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Keihin Tohoku Line to get women-only cars as anti-groping measure

32 Comments

JR East Japan plans to introduce women-only cars during rush hour on the JR Keihin Tohoko Line starting April 19. JR currently employs the cars on the Saikyo and Chuo lines as an anti-groping measure.

The cars will be available on particularly crowded sections of the line between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. On Omiya-bound trains, the cars will be placed on trains between Ofuna and Shinagawa, and on Ofuna-bound trains, they will be placed on trains between Omiya and Tokyo. Because the line has many stations with stairways at the ends, car no. 3 will be used as the women's only car.

In 2008, the Keihin Tohoku Line experienced crowding rates of up to 200% capacity during peak times, and there was a number of requests for the cars from women.

© News reports

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32 Comments
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April 19th - perfect. My mother's birthday - she was groped on when she visited me in Tokyo. She was 65 years old, and shocked. BTW, groping is a euphemism that shouldn't be used here - say "Sexually Molested," please.

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Wow, too bad about your mom being felt up while visiting Tokyo. I do not want to sound naive, but this could happen anywhere and I think Japan is finally learning that this kind of behavior in not good.

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Good move. All trains should have at least one car that is designated for women. This will serve both parties well.

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Not too fast... How about men who grope men, etc. etc...there are various possible combinations of genders that could be involved in groping. Groping is an objectionable act by one person against another. But I would have to agree- men groping women are more common.

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Good. My girlfriend rides that everyday.

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Clearly it's worked so far (sarcasm).

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I just wish they'd address the problem more directly. Instead of having women-only cars, how about educating people better? Sex education is sorely lacking in Japan. With better sex education, you wouldn't have women who are too ashamed to speak up to gropers and report them, and you wouldn't have men whose only sexual outlet is groping. Women-only cars isn't a solution; it's merely a band-aid.

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Black people in America fought segregation and demanded change! Women in Japan just demand segregation to avoid change. Sad! So if women don't use these cars do the police say "It's your fault." Hate trains. Drive to work everyday. Smelly, Hot, Slow and over crowded.

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Yes, it's a bandaid, but until men can control themselves, the onus is not necessarily on the women. Women "demand" segregation? Until these gropers can find it in themselves to act like human beings, JR is doing what it can to make women more comfortable. For myself, a good flesh-tearing scratch to the offending hand tends to work like a charm.

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Not too fast... How about men who grope men, etc. etc.

It happened to me more than once, but I didn't care. What's the difference of letting a man rub his leg on yours inside a pub? I don't want to sound immoral, but I think this is not sex, neither I was being robbed. It was just physical contact.

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Car 3? That's the car I ride. Bugger. Why not car number 4, the weak aircon car. That thing is too hot for men to ride in anyway.

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noborito, I'm with you regarding the trains...I love my own personal space in my car when I drive to Tokyo. Beats having some ojisan's pitts in my face, and the spread of disease by these people's inability to shield their mouths when sneezing or coughing in a packed train with the doors closed...Endeth of Sermon.

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Good for Japan. Every train line should start doing this.

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Hard to believe anyone would pooh-pooh this decision with idealism about turning women into hyper-reactive complainers (against feminine nature) and teaching men that groping is bad, as if 95 percent of them have not figured that out already.

This is not a band-aid. This is a practical solution to a problem that can never and will never be entirely solved due to the nature of both men and women. The men who do this are of course wrong, but its also wrong for women not to exercise prevention. Now women have a new and powerful and easy to use tool to do that. My only complaint is what took so long?

The big question is how many women will actually use it? Some women don't ride the car and complain about getting groped, which is like having your house robbed because you could not be bothered to lock your door. In a perfect world...well this isn't!

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So Im confused HeyLars - if you dont ride in the women-only car - and get groped - it`s their own fault??!

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HeyLars, Women shouldn't be made to ride in the car to prevent groping. For one, the car reeks of perfumes and cosmetics. It's not fair to ask women to ride in their to prevent being sexually assaulted.

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This will work except for the women who like to grope other women...

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This is of course to seperate the "groping cars" from the "non-groping cars"...

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I don't want to sound radical here, but victim blaming like Lars's is just a slippery slope to chadors.

This isn't about "nature." Somehow there are men who manage not to grope women. I wonder how on earth they do it, if this is just men's innate nature. No, Japanese men need to learn how to respect women, and women (and Japanese people in general) need to learn how to speak up when something is happening to them.

And honestly, the mindset of, "Well, she deserved it," is what is going to keep this from ever going away. Until men can stop justifying to themselves that women enjoy or deserve sexual assault and harassment, it's never going to stop.

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Can women sue JR if they could not get on to car no.3, once it is full, and get groped in another car?

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this segregation will just worsen the already bad situation of a country struggling with a fast decreasing population

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Okay, some of you have a major conceptual difficulty separating the responsibility to prevent crime against oneself and blaming the victim. If you leave your door open and get robbed, everybody still blames the robber. But they are also going to tell you to close and lock your door from now on. The concepts are not mutually exclusive people.

And when you make the perfect world where people do not seek to rob one another so locking doors becomes a thing of the past, give me a call. I would really like to live in that world.

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Monkeyz said: This isn't about "nature." Somehow there are men who manage not to grope women.

Its in their nature to want to. Getting them not to is a matter of training, and as everyone knows, training does not always work. It has a high enough failure rate that it is pure idiocy to not use a mulifaceted approach for when the training fails.

No, Japanese men need to learn how to respect women,

Most of them do, I would say 95 percent of Japanese do not do this. If you have clever idea to make the remaining 5 percent keep their hands to themselves, either speak up or admit you have no better idea than the women only cars.

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Have any foreign women here ever experienced a chikan?

I did once on the Minato-Mirai line, of all places. I had a guy ''accidentally'' fall asleep and grab my knee while I was sitting next to him. A startled jump and a good yelling WTF?! worked for me.

The weird thing was he just looked at me, pulled out a book and pretended to read. Most bizarre experience (O _ o)

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yep, 3-4 times I think.. Ugly feeling and nothing you can do when you're stuck in the middle with people just like a can full of sardines. I grabbed that stinky pervert's hand once and warned him about calling the cops, he broke lose and ran like a ho. These people are just cowards..they have nothing better to do. real women won't approach him. that's why I drive myself to work now. No more stinky piece of metal can on wheels. yuck!

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there was talk of installing chu-hai and cheap beer vending machines in the other cars, any progress on that ?

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'Its in their nature to want to.'--Then maybe they should test all men to see if they have this groping gene. Those that test positive can all ride together in the train car labeled 'gropers only' and they can grope each other!!

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Wow KyokoSmile, I don't think I have ever seen so many inconsistencies in so short of a space! Was it the same guy 3 or 4 times? Since you can't remember the exact count I have to wonder just how strongly you feel about it. And you say there is nothing you can do because the train is so full, but the guy ran when you grabbed his hand! Why do you think 'real' women approach men? Why even state such a thing?

About the only good thing I can say is that you took action, first by threatening to call the cops and even better, driving to work. This is exactly what I have been talking about. Now women have the option of the women-only car and you would think people would be thankful instead of take the opportunity to complain some more! But hey, now I know why it took so long for this to happen. Apparently helping women will get you no thanks!

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I wish they had segregated cars not only for women, but also a designated car for mothers/children and their strollers, elderly & retired folk into their own car and then a few for students-only. The student section can be broken down into elementary-middle-high school cars. I hate to ride with throngs of middle/high school kids.

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This is ok but if they really wanted to make a dent in this problem they would:

Put (more) undercover female cops on the trains. 75,000 Yen fine and one day in jail mandatory. Let them explain to their employer why they have to miss a day of work.

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I wonder... is it possible for women to like women? Of course it's possible. Now, I wonder if it is possible for women to grope women? Logic dictates that it is possible. I wonder if there will be any such incidents, though.

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Which car should the Okama ride in?....

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