crime

Drunken man arrested after man falls to death off train platform

101 Comments

A 77-year-old man was killed Monday night after he was inadvertently knocked from a platform at Keio Line's Shinjuku Station by a drunken man and hit by an incoming train, police said Tuesday.

The drunken man had stumbled on the platform and bumped into a line of people waiting for a train, creating a domino effect and causing the man at the front of the line to fall on to the track, the police said.

The victim in the incident, which occurred at around 8:35 p.m., has been identified as Masaya Sato from Tama City, the president of Seisa University based in Hokkaido and son of novelist Haruo Sato.

The police arrested Yukinori Fujii, a 42-year-old part-time worker from Hino City, who had been allegedly sitting on the platform waiting for a train before standing up and bumping into the commuters.

Fujii was initially arrested on suspicion of negligence resulting in Sato's injury, but after the death of Sato, who was also a Keio University professor emeritus, was confirmed, police changed the charge to negligence resulting in death.

A police official quoted Fujii as saying, ''I drank beer and chuhai (alcoholic beverage). When I stood up, I felt dizzy and lost balance.''

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101 Comments
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Horrible

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Avoid the front of queues... Always.

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When will this country realize that it has a serious alcohol problem. I see the morons all the times stumbling around. Guys in the 40's and 50's who should have more common sense.

Shame on Japan for this behavior. I haven't seen such irresponsible alcohol use since the twit frat boys at college. And most of of looked at them as juvenile idiots with too few brain cells.

This Yukinori Fujii should be responsible for that person's family and income for the rest of his pathetic life. He should live in a tiny 4.3mat room, give all but subsistence wages to the victim's family, abstain forever from alcohol and have is walls plastered with the photos of the man he killed. And to wrap things up, have the man's name tattoed on his hands so that he sees it every single day of the rest of his pathetic life.

Stop drinking so much you idiots. You endager others and you should be ashamed of yourselves for not knowing when to put the bloody glass down!

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Agreed. All of these kinds of incidents happen because of alcohol abuse. This is a 42 yo man, not a stupid silly teen. He has to serve the maximum time allowed. Do the police really need to consider whether to press charges?

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I wonder what he would be charged with, in a case like this. Is manslaughter applicable? Or reckless endangerment of life?

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That is awful...

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Well said tkoind2. I love to drink but I know when my limit is approaching. A lot of these oyajis don't. We've seen articles like this before. Perhaps the drinking laws here are too laxed...

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It's not just the oyajis. I see young and middle-aged women (OLs in particular). Last time was in Ochanomizu Station. While her colleagues just left her on her own, she tried sleeping on the seats as if they were a bed, then stumbled out of the train when she realized it terminated there, and then sat on the foot of the staircase. Pathetic. Of course, the colleagues thought this was all funny (as is usually the case). Another time, I saw someone fall onto the ground and there was a loud thud as he hit his head. His colleague laughed!

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It's an interesting problem. In Japan there's this curious attitude that anything someone does while drunk is "excusable", and it's forgotten, particularly at enkais (office drinking parties). I've seen people engaging in blatant sexual harassment, doing ridiculous things like stripping naked and older colleagues who should know better going all out to get younger colleagues so drunk that they can't stand. The next morning it's all forgotten and forgiven.

What makes it so interesting is that drinking parties are one of the few places the average Japanese person is allowed to drop their mask and be themselves, but only if they get obviously drunk, so in the highly regimented life of an office worker it's often their only outlet.

I don't approve, and I routinely drive to office parties so I can wave my keys and politely refuse to partake in the drinking (unfortuntately this means that I occassionally have to drive a drunk colleage home, but that's not so bad). What I am trying to get at is that the drinking problem in Japan is a product of tatemae (the necessity of maintaing a facade or "face") and so there isn't a simple solution since it's bound up in Japanese culture.

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aside from the alcohol problem, there is also a big issue with regards to japanese behaviour/manner. They dont seem to care nor concern with others that they dont know in their sorroundings. Take for example a man entering a train and just dashed inside bumping with other without even saying sorry (or atleast say "sumimasen" for him/her to pass through).

Its funny Japanese talk about office manner but they dont seem to carry it outside the office.

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What a sad way to die. With this happening all of the time in Japan, wouldn`t someone thing about doing something to prevent these kinds of things to happen. I guess not...

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I always stand far enough back so that if I'm pushed even on purpose I won't fall in. Most people don't take this precaution.

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Awful awful way to die... condolences to the family.

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Its true, Japanese people don't stop drinking until they are falling on the floor.

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why the posts hammering the drunk? could have just as well have been a heatstroke victim or an elderly person that lost their footing.

the most obvious question is when will we put enough pressure on the railroad companies to enter the 21st century? railway crossings with nothing but a bar and open platform stations should have ceased to operate a hundred years ago. there is no excuse for this kind of accident with todays level of technology and resource. and the president of Keio Railways should be indicted as an accessory to manslaughter and professional negligence.

these railways have tons of money to spend on safety improvements and modernization but they spend it wringing profits out of their antiquated and unsafe technology. where I live, the keihan railway completed a remodel of their mall and construction of a 50 story tower a couple of years ago. those jobs and investment should have been provided making their 'public service' safe for consumption rather than adding outlets for designer goods leaving the real estate investments for the real estate investors.

operating a business that provides goods and services essential to the public good carry with them a commensurate level of social responsibilty. same old conflict between human life and profits. once again, life lost

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Yet another reason why 6ft-high gates should be installed on platforms.

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Some great posts, especially tkoind2 and hakuinsensei. This "accident" happened at 8:30 at night -- which is still the end of the daily commute time here, which supports both your comments. First, there is a serious drinking problem here, as tkoind2 says, since many salarymen already reek of alchohol by that time very night. And, second, since passengers should be able to assume that their safety is foremost to the train lines, since a crowded platform in Shinjuku at that time is to be expected. Sensless and completely avoidable tragedy. Condolences to the family.

By the way, there is a bad redundancy in the story: "Police said the drunken man, identified as Yukinori Fujii, 42, a part-time worker in Hino, was intoxicated." Obviously, if was drunk he was intoxicated. Can't you do better JT?

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hakujinsensei & cadmium: I couldn't agree with you both more. Nobody in their right mind would stand two feet away from a speeding car on a highway, so why do railway companies have you standing that close to a train going even faster? My local station has no gates, protection, whatever, and the concrete platforms you stand on to get on the train are no more than four or five feet wide. Yet express trains regularly pass through there at high speeds. One false step and you end up like this poor guy.

It's a tragic accident that could have been prevented by a number of things, unfortunately. My condolences to the victim and his family.

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I always stand far enough back so that if I'm pushed even on purpose I won't fall in. Most people don't take this precaution.

I thought I was the only one...

I am amazed how the Japanese are so much against things like marijuana while at the same time find it perfectly acceptable for adults (men AND women) to get completely drunk in public. I wonder if its because of all the taxes that alcohol sales generates.

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Yet another reason why 6ft-high gates should be installed on platforms.

If all train operators would be profitable they could built these fences, but currently they have only money to install "blue lights" to deter suicidal people from disrupting traffic.

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Wow...this guy lived 77 years only to be knocked under a train by a drunk wanker staggering into people around him. RIP. I agree with the above posts. There really is a alcohol problem in this country. The end result of any drinking party here is a group of salarymen staggering home like pathetic teenagers after their first night on the drink.

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I have always had this fear ever since a crazy Japanese man walked up to me and screamed in my face while doing military salutes on a train in Kansai one time after he walked up and down the carriage practicing karate punches. Since then I have always stayed away from the edge of the platform in fear of some nutter deciding to push me in front of a train. Now I will add drunks to the list.

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Alcohol is a problem everywhere, and people get blind drunk around the world. The PROBLEM here is that even if a person literally cannot walk and drags themselves into a convenience store for yet MORE booze, the store will sell it to them. Bars never cut off the customers, and only recently in fact has the law changed to hold them liable if someone drinks and drives and has an accident. And this guy was blind drunk by 8:30 p.m.??

And yes, I do think there are far too many enkais/reunions in this country.

I also agree with hakujinsensei, although this was not a railroad crossing. The railroads do indeed need to install the six-foot high gates on the platforms.

Finally, as for charges, why WOULDN'T the guy get charged here? I realize it was an accident, and he shouldn't be charged with first degree murder or anything, but still... it was involuntary manslaughter. Being drunk doesn't forgive the fact that he got another human being killed. At the VERY least, don't they have some drunken disorderly charge in this country?

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sabiwabi: "I thought I was the only one..."

You're not. There are enough stories of drunks falling onto the platform, bumping or pushing others off, or some nut who snaps and pushes someone in front of a train because they were angry about some stupid thing.

Now, I may stand at the front of the line, but I'm always wary of who's behind me.

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Be careful of drunken people at stations. This is most of people say and I remember it is very old saying.

"Why Be careful of drunken people" because of Japanese weak law. There will be no punishment. I am surprise Police is saying they will file a case. I wonder if there will be punishment.

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I hope the drunk get the death penalty! Poor old dude, gets pushed and dies on the the Keio platform. RIP old dead dead.

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Standing at the very front of many people waiting to board an incoming train/subway is not wise, almost anywhere in the world. When I lived in NYC, I would stand back just in case something like this happened.

Police said the drunken man, identified as Yukinori Fujii, 42, a part-time worker in Hino, was intoxicated. He was quoted as saying that when he stood up, he felt dizzy and staggered into the queue.

Therefore, in typical Japanese fashion, the police will determine which alcohol Mr. Fujii was drinking, and investigate as to why he felt dizzy and staggered after drinking it. They will also look into negligence on the part of the alcohol (most especially if it is was foreign-made) and the reason for it to cause this incident.

Getting and being drunk (oh sorry, just like in the article we should say 'intoxicated' to make it sound nice) in Japan is so common, and it only takes a few who get out of control to make a horrible situation such as this one.

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it's interesting that someone who's intoxicated recklessness caused the death of an innocent bystander, is protected by the law, merely because of the type of drug that they chose.

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"Police said they will consider pressing charges against Fujii."

consider!? His foolish actions directly resulted in a man's death! This "you must have intent to be found culpable" is such bs. You should be tried for the end result not the intent! The poor man is still needlessly dead whether the idiotic drunk INTENDED to kill him or not.

Disgusting.

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Police said they will consider pressing charges against Fujii.

CONSIDER!? If you're drunk you can get away with anything here?

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Holy smoke! The dean of a university taken out by a drunk at Shinjuku station during the evening peak hour! That is a sad scenario indeed! Condolences to his family and the school. - I've been at Shinjuku station around 8:30-9:30pm on a weeknight too many times that I care to remember and I'm surprised this kind of incident doesn't happen more often. It's nothing but a complete 'sh!t fight.!' - Between 11pm and midnight is much worse with many more drunks to contend with and the ever-present collage of platform pizzas, lightly dusted with saw dust to dance through. I suppose this 'accident' is what happens when you 'have to be' the first one on the train. I won't go within two meters of the edge of any Tokyo platform in peak hour! Shinjuku station is only one of many 'nightmare' peak hours stations in Tokyo. Sad story for the Uni and his family, but it is only what I'd call, 'inevitable news'. The train schedules start to slow down at around 7:30pm causing the all the major platforms, Keiyo, Sobu, etc. to become a congested sea of people spewing out of every orifice within the 4k radius of the station. Somebody has gotta take a dive! You don't have to be a mathematical genius to create a formula of inevitability for this scenario. It's 'inevitable news'! Sadly! :(

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I always make sure I get on last. Best way to stay safe. You back in, put your hands above the door and push. Very simple and I find you create enough space for two people.

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This is a very sad story, and I feel for Masaya Sato's family, colleagues, and friends. Everyone has stated the problems with drinking and crowded platforms, etc., in Japan. I can't help but wonder, if this hadn't been a famous person, how big would the headline be? Or would we have even known about it? I have a sad feeling that it would have been a three-line story in the back of the paper somewhere.

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Let's all hope this drunk moron spends the rest of his life in prison. What a terrible way to go for the old man, he lived through war and hardship, made it to a grand old age - and then this. R.I.P.

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An alcohol detection system at the ticket barrier perhaps? Drinking and driving resulting in death is a very serious offence, so why not drinking and walking resulting in death? Oh yeah a person doesn't have an engine, or a brain apparently! RIP old fellow.

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Glad the story has been updated so that he is now charged.

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Make a strong barrier like they have for Namboku line, this will happen again and again even without the drunkards. The rush hour in the a.m. at the terminal shibuya station on the Toyoko line is crazy, people are walking inches from the edge and will take one guy off balance to knock you down to the platform. If they can't control the overcrowdeness, then they need to be responsible and build something to keep people safe.

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Tsukuba Line has 4ft high barrier gates,Yamanote line and a few others are using the barriers. Keio line sobu line rapid tozai line and etc. should invest in it !!!!

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You know, I just got finished saying on another thread that drunk people are a hazard to themselves and others and would you look at this.

Whether it is a highway or a train track, hey, guess what? Those are dangerous places for drunks to be hanging out. Lots of heavy metal moving very fast. Not good for one's health, you know.

The common factor? Alcohol. A 'safe' drug. Bah. Humbug. Legalize more drugs and you will get a lot more of this, people.

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Trains are so overcrowded !!!!! I don't blame the drunk because he didn't push him on purpose but drinking until you puke or hallucinate is not a good thing to do. Yes even Japanese women drink over the edge and sometimes sleep on the platform or ueno park. Once I saw a homeless man sneaking up on a drunkin female sleeping under the ueno exit. I called police and showed them that this homeless man was about to get his "grope on" but the policemen went back to their police booth and didn't give a sh!t very sad ! Police really sucks in japan !!!

In America they would had tried to wake her up and drive her home or to the police station in japan. Daijobu if she gets raped and/or fondled by a homeless man daijobu

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"CONSIDER!? If you're drunk you can get away with anything here?"

Yeah. And if you are a drunkard riding on a bicycle at 3 am and get hit by a truck your family can be compensated by a trucking company, and the truck driver can be sent to prison too!

Drink up everybody and go ruin the lives of responsible teetotalers who work for a living! That'll show 'em!

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Once I was on yamanote line from shinagawa to Tokyo station I knew this guy was sh!t faced but it was only 820pm nande ???? Anyways he was hanging on the handle rails and fell asleep holding the said hand rails he fell like a ton of bricks on the floor and was knocked out his office mate tried to wake him up train emergency stopped he finally woke up when the doors opened his friend tried to rush him out because. Think the charge an extra fee if the train is stopped by stupidity. Took him out and a jr employee asked us what happened. A big pool of vomit was about 2 feet next to me the train car was empty for 15 stops because nobody wants to ride in a vomit stinkinig train !!!! Exciting day !!!!

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"could have just as well have been a heatstroke victim or an elderly person that lost their footing."

Or a yeti, or a wild gorilla, or a panda. The answer is to install another fence or gate is it? Oh brother. The proximate cause is a drunk person stumbling from drunkenness and we have to look for someone else to blame?

I have an idea, and Smith kind of touched on it. How about making the LAST place a drunkard purchases liquor responsible for whatever drunk silliness the drunkard gets into? Before Taro Ohashi stumbles out the door, he has to get a signed business card or receipt from where he drank last with time written down. Double the fines if he doesn't. More to the point, let police stop any visibly drunk person to ask him for a receipt or business card from a bar or a receipt from a liquor store, and if he can't produce one, haul him to the station for "questioning" to let him dry out while he tries to remember his evening.

The result will be that people won't let other people GET drunk. People won't wanna BE drunk. And if they are, they won't wanna ACT drunk. And the police can just round up the all-time losers who can't take a hint.

Problem solved. I suspect the number one culprit these last few days is NOMIHODAI BEER GARDENS, am I right? Alcohol kills every which way, people. It kills your brain, your family, your sex life, your liver, and lets you take good people down with you. Time to wake up.

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Just a simple accident, there's no criminal behaviour here.

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One thing that will cause Mr. Fujii plenty of jail time is that Masaya Sato was:

•Keio University professor emeritus,

•the president of Seisa University,

•and son of novelist Haruo Sato.

If Mr. Sato was Average Mr. Sato, retired salariman, Fujii would probably get a suspended sentence with a few "I'm sorries," an envelope of money, a few tears, and a low bow. Now, however, he's up sh$t creek without a paddle.

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alcohol is evil

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borscht - Now, however, he's up sh$t creek without a paddle.

Yep! He sure is! Hopefully the social status of the victim 'may' force some action to prevent this happening to someone else.

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bubzabub -- how do you figure? Getting drunk beyond his capacity to control his physical actions was a deliberate choice on his part, which directly contributed to the man's death. That is hardly a "simple accident". If he had been sober, and say slipped on a wet platform from rain water coming off umbrellas, causing him to stumble, that would be an accident. At a minimum, this guy should get sued in civil court for contributing to a wrongful death.

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the last guy that bumped the old man should be arrest two for not grabbing him before fell. I don't know anything about the situation, but a bunch of people who so easily transfered a push sound like a bunch of clueless zombies who'd get taken out by a strong wind.

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Hmmm... I agree with JA Cruise. More barriers on platforms is definitely needed. Every couple of months we hear about someone falling onto the tracks. Some are lucky and others, like this poor guy, are not.

This is a tough case to call, I think. It seems as though the drunk man was the cause of the horrible accident but as gaijinfo pointed out, what about the other people in line? Isn't it possible that some of them were drunk too? And we don't know from this story how many beer and chuhai he drank. It is possible that he had drunk just a few but was tired as well. Just saying that there could be other factors at play.

As for drinking in this country, I think there are three main problems: People who over-drink because they feel it's a social obligation, people who over-drink because they feel it is the only way to let their true self show and people who over-drink because alcohol is so readily available!

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You back in, put your hands above the door and push. Very simple and I find you create enough space for two people.

Jesus Christ, the selfish people who do that annoy the hell out of me.

I'm suprised that there aren't more accidents like this. Stations need barriers and have done for years.

I'm not too sure why the drunk should be charged for anything? I know someone died, but still.

Although, this is Japan and if it had been MJ he'd be arrested and charged for everything they could throw at him.

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the last guy that bumped the old man should be arrest two for not grabbing him before fell. I don't know anything about the situation, but a bunch of people who so easily transfered a push sound like a bunch of clueless zombies who'd get taken out by a strong wind.

I was thinking the same. How hard did the drunk bump into those people and how close was the man standing to the edge?

Even if your feet are at the edge of the yellow line away from the track you're still a couple feet from the edge of the track.

Was the victim standing behind, on or, as I see many times a day, over the yellow line?

Hopefully the investigation will determine this. Nevertheless what a terrible way to die.

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This is so sad. I was around a drunk guy the other night who was jumping around a falling over, knocking people around. Bad scene.

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Soooo, maybe the the Yellow Line should be moved back another meter or so to allow people room to compensate when suddenly shoved towards that oncoming death-knell-of-a-train?

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Shoving is not so much the problem, BUT how many people do walk at the edge of the platform to move faster or don't need to push through the crowd.

I seen it plenty of times 2 people going in opposite directions between the yellow line and the edge.

The gap is good enough, problem arise when people go in between the yellow line and the train.

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Japan has a problem with alcoholism.

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Is alcohol too often a cause of negligence and criminal offence? Naaah.. it's just this guy who needs to be behind bars for drinking yet getting drunk. Let's just keep it legal so we can continue selling the smokes too. Hey kids, the moment you turn twenty a whole new freedom opens up for you!

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"Soooo, maybe the the Yellow Line should be moved back another meter or so to allow people room to compensate when suddenly shoved towards that oncoming death-knell-of-a-train?"

And there it is. Pow. The problem in a nutshell. There IS no extra meter in many places and Japan is a country where people need to be careful because there just isn't any more room. Putting up gates and fences in that precious real estate between the stairs and the train is going to be the price society pays for drunks wandering around like reckless zombies. Getting in and out of trains will be more difficult every single day for ever and ever because of this boozed up boob.

I say enough. Things would be fine if it weren't for the alcohol. Alcohol and alcoholics are the problem. Start locking up drunks in public cages and let them be humiliated for the danger they pose to themselves and others. If they don't know what's good for them, I sure do. At least they will be safe.

And the rest of us will be too.

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Wow. A lot of over reactions here. It was an accident. Yes, the guy is an idiot for being this drunk and knocking into people but can all of you ever claim to have been the perfect drunk and know when to stop drinking?

As for the barriers comment, I have never been to a country where all the doors to the train/subway have barriers. Why? Because I tend to think it is common sense to stand away from the train lines and away from crowds for fear of something like this happening. Nanny state? I find that Japan has too much padding, barriers and warnings as it is for things like traffic crossings, construction...

The guy will have to live with the fact that he killed someone by his stupidity. Punishment enough isn't it?

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I hate drunks! If not they're not behind the wheel killing people, they're killing people taking trains!

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Well, I think access to the demon drink should be more restricted! Or employ more security guards! Anyone seen drunk should not be allowed onto train platforms.

I completely agree...lock up anyone drunk. It's terrible that someone drunk is allowed out in a public place, especially a train platform.

The rest of the sober public has to feel safe from these irresponsible alcoholics/drunks/whatever.

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Anyone could trip, be physically disabled, be sick, drunk, old, on medication, or break a heel then fall over and bump someone to cause this accident. Bottom line is that the train company has a responsibility to stop people getting run over by trains in this fashion. With the amount of people that go to Tokyo train stations it was inevitable.

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Bottom line is that the train company has a responsibility to stop people getting run over by trains in this fashion. With the amount of people that go to Tokyo train stations it was inevitable

I agree. How dare the train companies allow such dangerous people on train platforms. There has to be a safe standard... anyone not following this 'standard' should not be allowed to travel on trains. That's what train companies should be doing...looking out for the rest of society...not just trying to make money from travelers.

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If you're near the front of a line, suddenly get pushed forward into the person at the front of the line, and a train is entering the station, you're going to secure your own safety before thinking about helping others. Otherwise there could have been TWO deaths as the man in the front's weight pulls you over with him.

So all you who feel the second guy in line should be arrested, ZIP IT. There was no criminal action by that person.

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I always watch carefully around me if I'm standing on the platform near the yellow line, it's too easy for someone to either accidently bump into you or intentionally shove you over the edge from there.

I can't believe train station platforms were ever constructed without barriers. Idiots.

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@whiskeysour/ppl who take Yamanote: which stations have barriers?

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I can't believe the holier-than-thou attitude of some of the people posting here. I feel as if I have walked into a temperance movement's meeting.

Who hasn't been staggering drunk themselves?

Most of us have. My feeling for the drunk guy is "there but for the grace of God go I."

This was an accident and a tragic one. The man will have to pay a price, that is inevitable but comments such as:

He should live in a tiny 4.3mat room, give all but subsistence wages to the victim's family, abstain forever from alcohol and have is walls plastered with the photos of the man he killed. And to wrap things up, have the man's name tattoed on his hands so that he sees it every single day of the rest of his pathetic life.

are just plain ridiculous.

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In addition to the the drunk guy, the Japanese public should also at fault for not demanding a change to improve safety. Most are in lala land. This is very typical of society to let the suits make the money and the one`s paying their salary suffer. Well...It makes the news anyway. What a shame.

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The guy will have to live with the fact that he killed someone by his stupidity. Punishment enough isn't it?

of course not. prison time

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Problem drinkers kill people everyday. They drive drunk and kill people on the road. They beat their wife, abuse their children, fight with strangers. They also kill themselves slowly.

According to WHO, alcohol and its consequences kill 2.3 million people every year (that will make 3.8% of all deaths).

Japan is too permissive with public intoxication and with all that alcoholic beverage commercials they just create more and more potential alcohol abusers.

Ethanol is a drug, a dangerous drug.

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Ethanol is a drug, a dangerous drug.

Yeah, well I don't want to live in your "safe" world...

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When I stand at the front of line, I often watch people behind me and also I listen to people carefully. So I don't plug my ears with IPod.

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Yeah, well I don't want to live in your "safe" world...

I couldn't care less.

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I have a question ??? Should he be charged with manslaughter or whatever if he accidentally bumped or a drunk shoving people to get out of his way ? -----

Should he be charged with accidentally bumping someone ? If he was a rude drunk or clumsy drunk should he get charged for murder ?

Disorderly conduct Manslaughter Murder

What should he be charged with ? All company parties have a fixed price of 8000yen - 3000yen that you have to pay for. This includes all you can drink !!!! Now if he attended an office party should his company be liable for his actions after an office party that ended 800PM ?

Or should the Hostess Bar/ Bar should be held liable for damages for getting a customer sh!t-faced drunk ?

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I couldn't care less.

adds a lot to the discussion, well done.

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All company parties in Japan have a fixed payment of 6000 - 3000 yen payment for all you can drink+plus a 1 course dinner. Should the company be held liable or is it the person's responsibility/judgement ?

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I've never been drunk in my life, and I'm almost 30. If you need to drink to have a good time, you're doin' it wrong. Japan really needs to figure out how to accept people for who they are sober. Society would benefit so much.

To answer someone's question, I'm pretty sure Ebisu has gates, but haven't seen any others on this side of the Yamanote, and I travel between Otsuka and Osaki pretty regularly.

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Thanks. I forgot Ebisu b/c last week when I went there was by subway(no gates/barriers btw). Busy Yamanote stations like Tokyo don't have them either.

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One of the first observations I made during my first year in Japan was how dangerous the environment was; no guard rails, open storm drain trenches, valve handles sticking up in the middle of sidewalks, no safety rails on the edges of train platforms, lack of sidewalks on major roads, etc.

Then I realized that in Japan the idea is personal responsibility; not to have some paternalistic, big brother government try to keep you 100% safe during your every waking moment.

Yes, there are no safety rails on train platforms. The solution; make train platforms as safe as possible spending an ungodly amount of money in the process? Or make people responsible for their own safety, use good judgement and stay far enough away from the edge to avoid death in the event of an accident?

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Ban Alcohol and save hundreds of lifes a year.

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Can someone please tell me what countries/cities have all these magical barriers you all speak off? I have been on numerous trains/subways and have only seen a few in my times - in Japan of all places. I believe Singapore and HK have a few but places like London, Montreal, Osaka... do not.

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Tmarie, the only place I've seen them is at amusement parks where the rides stop at exact locations.

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@farhaan : Don't you read about History? It's called Prohibition, and it was a dismal failure. I think trains should be open later, so as to end the crunch to get on the train. Alcohol use will not stop, but if people know they can sit and rest a minute, there's another train, maybe this kind of "herding" will stop. Gates are also a good idea... This drunk man blew it, bigtime. That poor soul didn't deserve to be dragged to his death, after living 77 years! Such a catastrophe! But regulation of alcohol is a step too far... It will not work. That has to be the responsibility of each who take a drink.

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@farhaan : Don't you read about History? It's called Prohibition, and it was a dismal failure.

I don't know about that actually. There is a lot to be said for prohibition. People today prefer to think it was a bad thing, but there were a lot of positives to it, as well as some downsides. It was repealed less because of the negatives, and more because of the depression. Thats not to say I'd suggest reinstituting it. I don't really believe in forbidding things, preferring instead people educate themselves, and then choose not to use them. However at the same time, I don't think its right to just outright say prohibition was a bad thing. Thats simply not true.

Regarding alcohol, and this story. Some people can take a drink or 2 and be totally fine, with no ill effects, others, get totally smashed on 1. If people were responsible, and didn't drink more then they could handle, then there would be no problems. Since its legal, I think people have a responsibility for their actions, drunk or not. They chose to partake, and if by doing so, they cause another harm, they definitely have to pay for this as if they deliberately and willfully caused the harm.

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So the drunk guy bumped the person at the back of the queue creating a domino effect. Obviously nobody in the queue had the reflexes or the strength to resist falling into the person in front. I am seriously wondering whether or not anyone in the queue itself was intoxicated as well............and if so whether or no they should be charged too.

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I have a danger radar in crowed places, and can spot a drunk or a potential problem. but a lot of people don't seem to have this instinct, or they are desensitized to potential danger. platforms are crowed places though, and there's a limit to what one can do.

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masterkun05 at 08:06 AM JST - 25th August So the drunk guy bumped the person at the back of the queue creating a domino effect. Obviously nobody in the queue had the reflexes or the strength to resist falling into the person in front. I am seriously wondering whether or not anyone in the queue itself was intoxicated as well............and if so whether or no they should be charged too.

You've hit it on the nose for me. This entire thing is absurd. If he'd bumped into the man directly then I could see a possible argument for charging him, but when there were several other people between him and the victim, and every single one of them could have affected the final result then it's very hard to blame the drunk guy.

Also I can't help but feel that this sets a really bad precedent. No-one is blaming any of the other people involved for standing so close together in the line that they couldn't take a half step forward to recover their balance, neither is anyone pointing out that the victim here is a 77-year old man, who might easily have fallen forward because of a bad hip or just poor balance without any encouragement at all.

If I were the judge in this case you'd have a really hard time convincing me that the everyone else in this scenario was just an inanimate "domino" and that all the blame rested on the guy who pushed the first "domino", because to my mind that's complete bs.

So the guy's drunk in public. Yeah, it's not good, but it doesn't make him a murderer.

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I think if they charge him I would be incredibly stupid.

It wasn't even "Drunk and Disorderly". He was drunk, he fell, the end. It's sad that someone died, but what if the guy wasn't drunk, what would they charge him with? Being clumsy? If thats the case I see about 5 people breaking the law every morning on the subway. If he's charged, it would open up the floodgates for people being arrested/sued for being drunk. Oh, and this has nothing to do with drinking and driving, comparing them is just silly.

"A drunk guy threw up on me" - charged

"A guy with a stomach bug threw up on me" - no charge

"A drunk fell on me and I fell over" - charged

"A guy with a cast on his leg lost his balance, fell on me and I fell over" - no charge

Where will they draw the line??

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well the thing about 'magical' barriers/gates here in JPan is simple, it's for people who want to commit suicides. And with this article here, it looks like it will be for drunks too and their victims. And for general safety I guess...who knows?

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and of course the mental cases that push people

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tmarie-

Can someone please tell me what countries/cities have all these magical barriers you all speak off? I have been on numerous trains/subways and have only seen a few in my times - in Japan of all places. I believe Singapore and HK have a few but places like London, Montreal, Osaka... do not.

tokyo monorail and some subway stations... I feel much safer especially when I am with kids. The gate opens when a train completely stops. Must be expensive but I think it's definitely worth the price.

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It wasn't even "Drunk and Disorderly". He was drunk, he fell, the end. It's sad that someone died, but what if the guy wasn't drunk, what would they charge him with? Being clumsy? If thats the case I see about 5 people breaking the law every morning on the subway. If he's charged, it would open up the floodgates for people being arrested/sued for being drunk. Oh, and this has nothing to do with drinking and driving, comparing them is just silly.

My sentiments, exactly. Well said MrDog and Frungy.

I am far less concerned about a drunk falling down (I always watch where I stand near train lines, no matter which country I am in, lest I am bumped for any reason) than I fear living in a society of people who are slow to reason and quick to condemn their fellow man to a life in prison based on a scant few lines. Oh, the self-righteous outrage of the teetotaler. If this is the best thinking sobriety has to offer, I'll take a country of alcoholics.

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tmarie-

"Can someone please tell me what countries/cities have all these magical barriers you all speak off? I have been on numerous trains/subways and have only seen a few in my times - in Japan of all places. I believe Singapore and HK have a few but places like London, Montreal, Osaka... do not."

Central London Underground has them on the Jubilee line.

http://www.knowledgerush.com/wiki_image/3/3f/Westminster_station_barrier_small.jpg

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Can someone please tell me what countries/cities have all these magical barriers you all speak off?

Hong Kong

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what if he wasnt drunk and bumped into them? would he still be arrested? people trip and fall all the time, its a tragic article but seriously

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What if it had been a complete accident that caused the domino effect? Someone could trip and push someone. Some older person could even faint or get dizzy after standing up and push the person in front of them. Would it still be negligence?

The best prevention of this kind of accident is to stop people from being hit by trains 99.9% with high barriers.

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Kazamai at 03:41 AM JST - 27th August The best prevention of this kind of accident is to stop people from being hit by trains 99.9% with high barriers.

A good idea Kazamai but that's hellishly expensive. Rather just paint new lines further back and paint the spaces between people so that people don't crowd (people can crowd once the lines turn at a right angle so if they fall over it's no big deal). It's a simpler, cheaper and generally easier solution to implement. There is a recession going on JR might balk at the idea of installing barriers in every station in the country, but if you ask them to paint some extra lines then the chances of a quick and workable solution are much faster.

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The cheapest option is to teach people to stand back and look over their shoulder as a train approaches.

I do this anyway because of the high number of 'crazies' that live here.

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Also,

If this were cars on an expressway, the person directly behind you would be to blame for bumping into you and the car behind theirs would be to blame for bumping into them (so on and so forth).

The person at the back of the line would not be held responsible for the accident at the front of the line.

Therefor, don't stand too close to the person in front of you.

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My rules of thumb, in order of preference:

Stand with your back against a wall or pillar Stand side-on to the tracks with legs planted well apart Stand with one foot well ahead of the other, in a "bracing" type of way

I'm not normally paranoid, but since living in Japan, I follow these rules to a t.

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