Japan Today

Guilty and never proven innocent – every male train rider's nightmare in Japan


Tales of subway groping are unfortunately commonplace in Japan, and anyone committing such a pathetic and cowardly act deserves every punishment given. But what happens if you are falsely accused? Often filled well beyond capacity, there is a real possibility of such a thing happening if you ride the trains running throughout Japan’s major urban centers. No matter your innocence, with a 99% conviction rate should the case go to court, one Tokyo lawyer says the best thing to do if wrongly accused is, run.

Attorney Takashi Nozawa provides the following advice to anyone who might find themselves caught up in this nightmarish, no-win situation.

Though this is a personal opinion, the number one thing I cannot recommend is trying to plead your innocence in open court. You need to provide evidence proving way beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not grope the accuser, and you have to do this in a court where there is a 99% conviction rate for such cases. Additionally, if you are taken into custody after being indicted, it will take quite some for the court to reach a decision, meaning you will be unable to work, and because of the nature of the accusation, shunned by society. As there is often a lot of publicity generated if charges are proved false, many people think they should fight their accuser in court. However, people would do well to remember that when it comes to false accusations of molestation on the train, in the overwhelming majority of cases, there is no justice.

If caught in such a situation, what should one do?

First off would be to run away from the scene, this is one of the most rational responses when considered from a probability perspective. Your first thought is more than likely wanting to prove your innocence, however, in groping cases this is extremely difficult. If you think about the low chances of the police catching you if you quickly escape from the scene, running away is a rather compelling choice.

What should you do if escape is not an option?

To begin with, it would probably be a good idea to immediately and very angrily deny the accusation on the spot.

The greatest risk faced is that of a third party coming forward and also falsely accusing you of the crime. It is an emotional and scandalous issue, and there is the real possibility of someone who did not see anything stepping forward and adding accusations in order to back up and protect the woman accusing you. Testimony from a third party along the lines of “this person fondled her rear,” especially if it is from someone unrelated to the accuser, is decisive evidence. You must maintain an attitude of indignation and angrily claim your innocence, “I didn’t do it! What are you talking about?!” If you do this, there is the possibility that others involved will think it is too much trouble to deal with you, providing an opportunity to flee the scene.

If the police show up, what you must not do is silently obey and follow them to the station. Try anything to avoid going to the station; though you are innocent, it might be in your best interest to try apologizing for a “misunderstanding” that can be taken care of at the train station master’s office. If you go to the police station and continue to deny the charges, they will often keep you in custody for a period of one week to 10 days. During this time you will not be able to go to work and things will not turn out well. You must be prepared to get axed by your company, and the last stages of your fight begin here.

If you are taken into custody on charges of groping, the first thing you need to do is call a lawyer. The lawyer can then call your family to inform them of the situation, and then a family member can call your employer and tell them you have suddenly taken ill and need a few days off. If someone from the company says they would like to visit you at the hospital, the family member can provide evasive answers and say something like the doctor has ordered “quiet rest” with no visitation allowed.

Within about 10 days of your arrest, you need to work with your lawyer in contacting the accuser and trying to work out a settlement. If you wait longer, you will use up your paid holidays, and the chances of your employer discovering the truth about your situation increase. If you continue to deny the charges, the police can continue holding you for up to 23 days by saying they are worried you may attempt to flee their jurisdiction or damage evidence.

It is understandable that those accused may not feel fully satisfied with having to make an out-of-court settlement despite the fact that they are innocent, but as a lawyer, what I am trying to get them to agree to is only that they “touched” the accuser, not that they “intentionally touched” her. In other words it was not a case of deliberate indecency; we are just trying to bring the incident to an end by paying “damages based on negligence.” The documentation exchanged with the accuser simply states “damages” of a certain amount will be paid if the accuser agrees to drop the case through her own “generosity.”

In the period immediately following the incident, the female accuser is usually angry. However, in the end, most cases are concluded when an agreement on monetary compensation is reached. Once an out-of-court settlement is reached with the accuser, I will meet with the prosecutor in charge of the case and get them to agree that, “though somewhat unclear with regard to actual details regarding the incident, an out-of-court settlement has been reached. Rather than wasting the court’s time by futilely trying this case of supposed willful criminal indecency, it would be easier to dispose of it by simply dismissing the case.”

At any rate, if you are taken into custody on this charge, you should resign yourself to the fact that you will almost certainly be found guilty close to 100% of the time, and you should aim for some type of “gray zone” resolution. I know of many cases where people falsely arrested on groping charges were able to hide the fact from their employers, allowing them to get on and continue leading normal lives.

Source: Esuteru

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A difficult issue to be sure. I hate gropers for the obvious reasons, but I have seen many examples of people falsely accused because they were on a crowded train, the woman was having a bad day and did not like the look of the guy, or in one case pure extortion of a stanger for money.

Where in the law, does it say that the burden of proof rests on the defendant to prove the unprovable - a negative? This is ridiculous and flys in the face of Japanese law and common sense (I have lived here a long time, so I stopped saying that a while ago, but this is so bad, I cannot help myself.).

And why would it be necessary to incarcerate a non-violent suspect for 10-23 days? To prevent them from destroying evidence or intimidating witnesses? Give me a break. It is obviously to force a confession by threatening the lose of employment etc. The police and prosecutors, once engaged, cannot risk their precious conviction rate and will do whatever is necessary to win a conviction, including inappropriate detention.

I am going to say what I have never said before. This lawyer is correct. Run! I have always been a rule-of-law person. When accused, you face the charges and avail yourself of the rights granted by the law. In this case, however, the rule-of-law does nothing to protect the accused and if accused, one is totally screwed. Escape is the number one option.

The accuser, the station employee and the "guard" in the ill-fitting, police-wannabe uniform have no right (and if one is sufficiently motivated, no capability) to detain you. Run, switch trains, lines, whatever. Just get away. In the absence of physical violence, I highly doubt that the police wil find it worth their time to come looking.

35 ( +36 / -1 )


18 ( +20 / -2 )

Brings to mind The Crucible.

In Japan if you want to ruin someone's reputation, employment status and family life, accuse them of groping.

Guilty or innocent, their life will be destroyed.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

one hand on your keitai, one hand up high holding onto the metal bar or rings for support, and no one can accuse you of anything.

worst comes to worst, just say you are homosexual and have zero interest in women and laugh at them

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Messed up Justice system in Japan

16 ( +17 / -1 )

So in other words, if you didn't do it that doesn't matter, you are up the river without a paddle.

I always travel with both my hands up when I am not with my wife, but as I have heard more than once that would mean very little if some woman thinks you're the guy with his hands on her.

Hey here's a novel idea, an all male train section, oh wait, then some women would scream discrimination!

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Get looked at like an absolute weirdo, but I always have my hands up in the air when I enter a packed train. I find a strap or rail or door frame to latch on to, or hold my iPod in one and bag in another. I got accused once, but when other commuters saw where my hands were they all told the woman how impossible it was, and she shut up. Although, as she left the train, she said "America ni kaere!, which is difficult since I've never actually been there........

14 ( +14 / -0 )

one Tokyo lawyer says the best thing to do if wrongly accused is, run.

Just keep your hands high in the train fellas.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The only thing that disgusts me more than gropers is the women who falsely accuse them. Aside from the fact that it can ruin the falsely-accuseds life, it also makes it an uphill battle for genuine victims to be taken seriously.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Not to sound too chauvinistic, but I think in the situation with the trains, women have been too empowered over the justice system. "Innocent until PROVEN guilty" should ALWAYS be the golden rule.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Fleeing would be a disastrous choice. If you're that worried about this one in a million probability, then avoid the situation in the first place - surround yourself with male passengers during peak, it's not like there's usually a shortage of them.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

And NEVER go to a police station. Don't even bother going there to ask for directions. Go to a combini and the shop staff will pull out their smartphone to help you, go to a police station and they pull out a paper map from 1992. Ever seen a cop walking the beat in Japan? NO. They all huddle in their little clubhouse while prostitution, gambling, smoking in non-smoking areas, traffic violations and assaults are happening everywhere. I have negative respect for the Japanese police. If a someone was in a struggle with a cop here I'd give the cop a passing kick to the head and spit on them.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Definitely scary thought.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is why I hold on to the strap with two hands.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If they're going to amend anything about the Japanese legal system then it shouldn't be the constitution, it should be this "guilty until proven innocent" nonsense. If someone is groping you it is easy to take out your phone and snap a few pictures, thus proving their guilt. However a person falsely accused of groping has now warning, and short of recording every minute of their day has no way to prove they weren't doing it.

I see a lot of people recommending keeping your hands high. Do you pay any attention to the hand position of the person next to you in a packed train? No. Neither do other people. People only pay attention AFTER the shout of "Chikan!"... then they turn to see you looking startled with your hands up... she claims you had them down fondling her and there's no evidence to the contrary.

No, this "guilty until proven innocent" thing is ridiculous.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Keeping both of your hands clearly busy at all times is a good way to:

1: Avoid a girl who just wants to target a random stranger; She has to pick someone who has at least one hand down in order to make her accusation plausible. 2: Prevent 3rd parties from joining in, since, at the moment she raises a ruckus and people look, if it is clear that you currently have both hands busy and raised and seem to have been minding your own business the whole (no sudden quick movements to get your hands back up etc.) they are likely to question her accusation enough at least not to join her side verbally (they won’t join your side either but that is better than them joining her side). 3: Avoid the situation in which she really is groped from behind but she misidentifies who did it. If 3 men have 1 or more hands down behind her and 1 has both hands up on the strap or bar she is likely to pick the sleaziest-looking one of the hands-down men.

Keeping both hands on the strap is a basic method that anyone can use, but not as solid as it could be because you could plausibly just lower a hand for a short moment at no cost to your balance etc. It would be better if you are also engaged in something mentally and tie up both hands such that it is less likely for anyone to believe either of them moved. For that, either a book or video-game would be a better choice, especially because they also give your hands something to do while you sit.

Books are generally a good choice as you will have one hand on the strap and one on the book. The book hand obviously can’t grope and the strap hand is necessary for balance, especially when you are so engaged. They are also cheap and accessible to anyone.

Video-games are also good because the single device ties up both of your hands. If you are actually playing the game, you won’t have much time for either hand to roam and people close by may not have been looking but if they hear a non-stop stream of button taps it puts a hole in her story.

If you hate books and video games, always keep 2 hands on the straps or bars. You should be able to reach something even if you are in the center of the crowd between the doors. If you can’t, keep both hands on your bag/suit case. If you don’t have one, it may be best to keep keep both hands above the crowd anyway, perhaps as if to aim for a bar, but even just straight up will prevent groping accusations, as in such a crowd it is impossible to quickly lower and raise your arms again you will look strange enough that people will remember your hands being up the whole time.

If sitting, keep your hands between your knees and keep your head lowered, sleepy-looking.

Remember that this is a preventative tactic and helps in no way in court. People may see you playing a video game with both hands the whole time but they aren’t going to follow you to the police station and act as a witness, especially if they won’t even act as a witness right there on the train.

Japan really does need to install cameras on its trains.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

As a rule of thumb, consider any and all accusal of groping in a overly crowded train where you can not even move your arm is false. Hate to say this and I know I will get thumbs down for posting this but some females are over reacting and demanding more then fair treatment. Anybody and everybody is stressed out in those commuter trains when capacities are at 150%+. Most people just wants to get out of that situation as fast as possible without ruffling other people's feathers. It is also physically impossible to grope someone in those trains when you can't even reach up and scratch your own nose.

As a male I even sometimes feel offended by the amount of cologne a female wears in those trains since I believe the odor is obnoxious in the morning. If you want to wear it in order to entice your companion do it after work PLEASE.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Fortunately I've never been the victim of this kind of thing (knock knock). I have on occasion, on crowded trains, been uncomfortably pressed against other people, and likewise been accidentally 'touched' or hit in certain areas, but fortunately they were all circumstances in which both parties could embarrassingly apologize and all knew it was not intentional. But it's a scary thought that if you were accused of groping or what have you that you would automatically be guilty at first. I'm 100% for women speaking out if they are groped, but I also think it needs to be proven without a doubt who did it before someone is locked up.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Any cases of a woman groping a man?

Yes, ME actually! But I swear it was a total accident!

I was on a jam-packed train and somehow my hand got jammed up against some guys ass. It was uncomfortable but no biggie, I just kept my hand still and hoped he wouldnt even notice, but I told my friend in English (thinking no one would understand) what was happening and we had a bit of a laugh and an eye-roll about the Tokyo trains.

At the next stop loads of people got off, and a woman turned to me and said in flawless English "Why dont you put your bag up on the rack?" I said "Oh, thank you, but actually I am getting off soon and anyway, I cant actually reach it." She gave me a big smile and said "No problem - my husband can do it for you" indicating the guy I had just been "groping"! I was mortified! He then turned and grinned at me too - he also understood every word!

I have never exited a train so fast in my life!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Interesting, I always keep my hands totally visible when on busy trains.. I would never want to deal with that kind of misunderstanding, however if feel this article is ignoring a little the real victims of this kind behaviour which absolutely does occur. I think while ultimately, of course, the men who do touch women in a unwanted way should be reprimanded and are responsible for their own behaviour, I also think think the train line companies shouldn't allow trains to be as overcrowded as they do, both for safety, comfort and allowing passengers to retain at least some personal space.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When I'm in a packed train I have both my hands above my head grasping the hand-strap. Keeps my hands from unintentionally exploring people's butt-cracks and elbows from accidentally grazing breasts.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's strange that if a guy pinches a girl's butt then he's a chikan, but if his sausage is crammed between her buns in a packed train it's OK.

Two hands on the strap with your head on your arms pretending to be asleep is the best thing to do.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It is easy to solve this problem: They should remove this law that enable man to be arrested without any proof. Just put many hidden cameras on the top of the train. Each camera can use a 32GB storage with compression recording just one day of video. Then arrest just the people that is really guilt.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Instead of making sweeping generalizations about both genders, let's call this what it is: A small percentage of both sexes making problems for everyone: The men who grope in the first place and the women who take advantage of this and falsely accuse. This is not an issue of women becoming too 'empowered', because let's face it, of all 1st world nations, Japanese women are some of the LEAST empowered. These women who falsely accuse are not high on feminism, because they are working against feminist. Every time a woman falsely accuses, it makes it more and more likely that the women who were really groped will be seen by society as liars if they press charges. It's difficult for a woman to choose between making a scene and possibly being grouped with scam artists, or just being silent and taking it. Whether it's putting innocent men in jail or making real victims afraid to speak up, these women who falsely accuse are in it for no one but themselves. I think the heart of this argument is not men vs. women, it's how to fix a broken justice system.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

MarkGMay. 19, 2013 - 07:49AM JST

As a man if I see a perv sneaking a pinch I feel it is my responsibility to end it there. All to often people just mind their own business.

As a foreigner in Japan, ithat's the surest way for you to spend 7 days in police cell and the perv to get Y200,000 of your money in compensation.

Mind your own business and leave it to the locals, that's what they want you to do, so do it.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Very scary. They need to make a 'Men Only' car so we can avoid being falsely accused! LOL!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I was in an unfortunate situation eye-witnessing a female accused another person who rushed out the door as a groper. I was at a position where I could see everything at a distant and had to testify against her accusation. I was held at the station till the police arrived in which I told the personnel at the station that I should be isolated in another room to ensure there is no collaboration with the defendant. I probably not forget the glare in that female eyes had as she looked at me was if a cornered lion growling at a hunter to keep distance.

At the end I was detained for three hours. I don't think the female had pressed charges with an eyewitness testifying against her.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I saw a guy playing it safe once. The train was pretty empty but my wife and I saw this guy who was a little strange and would not take any of the empty seats. One hand on the strap and the other holding his phone at a rather odd angle and then I saw he got the angle wrong and I saw he was looking at porn vids on his phone. He had a good alibi "I couldn't have done it I was too busy watching porn (and groping myself maybe)" could have been an answer. I was happy to see him leave the carriage (nearly a slip up, I almost wrote I was glad to see him get off)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As an American living in Japan, I was warned about this, specifically that nobody would believe the gaijin. Let's stet the record straight, this rarely (almost never) happens elsewhere in the world (at least not in America). Nobody I know back home has ever had this happen to her, been accused of this, nor have I ever witnessed a situation like this. This is a cultural phenomenon that is unique to Japan (just like manga, anime and the obsession with AKB48's). The next time this happens on a crowded train, don't point the finger at the gaijin.

The idea of extortion over this is absurd, the reaction is creating a problem nearly as bad as the groping. The woman should give the groper as swift punch in the groin, cause a scene to embarrass the guy, any real men nearby should step up and protect her from any retaliation, and everybody goes about their business.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

scoobydooMay. 19, 2013 - 09:39AM JST

I mean I got a letter posted to me with my name and city on it only and it turned up safe.

Now that was funny.

So running is the best but where would you run in that case?

North Korea!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ kabukilover - male-only cars may work to an extent, but then you'd have the problem of homosexual gropers - which are also a problem in Tokyo.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A tough dilemma. If you really play the "Innocent until Proven Guilty" shtick with groping, unless the groper is utterly stupid and/or blatant to the extent it reminds you of a H-game, no groper will ever go to prison. He is not going to grope you where you can easily whip out a keitai camera and photograph him (even if your mental state allows it), and if he just brushes you even if you can somehow photograph him, he can deny the intent to grope all day long.

So that means if you want any gropers to go into prison at all, you must lower your standards (Japan or not), which leads to the problem expressed here.

Personally, I hold the Innocent until Proven Guilty shtick much more dearer than the rights of Women to not get groped.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Mr.Takashi Nozawa he didn't say on this article a really important thing he could add here. I don't know what kind of lawyer he is for not point this big important thing I will say it He doesn't supposed to say that " First off would be to run away from the scene " You can do it but will be a big trouble like I will explain here I search in internet also when I was in Japan I saw cameras inside and outside of the stations also cameras inside in the trains.

I will give you two choices and I hope you will wize

1-Attorney Takashi Nozawa says in one of his points If caught in such a situation, what I should do? " First off would be to run away from the scene " Let guess John was in the train and this woman we will call her Mary accused a John to touch her in the butt! John runaway of the crime scene. Mary is upset and piss off so she call the cops Mary accused to John to touch her inside in the train. The cops and the security personnel of the station will search the time, number of the train and location they will look the cameras inside of the station also they will look the cameras inside the train so Mary is there to see the TV screens to recognize John. So now John is a fugitive of a crime and also he will charge for run of the crime scene in less word he is a criminal fugitive. So when the cops found him he will arrested in his work or home. Now John is plead his innocence in open court and the judge see the cameras and obviously John NEVER touch Mary's butt inside the train, But this not the end the judge will charge John to other crimes like failure to maintain in the crime scene and fleeing/attempt to elude a police officer for felony offense.

2- Let guess John was in the train and this woman we will call her Mary accused a John to touch her in the butt! so she call the police and John is going to jail from 10 to 23 days. Mary is lying but she will continue and in the worse case she have fake witness, when John will call to be a open court now John is plead his innocence in open court and the judge see the cameras and obviously John NEVER touch Mary's butt inside the train. Now Mary lie about John touch her in the train but that perjury is a crime in many jurisdictions. A person can commit perjury by lying under oath either verbally or in writing. Although the possible punishment for this crime can vary, under the laws of many countries, it is considered serious and therefore carries a possible prison sentence and pay all damages to John.

My conclusion in this case could be choose the second option I know is unfair but still better than the first option like Attorney Takashi Nozawa says in one of his points If caught in such a situation, what I should do? " First off would be to run away from the scene "

Here is a few links of many I found in Google about cameras inside of the trains of Japan so if you have more time than me please check yourself also call your local train company in your prefecture if you have any further questions.



http://www.theaustralian.com.au/ne ws/breaking-news/japan-train-trials-anti-groping-cameras/story-fn3dxity226014379299-1

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As a man if I see a perv sneaking a pinch I feel it is my responsibility to end it there. All to often people just mind their own business.

This is how it will probably be ended-

Victim and you accuse the groper.

Stationmaster will come and contain the accused.

Police will come, probably 10-20 officers.

They will ask for your ID and/or passport and call the police station to maintain they you are here legally as a foreigner.

You will go through 30 minutes to 2 hour walk-through on an empty train car how the situation went down. The officers will probably do role play to see how the situation really went down and what angle you saw the event.

Police will comment on how well you speak Japanese or about the country you came from.

You will be asked to come down to the station to fill out a bunch of papers written in Japanese and the officers will draw a train sketch for you so you can further explain what happened. Either there was zero communication between the investigating officers and the station officers or they are trying to figure out if you are lying.

After that, unsure of how many days after, you will have 1-5 days in court.

You will never meet any of the people, including the girl you saved, ever again though she may send you a gift which is a box of Japanese crackers, cooking oil or cans of beer/coffee.

Unfortunately saving a person and walking away is not an option. If you got tons of time, go ahead and stop the groper.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Maria: Let's not forget that those that are guilty vastly outnumber those who are falsely accused.

Who is forgetting that? This conversation is simply about men who have been wrongly accused. It's a fair conversation to have, especially since the vast majority of men don't grope women. You seem to be offended that the conversation is even taking place. No one here is trying to downplay groping, so relax.

Oh, you poor dears. You have to hold your hands high, what a strain.

It's fair for men to express their point of view without having to be mocked for it. We literally get on a train and the first thing we do is place our hands as high as possible. False accusations are obviously meaningless to you but they are not to us. We are the good guys and if putting our hands up reduces the chances of being accused then that's what we're going to do. Talking about it shouldn't be so offensive to you.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Rather than wasting the court’s time by futilely trying this case of supposed willful criminal indecency, it would be easier to dispose of it by simply dismissing the case.”

It would be a terrible thing to waste the courts time except that it is the taxpayer, ie the accused and accuser who pay for the courts time in the first place.

This article is probably why so many salary men clasp their little bag so vehemently when traveling the subway. There must be some women who make claims to get an out of court settlement also, like the atariya (people who get hit by cars etc on purpose to get money).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Of course if your a westerner and stick out like dogs b???s, how hard would it be to find you if your not living in Tokyo but a smaller city. I mean I got a letter posted to me with my name and city on it only and it turned up safe. So running is the best but where would you run in that case?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not just on the trains but also in elevators. Saw a man who dangled his right arms as if to touch the backside of a woman in front of me in Takashimaya. Lucky the woman was in a hurry to ever noticed it and thus barely touched as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Counter accuse the woman of groping you and sound indignant. [Grin]

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am for Men Only cars as well, though I have never had this problem in all my years of commuting.

To protect myself, I never sit next to women and avoid standing close to them. Also, I will do almost anything to avoid packed cars. Being a foreigner has its advantages I think. Predatory women assume you are a tourist and they cannot get any money off of you. But you never know.

This is a terror every man in Japan lives with. The false victim and the false system of justice.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

only way for a man to be safe is to handcuff his hands to the straps or have a mini cam recording himself every time he rides the train. Maybe the should also consider having a special car for gropers and women who like to be groped!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A couple things you can do to protect yourself.

Stay away from groups of women- if your boardering them chances are if an accusation is made the Wa effect will have another woman come to the defense of her friend.

Actively discourage people from standing around you with your body. Sounds sinister but with your elbows and stance you can present a passive stance or an agressive stance. Make your body wider and command more space.

Keep your hands visible. Read a book, look at a magazine, or use your DS/Vita in a high eye level. Might be uncomfortable, but at eye level people can see what you are doing.

When you want someone to move away from you, square up to them and look them in the eye. Eye contact is uncomfortable between strangers and they may get the message that they have invade your personal space.

Finally and most important, be fluid. If a situation doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Don't allow yourself to fall into a situation where it he said she said situation, move. Express your discomfort verbally or physically( read nonverbally) and make your way to a different section of the general area. If you people ask why are you moving express your discomfort of being next to _____. Now you have unwittingly pointed a finger at yourself and the person but you have said you don't feel comfortable first, it's now on them show your move was unwarranted.

Please use this to keep yourself safe, it works for both men and women.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm for innocent until proven guilty, in all circumstances. But in a situation like this, it's very hard to prove guilt. Most people deliberately avoid looking at what others are doing on the metro, so it's unlikely there will be witnesses. Plus it's hard to see anything when it's packed. It's sort of understandable that society is going to want to come down on the victim's side.

Of course, it is also true that people shouldn't be locked up because they've been unable to prove their innocence. I'm just pointing out that the price of innocent people walking free is that guilty people can get away with it too. There was a time when people complained that gropers got off too frequently because it was enough for them to deny it and there was usually no independent witness.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Joshua What you are forgetting is how tight the train is. Even if they have cameras, they won't necessarily get any good identification due to the angles or resolution (I've seen CCTV images, and to be blunt they are still pretty crap - I'm sure there are some [expensive] units out there with decent resolution, but ours is not one of them). Or the opposite, they manage to get a reasonably good look at your face, but your hands position is not clear due to LOS. In these cases we are back to girl vs you. The police know all this so if you ran off they might not go to the effort at all. In fact, even the girl herself may decide to keep the embarassment (as she sees it) to her self and end the engagement there if you esape.

And no way in hell will they actually charge the girl for perjury in your 2nd scenario. Yes they should, but they won't in the feminist world today. There is no way they can actually prove the girl didn't at least perceive she was being touched to beyond reasonable doubt, and without that they can't convict on perjury. Add to how doing this may just deter girls who were really touched from coming forward, and current thinking will be to say this is not worth it.

Finally, you are forgetting that the scenario is against a 99% chance of conviction. Even if they will get you in 95% of the times you escape, 5% chance is still much better than 1%.

@Crazedinjapan Lie detector tests simply are not reliable enough to determine guilt or innocence. They basically measure the amount of biometric change as you talk. A good gent can lie and not be detected, or someone that is nervous can trip the device even when he stammers the truth.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Any cases of a woman groping a man?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Joshua - nice ideas but have you ever actually lived in Japan? Because if you have for any length of time you would know that perjury - ok lets be honest here - outside BS - is an everyday occurance in Japan. I even had a guy lie blatently to the police once and tell them I had attacked him with my stroller and possibly broken his foot and he needs an ambulance! My BABY was in the stroller at the time, my toddler hanging on to the side of it, and his black patent leather shoes had not a mark on them. He wasnt even limping!

And in case you are wondering - yes, based on that statement they arrested ME along with my children and took us all to the police station! The only reason I was set free was because the CCTV camera in the supermarket proved he had actually kicked my pram in a fit of rage (with my baby inside it) when I had politely asked him not to queue jump!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Scary thought. J criminal justice system is a meat grinder.


I wonder if that is the best option for an "identifiable" gaijin (i.e., other than Korean/ Chinese gaijin), as there are cameras everywhere, and with your face on video it wouldn't be that hard to hunt you down, except maybe Tokyo...

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Not unique to Japan, India has a much bigger problem with gropers and rape, as do many other countries. Just normally don't make the news unless in extreme cases.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Open Minded - Any cases of a woman groping a man?

Yeah, there sure are! I have been in a few incidents, but they usually end with a "thank you" and a "What's your phone number?" :D

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You can always try the old "I was drunk and don't recall anything", if all the above fails. It's a favourite of the japanese salaryman/policeman/school teacher -- however is not always effective in court!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Other thoughts. Take a train with a group of friends or cohorts if possible. Also, try to travel sober. This is hard after company parties and such. In that case, do your very best to sober up before boarding or take a taxi home if it is not too far. Also, a bus could be an alternative.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Modern feminism gone mad. These women portray themselves as victims but are in fact aggressors who care nothing of destroying a man and his life. Modern society and feminism has created this mess in which nutters know they can get away with and profit from the way men are portrayed as monsters.

I would suggest seperate carriages for those aged 16-60 to protect men from the witches.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@BurakuminDes. Yeah, I hear you. Still, stuff between guys is less volatile then between men and women. There are Women Only cars and if women are groping women it has not yet hit the news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When entering a crowded train I always make a point of keeping my hands firmly on my head so that all can see them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No lord, just no. The men are the real victims here because if victimized they can't even fight back. At least the women will get a settlement.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The entire criminal justice system is based on forcing innocent people to admit guilt to keep their jobs, marriages and families. Japanese men know if they don't admit guilt quickly and pay up, they face 23 days of unrecorded interrogations that permit "mild torture". If they don't crack, they will end up in a kangaroo court, where they will face a judge who has never once in his entire career put the word "not" in front of the word "guilty". But I don't see anyone here putting pressure on this obviously dirty system. No major party has ever mentioned change.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I though the police took samples from the accused person's hands to check for a match in the fibers on the accuser's clothes.

I was once standing in the line waiting for the train late in the evening at Shinjuku, a drunk middle aged women started flicking up the skirt of the woman in front of her (the woman was wearing one of those frilly tutu type skirts). Had the woman noticed it would have been either myself or the salaryman next to me that the woman would have accused. I guess we would have both pointed at the drunk obasan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Because frankly speaking, I believe I am a guilty man or a victim every day in these cattle crowded trains. How can the human being go so deep to accept this kind promiscuity?

I HATE the Tokyo subway!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maria, I totally agree with you. In any way, I think policemen should make good use of cameras... lol @ those advices that can be given to real gropers...

0 ( +1 / -1 )


Your comment sounds a little strange. Destroying an innocent individuals life is not acceptable. The fact that the falsely accused will be convicted 99% of the time is a good indication of how messed up the Japanese judicial system is. Also, if a man is falsely accused the woman who fabricated such a scheme should be charged and thrown in the slammer for a bit. And should be sued. If let go by his company despite be innocent the company should also be sued. If a man is without question guilty then of course he should be dealt with accordingly.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

annnsow: have you ever been in a Tokyo train at peak hour? Just wondering where you would put you camera! On the car floor maybe?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Look at birds on electric air-wires. Some species will have a 20cm comfort distance, others more. From studies I had read (no time to waste, but you can Google it) the human being need something like 50cm+. For whatever reasons, the Tokyoite species can live with 0.0cm. Just a nightmare for me!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

notetoself: Fleeing would be a disastrous choice.

That what I'd say before reading this article. But running makes sense. By staying you're guaranteeing that you're going to be openly accused and that will be the end of your life. At least if you run you have a chance, and the worst that can happen is that they accuse you of running. Seems like a smart tradeoff.

And is it a crime to run? It might make you look guilty but it doesn't mean you are guilty. I think the lawyer is trying to say is that if you're an innocent man you have to do whatever it takes to not get entered into the system. It's self defense at that point, and staying seems silly. If you had a group of Japanese accusing you of stealing something when you did not, I'd leave the situation and not wait for the police to decide who to believe. At least you have a chance.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

isoducky: I just want to go from A to B with this %$^$%%^^^ crowded train. Girls, men, 90th are touching me all along the 40 minutes trip. A 100% discomfort time. And I don't know why I should make extra effort to show that I am not interested in groping.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maria Sense of proportion anyone?

How about men who groped women go to jail while those who didn’t don’t? Sense of proportion anyone?

How is, “You do the crime you do the time, you don’t do the crime you don’t do the time,” faulty of normal human (universal) logic?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Peter: I would be very interested in knowing your tricks to avoid crowded trains.

For me a crowded train is a euphemism anyway!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

interesting article. from tomorrow i will stink like a skunk on train. eat tons of garlic and put a bottle of my aftershave on or better i wear stinky clothes so nobody will stand close to me.

WTF is wrong with japanese law maker. i thought countries like philippines and thailand are bad with their no common sense but japan tops this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki Yes you are right they won't necessarily get any good identification due to the angles, resolution and blunt but still if the camera can take a good shoot position the defender if he have both hands in the subway grab like is common when you in any train with full people he still be not guilty for groping. But still is little possibility if the women wanna place charge for groping she can still do it I'm right? and like you say if the cameras only manage to get a reasonably good look at your face you are still violate flee the scene of crime might apply Article 176 Penal Code of Japan. So it's a risk if you wanna flee that up to you! and I wish you luck!.

Actually you are wrong if the defendant is found him not guilty to groping or sex assault and for the cause of damages based on negligence causes of the women the defendant was be fired of his work, psychological damage,and his image was damaged the defant can appeal for the women who place the charges lie under oath, you are committing perjury, which, in itself is a punishable offense and damages like says Article 169 and Article 172 Penal Code of Japan also might be you can apply defamation with Article 230 (1) Penal Code of Japan if she have witness committing perjury Article 60 Penal Code of Japan.

Doesn't matter if she is woman or man laws is laws the Judge can't denied this because he will be favor of the defendant.

I rest my case.

@Reckless Thanks for your comment.

@ChibaChick You supposed fill a report in the police station for this person committing perjury and you should go to the Attorney to sue him for committing perjury Article 169 Penal Code of Japan for he says a lie you broken his feet and if he have witness committing perjury with Article 60 Penal Code of Japan.

The laws is out there but if the people is quiet and down their head that why people abuse. About your question yes I use to live in Japan for short time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ah women, always causing us men trouble..

0 ( +2 / -2 )

interesting aspect..about six months ago I got off the subway in nagoya and bumped into a guy,as I was leaving the station 4 subway staff grabbed me and I mean grabbed me saying the guy had complained I hit him.No witnesses nothing.Was wearing asuit too coming home from weddings.Cops came wouldnt believe a word I said because it was me against an honourable native.Spent the next 6 hours in the cop shop where they insulted my japanese level insulted me and my country(fortunately I can curse fluently in irish so they had no idea what i was calling them) dumped all my stuff out of a bag and went through it with a fine tooth comb..even shook out my priest gown just in case i had drugs hidden in it...as you do..anyway they tried to get me to sign a statement and the like and in the end let me go at 4 am in the morning.So if you decide to run make sure you don't get caught because if the catch you you are in for more fun than I had.I didnt know I was being accused of something thats why I didnt run in the first place..Id said just make sure you are never in a position to be accused...but then again that didnt work for me...fascist scum both the subway staff and the cops

0 ( +3 / -3 )

My subway line is packed like sardines in the morning, but every other train at my station pulls up empty -- it's worth the wait to get a seat and keep my hands in plain view on top of my bag. If that's not possible, I always clutch my bag at chest level and grab a strap with my hand through the hole of the ring. In that case, the wallet goes in the bag so that it can't be pinched or my IC cards can't be cloned by surreptitious card readers (which happens more often than you think).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No, it's not fear. Although TPTB do like to peddle it copiously. Preventive measures are just common sense in today's economy. I've seen a live demo of the card cloners in person, and it was a huge wakeup call.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ChibaChick You supposed fill a report in the police station for this person committing perjury and you should go to the Attorney to sue him for committing perjury Article 169 Penal Code of Japan for he says a lie you broken his feet and if he have witness committing perjury with Article 60 Penal Code of Japan.

Good luck with that being a foreigner. Ask anyone who has ever stepped in to protect a woman being beaten up and had the woman testify that you started it and attacked her assailant when the police turn up.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

To hell with it! Run! Run Forest Run!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For the people that advise running, it will always seen by the police as an admission of guilt globally.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Getting falsly accused for chikan was one of my main fears when riding trains in Japan. I usually keep both hands raised high while holding onto the rails or hangings rings in the trains. However, on one train ride, I got tired of holding the rings and stuck myt hands through each of them until my station came up. Low and behold, I couldn't remove my hands from the rings. Although my hands loosly fit into the rings, as I tried to pull them out, they just swung with my movements and were more difficult to extract them when the rings were at a diagonal plane. I ened up asking for help. It was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me on my many trips to Japan,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Rock paper scissors... A girl can say anything and beat all three! Carry a smart phone, record her!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If I live in Japan....maybe I should buy a car instead of taking a train.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Freaking tragic to read this

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Eythan AldrichMay 25, 2013 01:43 am JST

If I live in Japan....maybe I should buy a car instead of taking a train.....

To avoid public transport makes some sense. It depends however if you have a possibility for parking next to your home and near your working place. Parking fees for cars in the large cities and highway toll fees are really very expensive.

I used my motorcycle for more than 30 years while living in Tokyo to and from office. I had a reserved parking for my motorcycle in front of the office and also had a free parking space at home.

The only problem was during a few days of snow. Not bad, I had my motorcycle-gaijin-seat only for me and nobody had any chance to accuse me of groping women.

We have also a car for our family, we use rarely trains and when only for long distance with reserved seats.

However car is convenient too for holidays and cheaper than trains if used by 3 or 4 persons.

About short distances sometimes we take a taxi, rarely a public bus service.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is this really happening in Japan in the year 2013 or is this the year 1213. Are regular day to day people this confused? Or are they being intimidated, where is common sense, WHAT???, 7 to 10 days in JAILl before a hearing ?? or am I reading this article the wrong way? I do not live in a city with the population pressures like NY or HongKong, Tokyo Rio etc. But you want to know my opinion? This crapola in Japan is nothing but extortion, a set-up and organized crime! please help me here I cannot believe this situation at all!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Anybody else get the suspicion that this article was a sneaky way of letting molesters know how to get away with it?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )


Indeed, scary. There is a movie, dedicated to this issue in Japan, called - それでもボクはやってない (Even so, I didn't do it). It was created by a Japanese director, to address this issue. In fact, it was based on a real story.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If it's really crowded on the train, I try to keep both hands holding the metal bars along the luggage rack, the vertical bars, or the rings hanging from the ceiling. However if you live here for years, inadvertent contact is practically a given. I had one friend falsely accused on a train, but luckily it ended there.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan has a huge problem with imprisoning people wrongly. I will avoid crowded trains and/or keep tweeting or making FB posts, since that might provide an "alibi" if accused. (How could you be typing a tweet one handed while concentrating on something improper, etc.)

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Kazu apparently you aren't up to date on the lie detector testing. It is fool proof unless you are some social path who's been trained to beat blood pressure and infra red signatures. Anyone can learn to control their heart rate , no one can control chemical fluctuations released by brain patterns.

You also made yourself a hypercritical person by making that statement . What you are saying is some person on the train who states she was accosted doesn't need to prove age was and only had to say she was. The accused who may be innocent can state he was wrongly accused and should be refuted . Show the fingerprints on your &ss or take the test.

My suggestion is be a little more righteous and have both commit to eliminatory questioning then pay the price. Maybe if women were targeted for monetary gains with a penalty for destroying someone's life just to make a buck for themselves or some yak hood they'd think twice.

Just in case people are doubting this ...think about the innocent married men or single aspiring men that have their lives destroyed because of this archaic 99% conviction rate

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Jeff, dn't live in fear because of these feminist extremists md that goes for the other men. these incidents though vile are still isolated cases. The elite, the media and governments get a kick out of telling us how dangerous our lives are but they are have never been safer.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Maybe blokes should shout out "CHIKAN......., please"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Insist on a lie detector test. They can use them, they do have them. Get her to commit to taking it as well. Everyone knows there are gropers out there but I'm sure there are just as many money hungry girls willing to settle on a quick falsely earned dollar.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I have not been on many trains in my 2 years here but several times I have had women grind up to me. Not that I pay to much attention, I'm engrossed in my online world on the smartphone.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There is only one remedy for this situation. Men must accuse any women touching them on the train. They should shout in a loud voice accusing the woman of touching them. Take them to court and demand that they pay compensation for the getting them embarrassed in public.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Tom Webb: I am going to buy a scooter and an umbrella! Much safer!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Wow, I thought some girls liked it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Open Minded, crowded trains differ at each station but the timings can be learned. At my station, if I am later than 7:40 at the station I just call in sick at work. No point in getting on such a train.

But that never happens as I usually make the 5:59 or at the latest 6:07. There is literally a difference between 2 consecutive trains at any given station in the morning where one is so quiet and the next is packed. Find out where yours becomes packed and called in sick if you fail to get on earlier. If your company does not allow flex-time then find a new company.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Modern feminism gone mad.

I always have my hands up in the air

There is a movie, dedicated to this issue in Japan

The men are the real victims here

Oh, you poor dears. You have to hold your hands high, what a strain.

Yees, Japanese women should be told that it's all about the men really but they're all too busy watching the film based on the true story of women being abused on the sub-

Oh wait, there isn't one.

Women are blamed for being too passive / aggressive; blamed for being molested and being too scared to react the way you think they should; blamed for wearing inappropriate clothes; accused of encouraging groping; and blamed as an entire sex for this small group of scam-artists.

Sense of proportion anyone?

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

So, there is no 'eyes in sky' (video cameras that record all movements in Japan. In USA. department stores, super markets, dime stores, gas stations, you name any stores, small or large, there are video cameras, School buses, everywhere. They catch any small thieves and robbers, murderers, terrorists, murders in theaters, etc. In casinos, cameras are all over. So we call eyes in the sky, There are also image enhancer systems in police stations. That caught Boston terrorist, too. Even so, stupid criminals try to rob banks and use stolen credit cards. Also, these system rescues innocent people.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

As a man if I see a perv sneaking a pinch I feel it is my responsibility to end it there. All to often people just mind their own business.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Men only trains?? Great for all of our horny GAY friends?? I can just imagine putting gay dudes in an ALL MEN train!!

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

Great advice for someone who is actually guilty of molestation too - explain how he can get away with it.

Let's not forget that those that are guilty vastly outnumber those who are falsely accused.

-18 ( +5 / -23 )

So when these young ladies on purpose rub their butts up against my chorizo?? A I supposed to run away?? Thank god I'm not Japanese and that the J ladies like my Mexican chorizo!!

-19 ( +7 / -26 )

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