Culture · Culture Shock · Information · Living in Japan

Elimination of Molestation Patrol

I found this article in one of the online communities I browse regularly and thought it was too good to pass up.

Saitama police launch new unit to prevent groping on trains
Friday 25th September, 10:01 AM JST

In an effort to clamp down on groping and molestation aboard trains, the Saitama Prefectural police force launched a new unit comprising some 150 officers, mostly women, outside JR Omiya station on Thursday. Members of the new “Elimination of Molestation Patrol” unit handed out fliers at the station and patrolled various trains throughout the prefecture.

The team had its first success later in the day, when a plain-clothed female officer witnessed a man touching a high school girl aboard a train on the JR Takasaki line. The officer worked her way through the crowd and typed out a message on her cell phone declaring she was an officer and asking the girl if she had been molested, and showed the girl the message. The girl nodded and the officer apprehended the man – a 32-year-old unemployed resident of Kawagoe City.

According to police statistics, there were 106 reported cases of groping aboard trains in Saitama in the first eight months of this year, with many of them occurring during the morning rush.

Mihoko Akiyama, an assistant inspector, said: “I hope that victims get the courage to raise their voice, instead of simply putting up with the situation.”

Now, this may seem a little ridiculous (and I personally think a patrol is a little over kill) but this is a serious problem in Japan. A lot of the people who get groped on trains are high school girls roll their skirts to the point where it is barely covering their butt, but pretty much any one can become a victim. I have been groped on trains several times and definitely raised my voice to invoke some sort of response from the other people on the train – but nothing happened. I am a little upset that the above article states that a majority of the patrol consists of women. That is a clue that the problem is not going to go away any time soon. More men have to participate in this sort of thing, especially since the vast majority of the groping and molestation that happens on trains is done by men.


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