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.