REALLY? Half of the groping goes on in the morning?? I always feel like groping after dark...

  • 0

    Legit

    Groping will never end in Japan... it's a part of the culture.

    Maybe the Guardian Angels should step in.

  • 0

    Wakarimasen

    Makes no sense to 1. announce you are doing this 2. allow porn/manga that promote this as a fantasy 3. cram people on in a way that makes clzsoe physical contact inevitable 4. assume accused gropers are guilty rather than accept some hysterical J-bird might be wrong 5. say this is a disgrace compared to otgher countries (r.g. many have higher rates of rape or assault or robbery than Japan - all worse crimes than a pathetic bloke copping a feel.

  • 0

    IvanCoughalot

    This is fantastic. High school girls in uniform giving out tissues. To stop deviants.

  • 0

    DeepAir65

    Nearly half occurred between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., during the morning rush

    And what proportion of that is false accusations or misunderstanding in the trains that are so packed you can hardly breath?

  • 0

    dolphingirl

    kirakira and chotto: good points! Women, especially young girls, need to be taught what to do if someone gropes them. (like shout 'yamete'!) The other shocking thing is that people who witness this don't do anything about it either! If girls stood up for themselves we policed each other a bit, cowardly gropers would be publically shamed and this wouldn't be such a big issue.

  • 0

    societymike

    dr_jones at 11:47 AM JST - 15th September This is so boring! How about a week-long pro-groping campaign? Everybody may grope freely ... of course women are welcome to grope men too.

    I fully support this plan!

    yeah, 100 cases is pretty low, even if only half are reported.. that's nothing compared to how many ride in one day.

  • 0

    Kauai

    Well, this is a kind of neverending discussion. I find Japanese girls really provocative with their skirts and short pants. I really think that they are looking for problems.

  • 0

    Molenir

    If they simply taught women not to put up with this crap and fight back the number of groping incidents would decline dramatically.

    I think the rise in reported cases is not a reflection of a rise in assaults, but rather a rise in reports. As in the girls see that its becoming more and more ok to report these scumbags, and are starting to choose to fight back. I hope they catch more of these pervs, and actually start punishing them for their crimes.

  • 0

    Midnightpromise

    No amount of leaflets or public awareness campaigns will ever stop the problem until the school girls realise that they are responsible for it due to the way they dress, or perfume they wear, or way they wear their hair, or what time of day they choose to travel. Afterall, boys just wanna have fu-un.

  • 0

    proudathiest

    dolphingirl> I wholeheartedly agree. If we all do something this problem will shrink away (although never die) to something on a lesser scale than at present.

  • 0

    womanforwomen

    I really hope that this works.

    Some of the insensitive comments above, probably from males show that they really do not understand how women feel when being groped.

  • 0

    Midnightpromise

    w4w, that was clever, how women feel when being groped.

  • 0

    Kapuna

    Kind of lame to announce the time and trains that the campaign will cover. Even the most depraved, should be able to hold themselves (no pun)in check until the week is out.

  • 0

    Wakarimasen

    kauai, you can't be serious. Well, this is a kind of neverending discussion. I find Japanese girls really provocative with their skirts and short pants. I really think that they are looking for problems.

    So they are asking for it? And if you were wearing shorts and t-shirt would be ok for some gay perv to grope you?

  • 0

    funkyfresh

    I suppose all gropers will take a week off then and resume their part time groping from next week. Makes sense to me.

  • 0

    womanforwomen

    Ok smart 'midnight', I will say 'how women feel emotionally'. Good enough for you?

  • 0

    Badge213

    Well, this is a kind of neverending discussion. I find Japanese girls really provocative with their skirts and short pants. I really think that they are looking for problems.

    Doesn't give someone the right to violate another person.

    I agree, if you were wearing a t-shirt and shorts would you it be ok for someone to grope you?

  • 0

    Kauai

    I just wanted to say that they obviously want to be attractive. So they should not be surprised to attract all sorts of guys.

  • 0

    chotto

    Yelnats at 12:41 PM JST - 15th September - I watched a woman undercover cop nail a guy. It was great and she was hot. The guy looked really scared.

  • 0

    chotto

    Yelnats at 12:41 PM JST - 15th September - I watched a woman undercover cop nail a guy. It was great and she was hot. The guy looked really scared.

    More info please??!

  • 0

    griff

    Solution: drastically decrease the price of/remove road tolls. More people will drive because it's cheaper, less people packed into trains, fewer incidents of groping on trains.

    great idea: encourage people to stop using one of the best public transport networks in the world? cars are great as long as no-one else has one

  • 0

    griff

    This is fantastic. High school girls in uniform giving out tissues. To stop deviants.

    this irony wasn't lost on me either

    pubescent hotties in tiny skirts: "if you see any little cuties like us on the train please don't GROPE us with your HANDS, onegai shimasu, giggle giggle wink wink"

    tanaka san: "to be honest i hadn't considered it... until now"

  • 0

    bamboohat

    MACE TO THE FACE

    problem over

  • 0

    chooflafla

    I was once on the monorail in Kitakyushu and witnessed a groping, but the woman actually DID something about it.

    The woman must have been about 25 and she must have had a bad day. After she got groped, she turned around with a furious spark in her eyes and slapped the guy so hard, he fell over and hit his head on a seat. A few other passengers and myself gave her a round of applause and the groper promptly got off at the next station. Hilarious!

  • 0

    lostrune2

    Nice idea to have undercover marshalls in train cars, kinda copying that of the DHS (Department of Honeyland Security).

    Throw out the usual cliches:

    Good idea / Bad Idea

    Good idea: copping a feel

    Bad idea: feeling a cop

    Groping only hurts at first.

    It's nadeshiko-like to grin and bear it.

    Gals should wear chastity belts with bear-claw traps.

  • 0

    griff

    I just wanted to say that they obviously want to be attractive. So they should not be surprised to attract all sorts of guys.

    gaining advantage by being found attractive by men is pretty much the only opportunity for advancement for women condoned by japanese society. society strongly encourages them to "make the effort" but then blame women when all attention is not positive?

  • 0

    Altria

    Nice idea, but it's really hard to tell who's doing the groping during rush hour.

    Some of these chikans are regular David Cop-a-feels

  • 0

    realist

    Interesting story about wacky Japan. What about all the guys on the Saikyo Line who get on the trtains just to grope each other and have sex with each other on board? I wonder how many of them will be caught this week....

  • 0

    Kauai

    griff, this is very sad for Japanese women indeed. But I doubt that those tiny skirts would make things better. They just reinforce that negative image Japanese men have about women ... I do not have the solution either ...

  • 0

    biglittleman

    Who are going to police the 'Police' when it comes to dating, groping and photography of young girls in public?

  • 0

    bokudayo

    Shouldn't this program be run by internal affairs?

    griff: "pubescent hotties in tiny skirts" Mmmmm.... pubescent hotties!

    "Groping only hurts at first." That will be my new signature!

    =)

  • 0

    sakurasuki

    Over 70% of incidents took place on trains, with another 10% taking place on platforms or within stations. Nearly 50% of victims were in their 20s, and around 35% were teenagers.

    That's nice statistics but where the number of cases that show us the false indictment? Don't forget about that!

  • 0

    Icantbelieveit

    Well, guess I should stay off the Tokyo trains this week :-)

  • 0

    grafton

    Japanese school girls are not as stupid as some might think, note that when living out these fliers they stay as a group, they know what might happen if they tried it on their own.

  • 0

    888naff

    hands in the air .. at all times

  • 0

    888naff

    hands in the air .. at all times ... so you don't get falsely accused as that happens ... even with intent by some women. I wonder if the police will catch or keep an eye out for any of those in a week only.

  • 0

    Tommygun

    Only 1000 cases reported? That's not much. Probably 10 times that happened but wasn't reported.

  • 0

    Osakadaz

    bet the first guy they catch will be a cop.

  • 0

    KitsuneYoukai

    When a large majority of the male population is like this how dedicated will the police be if some of them feel the same way?

    Hopefully, their superiors are dedicated enough to change this awful state.

    It hasn't happened to me and I doubt it will. Will have to take a very courageous J-male. I don't think I come across as a push over. I kind of wish it would. I think a punch or slap in public might do the trick.

  • 0

    Shaolin7

    Regardless of what a woman may be wearing, it's not an open invitation to put your hands on her, ever. I really can't understand statements like this:

    I find Japanese girls really provocative with their skirts and short pants. I really think that they are looking for problems.

    Would you still think this way if someone saw your girlfriend, or wife, or sister, dressed in a short skirt, and acted on their impulses? Try considering things from their point of view.

    And yes, women need to be taught to stand up for themselves -- but unfortunately, it seems the prevailing mentality and social / cultural values discourage this.

  • 0

    tokyotom

    do they look like those skimpy "police girl" wear that seventh heaven has every few months grrr!

  • 0

    mnemosyne23

    Has anyone else here ever seen the British comedy "Red Dwarf?" Specifically the first episode to feature the Polymorph, a mutant that turned Rimmer into a pipe-smoking, goatee-sporting hippy-cum-yuppie type. Reading this article immediately brought to mind one of my favorite quotes from that episode:

    "The time for talking is over. Call it extreme if you like, but I propose we hit it hard, and hit it fast, with a major, and I mean MAJOR, leaflet campaign."

  • 0

    ca1ic0cat

    They should be handing out free vouchers for self defence courses: "First, knee to groin. Then palm upward at base of nose. Finish off with two squirts of hand sanitizer. Repeat as necessary."

    While I agree that poor choices in attire are not permission to grope I see waaay to many scantily clad women. Both the men and the women need to exercise more self-control.

  • 0

    Molenir

    While I agree that poor choices in attire are not permission to grope I see waaay to many scantily clad women. Both the men and the women need to exercise more self-control.

    So many men in Japan need to learn a very simple yet important lesson I learned as a child. It is ok to look, its not ok to touch. I enjoy the scenery as much as the next man, I also understand this simple rule. Merely because a girl is dressed provocatively, doesn't mean she is 'asking for it'. What she is asking for, is a level of attention. Certainly not to be molested. Thats what so few people seem to understand.

  • 0

    HonestDictator

    Jeez, I'm a guy and I still wouldn't want some strange woman groping me! I know I've got the firm round buttocks of a taut swedish boy but nobody touches me without askin'. xD

    Anyways. The fact that groping is an issue is ridiculous. I'd strongly suggest what many other posters state. The women need to start inflicting some shame on those freaks. A nice of that nail polish or some permanant marker on the hand or hands of the groper would make cases easier. This is kind of weak passing out flyers for anti-groping. They just need better measures to deal with it.

  • 0

    gamera

    Only grope with your eyes. That works for me.

  • 0

    Alan

    The losers who commit these crimes should be the ones standing in stations handing out fliers. As an example to other potential losers, they should wear placards round their necks saying what they did and what the consequences were (traumatized victim, jail time, lost jobs, broken families, etc.) This is a shameful crime, and shame should be part of the punishment and deterrent.

  • 0

    Icewind007

    What I don't understand is the under-skirt pictures. I can't find anything specially appealing about underwear. They look just like bikini swimsuits... go to the beach and they are all over! Heck, bikinis probably have even more exposure.

  • 0

    dasyhard

    Why can't they just separate the 2 sexes, there, problem solved. Then again, maybe the males would eventually grope each other.

  • 0

    sakurasuki

    The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department launched an anti-groping campaign on Monday, with some 200 people including high school girls handing out fliers and tissues at Ikebukuro station

    What is that supposed to mean?? If someone make a campaign to stop smoking, that's supposed to make people who get the flier to stop smoking.

    These high school student they handing tissue so people stop grope them? "please don not grope us!". If I would find them in the station I wouldn't take their tissue, since I'm pretty sure I'm not a groper.

  • 0

    BobbieWickham

    They look lovely.

  • 0

    sonnycorinthos

    Although I think this is a very serious problem, as a foreigner such a campaign puts me off riding the train during this week, as likely the police would assume its the bad foreigner who is the groper, so might be better to face the traffic jams and drive to avoid an unfair night in the cells. Either that or visibly cross your hands over your chest and make sure to move completely away from any girl as much as possible. That film about the false groping accusation still haunts me. But like I said its still a terrible crime, its just those stopping it (the police) can't be trusted to treat gaijin fairly and not assume it was our evil hands..

  • 0

    bgaudry

    School girls handing out tissues to pervs. Gotta love Japan!

  • 0

    LoveUSA

    As a woman, I know that just one dirty look of a dirty man makes me feel sick, to speak not of groping. Perverts, stalkers and criminals gropers should be put in prison.

  • 0

    PitoPuccho

    Another ever growing problem that is going to be hard to prevent. It's good to see the government trying to tackle this although I don't think they will be very successfull.

  • 0

    sansamp

    Got groped twice (i'm a guy): once by an old lady simply hugging me, another time by a younger OL-type who played with my oshiri as if it was a stressball. In both cases, didn't say anything as it seemed to provide more relief to the other person than it was causing me discomfort. Maybe i'm an altruist.

  • 0

    Memorex

    Good to see the simpletons here leaving intelligent comments about a complicated situation. There is nothing normal about people being jammed together like they are on the trains in Tokyo during the commuter rush hour, so there is nothing normal about the behaviour of men on these trains. There is hardly enough room on a crowded train to scratch your nose let alone thump some guy who is grabbing your tucas. Come on guys, think before you open your mouths and say something typically American.

  • 0

    HonestDictator

    Oh something American that most americans remember that the Japanese gropers need to learn, "Keep you hands to yourself"? That typical enough for ya?

  • 0

    lostrune2

    J-girls like getting dirty looks, the better from hot guys.

  • 0

    elbudamexicano

    Mexico has separated the sexes for years! Mexico City has a very nice, quiet and clean subway and in the moring and evening rush hours, men take 1 train, women take another, boys up to age 8 can travel with their mother or other female adult parent or guardian. Will Japan ever do this? I doubt it, too many hentais here!

  • 0

    PitoPuccho

    Will Japan ever do this? I doubt it, too many hentais here!

    I'm certain on some Metro Lines they have designated carriages at rush hours? On the platform there is pink writing for Ladies of course and blue for men indicating what carriage to use. I remember this as my first week in Japan getting on the Ginza line at Asakusa in the morning rush hour, and being in a large queue full of Business women staring at me, I looked down and I was "standing in the pink". Baka!

  • 0

    helloklitty

    I hate this idea of separating men and women. Why can't the gropers get satisfied with just their eyes?

    The best time of my life was getting groped. I had been in Busan at a temple in a mountain. I had missed the last bus and a high school tour group noticed my predicament. It was a long way to the town and already quite dark so they invited me onto their bus. Imagine my surprise when I got on an overcrowded bus of schoolgirls. The road was very curvy ... (to be continued)

  • 0

    sharky1

    So they handcuffed all the cops so they couldn't grope???

  • 0

    PepinGalarga

    this is very funny, dont even need to bother the article just keep the policemen at home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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