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Man arrested for using smartphone to film up woman’s skirt on station escalator

64 Comments

Police in Sapporo have arrested a 32-year-old unemployed man on suspicion of violating the anti-nuisance law after he used his smartphone camera to film up a 20-year-old woman’s skirt on an escalator at a subway station in Sapporo.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 8 p.m. Friday at Sapporo Station, Hokkaido Broadcasting Corp reported. The woman noticed the man doing something suspicious behind her and sought help from station staff.

Station staff detained the man until police arrived. Police said the man has admitted to the allegation and they are examining the contents of his smartphone to see if he has taken other upskirt video images.

© Japan Today

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64 Comments

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Police said the man has admitted to the allegation

At least he remembered!

-9 ( +21 / -30 )

Another day, another bizarre sex crime. These offenses seem to occur with such alarming frequency the Crime page ought to have its own Voyeur section.

Question to the audience: Have any academics/sociology majors ever looked at why this is, and perhaps if there are any social/cultural factors that contribute to such a comparatively high prevalence of up-skirting and general voyeurism over here?

-1 ( +17 / -18 )

Question to the audience: Have any academics/sociology majors ever looked at why this is, and perhaps if there are any social/cultural factors that contribute to such a comparatively high prevalence of up-skirting and general voyeurism over here?

It's a human thing, not specific to Japan, so I would be surprised if there weren't any such studies somewhere in the world.

14 ( +28 / -14 )

It's a human thing, not specific to Japan, so I would be surprised if there weren't any such studies somewhere in the world.

Not unique to Japan, but every other country I've lived or spent any significant amount of time in, such crimes are rare.

The sheer prevalence at which it occurs here irrefutably make it somewhat of a uniquely Japanese phenomenon.

The question is: why is that?

-10 ( +16 / -26 )

Given that the man is unemployed, perhaps he was selling them online. Some find a particular kink in the thrill of voyeurism.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

JayToday  07:33 am JST

Another day, another bizarre sex crime. These offenses seem to occur with such alarming frequency the Crime page ought to have its own Voyeur section.

Question to the audience: Have any academics/sociology majors ever looked at why this is, and perhaps if there are any social/cultural factors that contribute to such a comparatively high prevalence of up-skirting and general voyeurism over here?

These videos and images are often uploaded to porn sites, where they encourage others to follow suit.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Not unique to Japan, but every other country I've lived or spent any significant amount of time in, such crimes are rare.

The sheer prevalence at which it occurs here irrefutably make it somewhat of a uniquely Japanese phenomenon.

The question is: why is that?

Because you're on Japan Today, which posts articles on a steady stream when someone is arrested for it in Japan. It is technically not a crime in some US states, and people who get caught are often not prosecuted.

The UK criminalized upskirting in 2019 and they have started to make a lot of arrests, but it seems to only make news if it is particularly heinous or a politician.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Jay Today  07:33 am JST

Another day, another bizarre sex crime. These offenses seem to occur with such alarming frequency the Crime page ought to have its own Voyeur section.

What is your evidence that this sort of offense happens with "such alarming frequency"? Reading about one such incident every now and then on this news site hardly constitutes "alarming frequency."

I read Japan Today pretty regularly, and I don't see that these offenses are bfing reported with "alarming frequency" or even every day. So, your "analysis" is flawed.

Question to the audience: Have any academics/sociology majors ever looked at why this is, and perhaps if there are any social/cultural factors that contribute to such a comparatively high prevalence of up-skirting and general voyeurism over here?

It happens everywhere, but it's actually reported here in the media in a way that in other places it typically isn't.

Seems you're letting media attention guide your "analysis" here. Very flawed.

16 ( +23 / -7 )

Not unique to Japan, but every other country I've lived or spent any significant amount of time in, such crimes are rare.

Are they? What are the numbers? I think you probably are just speaking to your subconscious confirmation bias, without realizing it.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

The sheer prevalence at which it occurs here irrefutably make it somewhat of a uniquely Japanese phenomenon.

I refute.

And seeing as I put as much evidence into my refutation as you did into your assertion, we've clearly canceled each other out.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

they are examining the contents of his smartphone

spank bank?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

StrangerlandToday  07:34 am JST

Question to the audience: Have any academics/sociology majors ever looked at why this is, and perhaps if there are any social/cultural factors that contribute to such a comparatively high prevalence of up-skirting and general voyeurism over here?

It's a human thing, not specific to Japan, so I would be surprised if there weren't any such studies somewhere in the world.

I have looked into sexual crimes in Japan because most of the women I know have been victims.

There are some papers and investigative journalism in English and Japanese. There are several books in Japanese that you might be able to hunt down.

I'm sad to say it is a bigger problem in Japan and in South Korea than anywhere else I have heard of. An incident like the one in this news story, from my understanding, happens hundreds of times a day but it is not reported or even noticed by most people. I have seen it myself on several occasions. They are very good at hiding what they are doing.

That's not to say it doesn't happen elsewhere, just not on the same scale as in Japan. It's the same with sexual assault on public transport (often called 'chikan').

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

I'm sad to say it is a bigger problem in Japan and in South Korea than anywhere else I have heard of.

How much bigger? What are the numbers?

1 ( +8 / -7 )

In Japan, police made more than 5,000 arrests for clandestine photography in 2023, a record number and about three times the cases in 2010. Plus the cases that are not reported or when unnoticed, I add.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

AJToday  09:11 am JST

Not unique to Japan, but every other country I've lived or spent any significant amount of time in, such crimes are rare.

The sheer prevalence at which it occurs here irrefutably make it somewhat of a uniquely Japanese phenomenon.

The question is: why is that?

Because you're on Japan Today, which posts articles on a steady stream when someone is arrested for it in Japan. It is technically not a crime in some US states, and people who get caught are often not prosecuted.

The UK criminalized upskirting in 2019 and they have started to make a lot of arrests, but it seems to only make news if it is particularly heinous or a politician.

That's simply false, it is a crime in the US and every developed nation. While the laws vary by state it's a crime in all states of the US. I've checked. At the federal level, the United States enacted the Video Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2004 to punish those who intentionally make an image of an individual’s private areas without consent, when the person knew the subject expected privacy.

You cannot accurately judge the rate of crime by the number of times you see it in the news in any nation and few crimes of the total committed are ever reported even to the police, let alone to the public via the media and it would be naive to suggest so.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

Plenty of evidence online for this interest in this issue is quite uniquely serious in Japan. It's a large-scale business as shown in a recent BBC documentary. The videos are sold in Japan and in China.

Search:

Catching the men who sell subway groping videos - BBC News

AJ . It is technically not a crime in some US states, and people who get caught are often not prosecuted.

It has been illegal in the US since 2004 but only since the middle of last year in Japan.

Search:

Japan to ban upskirting & capturing sexual acts without consent - Mothership.SG -

There has been a massive uptick in cases of upskirt photography in Japan possibly due to it becoming part of the video pron industry.

Search:

Japan records surge in upskirt photography

(newsonjapan.com)

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

> Old SausageToday  11:31 am JST

In Japan, police made more than 5,000 arrests for clandestine photography in 2023, a record number and about three times the cases in 2010. Plus the cases that are not reported or when unnoticed, I add.

Yes, plenty of news articles on this.

You are going to get a lot of resistance to talking about there being a high rate of sexual crime in Japan I'm afraid Old Sausage as some people have very deeply held beliefs about Japan being safe for women.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

Plenty of evidence online for this interest in this issue is quite uniquely serious in Japan. It's a large-scale business as shown in a recent BBC documentary. The videos are sold in Japan and in China.

Yes, plenty of news articles on this.

Or is that just confirmation bias? Without numbers we cannot know.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Mark, I agree with you but realistically what can an eager beaver foreigner do? If you violently intervene you are liable to be misunderstood, linguistically dominated and even arrested. In my opinion, if you see a pervert you can yell in a very loud voice something like "chikan yamete!" If you have other ideas that will avoid me being involved with the police here in any way shape or form, I am all eyes. BR.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

If you violently intervene you are liable to be misunderstood, linguistically dominated and even arrested.

Yes. Do NOT physically intervene.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

StrangerlandToday  11:52 am JST

Plenty of evidence online for this interest in this issue is quite uniquely serious in Japan. It's a large-scale business as shown in a recent BBC documentary. The videos are sold in Japan and in China.

Yes, plenty of news articles on this.

Or is that just confirmation bias? Without numbers we cannot know.

Numbers in Japan are highly unreliable for several reasons though as stated in several news articles last year numbers of upskirt photography recorded by the goby have tripped in just 3 years or so.

There are a number of ways to assess the rate of a particular crime other than through official statistics.

For example, in Japan, it is estimated by various groups that less than 5% of all sexual assaults are never recorded so you can't go off the stats.

You can use victim surveys, offender self-reports, observational studies, hospital records, insurance claims, social media analysis etc.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Yes. Do NOT physically intervene.

I've physically intervened, and was thanked by the female, her husband, and police.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

RedemptionToday  11:53 am JST

Mark, I agree with you but realistically what can an eager beaver foreigner do? If you violently intervene you are liable to be misunderstood, linguistically dominated and even arrested. In my opinion, if you see a pervert you can yell in a very loud voice something like "chikan yamete!" If you have other ideas that will avoid me being involved with the police here in any way shape or form, I am all eyes. BR.

If it's something you care about, like myself, you can try to make it more well-known online and with people you know especially if they are going to Japan. This type of crime and sexual assault on public transport is shockingly just a normal thing in Japan and something to put up with most people going to Japan do not realise the risk they face.

Japan's problem with subway groping | DW News (youtube.com)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbj_iu_8Lso&t=5s

This hurts some people ai know, but research by a number of groups shows that Japan has the highest rate of this type of crime in the world.

Here is a video by a well-known Japanese YouTuber who goes over some of that research:

Molestation on Trains is NO JOKE in Japan (youtube).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dajKNczCPRscom)

I love Japan by the way but this is something about Japan that MUST be cleaned up because there are a lot of women suffering out there and it could damage Japan's image even further if more is not done.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Numbers in Japan are highly unreliable for several reasons though as stated in several news articles last year

Oh, you have no numbers. So you just feel like it's a worse problem in Japan...

The scientific community applauds at your diligence.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

I've physically intervened, and was thanked by the female, her husband, and police.

You were lucky. The police here in Japan are less interested in figuring out who is in the right/wrong, and more interested in keeping the peace. Physically intervening in Japan is an easy way to spend a night in jail trying to explain yourself.

I've intervened many times - with my voice. I speak Japanese though. If you don't speak Japanese, even that can be a little risky.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Upskirts are for the immature.

At the same time, calling the taking of a photo a crime because purportedly numbers have gone through the roof is fallacious.

First, men will always be men. It will not stop. It has been ongoing since the existence of portable camera.

Second, Japanese are no gentlemen, in a society where there is so little exchanges between women and men, while a high level of closeness otherwise in many cases (reason it is so common perhaps as a phenomenon IMHO).

Third, there is no harm truth be told. Safe Japan. Calling it a crime while an offense is just for the media.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Still winter and this was in Sapporo, dude must have been really desperate. Surely must be rare for people to wear just panties under askirt at this time?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This type of crime and sexual assault on public transport is shockingly just a normal thing in Japan and something to put up with most people going to Japan do not realise the risk they face.

Just as a data point, I have commuted in Tokyo on the Hibiya line for about 15 years morning and night except during coronavirus, and I saw/heard 2 instances of chikan. In one case the woman appeared to grab the man's hand and he was an otonashii type so just stood there, and in the second the guy was a runner. In both cases the trains were so packed that I couldn't even scratch my ballz so there is nothing most people could do. Frankly overcrowding is the largest part of the problem providing opportunity and cover.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Jonathan PrinToday  12:37 pm JST

Upskirts are for the immature.

At the same time, calling the taking of a photo a crime because purportedly numbers have gone through the roof is fallacious.

First, men will always be men. It will not stop. It has been ongoing since the existence of portable camera.

Second, Japanese are no gentlemen, in a society where there is so little exchanges between women and men, while a high level of closeness otherwise in many cases (reason it is so common perhaps as a phenomenon IMHO).

Third, there is no harm truth be told. Safe Japan. Calling it a crime while an offense is just for the media.

It's easy to say when you are someone who cannot be a victim aye Jon.

It's precisely this attitude towards upskirt photography and sexual crimes in general that makes it so prevalent in Japan and why the laws are so weak against it.

Here's a brief explanation of why upskirt photography is a serious crime:

Invasion of Privacy: 

It's a gross violation of a person's privacy, taking photos of them without their knowledge or permission.

Sexual Exploitation: 

These photos are often used for sexual gratification or shared without consent, exploiting the victim's body and published for money.

Emotional Distress: 

Victims experience severe humiliation, fear, and potential long-term trauma.

Toxic Culture: 

It normalises objectification and contributes to a culture where sexual harassment is more likely to occur.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

There's simply no serious debate anywhere that Japan does not have a serious problem with sexual crimes of this nature and underreporting of crimes in general so continuing on this line is futile, Strangerland.

Underreporting of crimes of this nature happens in all countries.

There is no logical debate that takes place without some numbers and data to support the assertions being made. Otherwise there is no way to distinguish confirmation bias from an actual problem.

Let's focus on solutions instead of head-in-the-sand denial,

You have to show there is an actual problem, for one to be able to put their head in the sand to ignore it.

which contributes to the problem and is sadly a national pastime in Japan.

I will agree with you that Japan, as with every country, could do more to protect its women.

If you are personally not convinced then and are interested please do your own research

I'm not the one who made the assertion in a public forum that I'm unable to support. I'm just asking what evidence you came to in support of your conclusion, and it appears that you have clarified that it's mostly just feeling.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

StrangerlandToday  12:53 pm JST

There's simply no serious debate anywhere that Japan does not have a serious problem with sexual crimes of this nature and underreporting of crimes in general so continuing on this line is futile, Strangerland.

Underreporting of crimes of this nature happens in all countries.

There is no logical debate that takes place without some numbers and data to support the assertions being made. Otherwise there is no way to distinguish confirmation bias from an actual problem.

Let's focus on solutions instead of head-in-the-sand denial,

You have to show there is an actual problem, for one to be able to put their head in the sand to ignore it.

which contributes to the problem and is sadly a national pastime in Japan.

I will agree with you that Japan, as with every country, could do more to protect its women.

If you are personally not convinced then and are interested please do your own research

I'm not the one who made the assertion in a public forum that I'm unable to support. I'm just asking what evidence you came to in support of your conclusion, and it appears that you have clarified that it's mostly just feeling.

It seems the poster provided evidence. Did you see that?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Analysts do market research on unreported crime, send out surveys, etc. Apparently, Japan's pretty high in these rankings. Seems building crime wave across world given sustained HIGH Prices falling inflation adjusted wages.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

HopeSpringsEternal

Today 12:57 pm JST

Analysts do market research on unreported crime, send out surveys, etc. Apparently, Japan's pretty high in these rankings. Seems building crime wave across world given sustained HIGH Prices falling inflation adjusted wages

Yes maybe. But it would be easier to just post here your rankings

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Referring sources of unreported crime below, not a specific source to be quoted.

Analysts do market research on unreported crime, send out surveys, etc. Apparently, Japan's pretty high in these rankings. Seems building crime wave across world given sustained HIGH Prices falling inflation adjusted wages

Yes maybe. But it would be easier to just post here your rankings

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

If it's unreported, then how can you know about it? That would indicate it's been reported, right?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

HopeSpringsEternal

Today 01:04 pm JST

Referring sources of unreported crime below, not a specific source to be quoted.

> Analysts do market research on unreported crime, send out surveys, etc. Apparently, Japan's pretty high in these rankings. Seems building crime wave across world given sustained HIGH Prices falling inflation adjusted wages

> Yes maybe. But it would be easier to just post here your rankings

You mentioned rankings.

You mentioned analysts, market researches.

An example at least?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

One can search JT for figures on unreported crimes. Again, simply sharing SOURCES for figures, frequently quoted in relevant JT articles and media more broadly.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

One can search JT for figures on unreported crimes.

Wouldn't that make them reported?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Does anyone at least have a comparison of the numbers of unreported incidents in Japan vs. other countries?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

HopeSpringsEternal

One can search JT for figures on unreported crimes. Again, simply sharing SOURCES for figures, frequently quoted in relevant JT articles and media more broadly.

Most of the published articles on JT have a license life of less than one month and then are no longer available. Not a reliable source for unreported crime.

Any survey would have to include the annual figures issued by the NPA.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

HopeSpringsEternal

Today 01:20 pm JST

One can search JT for figures on unreported crimes. Again, simply sharing SOURCES for figures, frequently quoted in relevant JT articles and media more broadly.

Yes I'm asking you to simply share your sources.

Just one single individual quote of those sources frequently quoted in JT articles and other media

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The majority of sex crimes in the majority of countries go unreported because of the personal trauma involved by those who suffer it. A rape victim had to report her assault to male police officers. Day in court having the victim reveal every part of their life.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Read ANY solid article about unreported crimes and they'll quote their sources, hopefully reputable market research firms with good survey work!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Read ANY solid article about unreported crimes and they'll quote their sources

Are we just supposed to take your word for that?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Ok and how does that article say that unreported crime differs in comparison to unreported crimes in other countries?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

wallaceToday  01:29 pm JST

The majority of sex crimes in the majority of countries go unreported because of the personal trauma involved by those who suffer it. A rape victim had to report her assault to male police officers. Day in court having the victim reveal every part of their life.

'

Yes, but there are degrees of underreporting and Japan is comparatively severe.

There's plenty online about this you can't expect anyone on here to convince you of this if you are not really interested in finding out yourself.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Read ANY solid article about unreported crimes and they'll quote their sources

Are we just supposed to take your word for that?

It's not my word or job, rather it's work performed by those researching and analyzing unreported crimes. Must make your own determination as to veracity of the article and their market research sourcing judgment, quality of their survey work etc.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

HopeSpringsEternal

several comments on unreported crime but unable to post a single source.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

wallaceToday  01:46 pm JST

HopeSpringsEternal

several comments on unreported crime but unable to post a single source.

It's not their job. Mark posted several resources below.

Please do your research.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

you asked about the SOURCES of unreported crime and I answered, research firms conducting surveys, that are QUOTED in articles within media as the SOURCES.

So have at it, read relevant articles on unreported crimes and analyze their SOURCES = Usually private market research firms conducting surveys as I constructively informed you based on YOUR inquiry requesting such info. Refresh your memory below!

wallaceToday  12:50 pm JST

*A poster from NZ can comment on unreported crime in Japan. *What are the sources of unreported crime?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

you asked about the SOURCES of unreported crime and I answered, research firms conducting surveys, that are QUOTED in articles within media as the SOURCES.

I haven't seen a single stat posted in this thread, much less a link to support that stat.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

If you include sources in general JT question I can answer more specifically. I'll not be answering any of your questions moving forward, that for SURE!

I wouldn't say I've asked questions, as much as pointed out how certain assertions are not supported by any numbers to show whether or not they are based in fact, or just confirmation bias.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

StrangerlandToday  02:15 pm JST

you asked about the SOURCES of unreported crime and I answered, research firms conducting surveys, that are QUOTED in articles within media as the SOURCES.

I haven't seen a single stat posted in this thread, much less a link to support that stat.

You are not going to get a 'stat' that satisfies this demand for people to be convinced of the problem of underreporting of sexual crimes like this anywhere Strangerland. It;'s not something that is ever done for one thing, mainly because why would you?

However, if you look at some of the articles I've linked below and some from Mark you can develop a better understanding that way.

These articles have some statistics and govt reports.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

You are not going to get a 'stat' that satisfies this demand for people to be convinced of the problem of underreporting of sexual crimes like this anywhere Strangerland.

Huh? Every country has underreporting of sexual crimes. If there is a reporting on the degree of the unreporting in Japan, there must be reports on the degree of underreporting in other countries too.

People are claiming this is a Japan specific problem, without showing how their conclusion isn't just made from confirmation bias. I didn't make the claim, so I'm not going to spend time proving it or disproving it, if they are too lazy to even come up with the point they are claiming. I'm happy to just point out that their conclusions cannot be determined to not be confirmation bias, and may in fact not be based in actual numbers.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Ok, do those links say something that supports your point? What do they say the unreported numbers in Japan are compared to unreported numbers in other countries?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

StrangerlandToday  02:25 pm JST

Ok, do those links say something that supports your point? What do they say the unreported numbers in Japan are compared to unreported numbers in other countries?

Yes.

This Youtuber does state that and proves the evidence.

Molestation on Trains is NO JOKE in Japan - YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dajKNczCPRs

If it's the comparison with other countries that irks you, perhaps just accept that underreporting is a problem in Japan and just don't mention other countries, then we can move on to address the issue of such crime itself.

Cheers

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

All readers, back on topic please. Other countries' crime rates are not relevant to this story.

Harassing/molesting women in public spaces is a fetish in Japan, there are even adult shops that recreate a train compartment replete with "unsuspecting young female" so that one can play out one's chikan desires.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

All readers, back on topic please. Other countries' crime rates are not relevant to this story.

Thank you moderator I agree. Let's move on to talk about the issue of upskirt photography and why it is surging and how it might be stopped.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Analysts do market research on unreported crime, send out surveys, etc. Apparently, Japan's pretty high in these rankings. Seems building crime wave across world given sustained HIGH Prices falling inflation adjusted wages.

Read real statistics instead of nonsense whining..

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

 Let's move on to talk about the issue of upskirt photography and why it is surging and how it might be stopped.

Suggest to better understand, need to read research produced by these private market research firms survey work. They're busy helping Police Depts. in Japan and globally, better understand trends in unreported crimes, all categories, including crimes of perversion in this article.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I'd also add, police and their outside research firms, seek to MUCH better understand the perpetrators. What about them often convinces victims to not report?

Researchers thus spend time interviewing and surveying with these sex perverts to better equip society and police to better detect their crimes and the victims who fail to report such crimes. It's rather important and difficult work we should all better appreciate.

Profiling based on above, best prevention; single middle-aged man with no friends, no kids, rather homely in appearance, physically not strong and generally not trusted by others would be a simplified profile of a sex pervert.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I'd offer being more proactive, as an Ounce of prevention worth a Pound of cure the old saying goes!

JT helping with article building public awareness. Police, schools and others in media etc. need to educate better!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Too many alienated in society, not getting married, too few kids, technology advances, new digital porn markets, etc. there's clear casualty here to many larger social issues plaguing society.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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