crime

Mysterious yellow liquid sent to Nagoya officials with message to 'end women-only train cars'

54 Comments

On May 26, all five groups of the Nagoya City Council received a package from an anonymous source. Inside was a letter that specifically demanded an end to the use of women-only train carriages on the Higashiyama Line of the municipal subway system during weekdays.

In addition, each package included a small container filled with a mysterious liquid described as “yellowish” and “having an offensive odor” by some. The identity of the contents is unknown…but I think we can all see where this is going.

According to reports, the letter also explained that its sender had sent similar packages to places like train stations before, but the grievant was “now sending them to the city council because the situation still hasn’t changed and action is wanted.”

Police confirmed that each station along the Higashiyama Line and Nagoya City Hall had received similar letters in March, complete with the containers of foul smelling yellow liquid.

Comments were all in agreement that this incident has pretty much put an end to the argument for abolishing women-only cars on trains, and that they are, without a doubt, necessary.

“Now I’m convinced… With guys like that around we definitely need women-only cars.”

“Further proof that people opposed to women-only cars are nuts.”

“Are people still mad about this?”

“I don’t get it. Why not ask for male-only cars rather than abolishing women-only cars?”

“This guy never gives his reason for wanting to end the cars?”

“Other women-only car abolitionists are probably going to say that this is a false flag operation designed to smear them.”

“Sure, we’ll get rid of them, right after we deal with the bigger problem of molestation on trains.”

So with the debate settled, there’s still the matter of catching this individual. Once the culprit finds out that no one has any intention of stopping train cars exclusive to women, the situation may escalate.

Aichi Prefectural police are currently investigating it as an obstruction of business crime.

Source: Asahi Shimbun, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Are Women-Only train cars illegal in Japan?

-- Backlash as Japanese police tweet warns women to not ride elevators alone with men

-- “Women who attract chikan, and women who don’t”: The illustrated guide that’s provoking debate

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54 Comments
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Sure, we can talk about that, just come forward, sir, and we'll 'take care of it'...LOL!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

similar letters in March, complete with the containers of foul smelling yellow liquid.

The identity of the contents is unknown…still?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Rather than be angry about the reason for the carriages, and demand that men stop harassing and assaulting women, this person is angry about this (imperfect) solution to the problem, in order to protect women.

Sigh. His male tears stink of piss.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

What Maria said

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I hope the yellow liquid is only pee pee. Offensive but not dangerous.

But I have a question. Do the signs really read "Ladies Only" and not

"Women Only"?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They say 女性(専用車)

女性 means women/female.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Puff - the sign in the photo is not like the ones on Nagoya's subway cars. Those are pink or yellow, and say Women-Only, plus the applicable times (all day weekdays, as well as giving the exceptions to the rule (boy in company of adult woman, man accompanying women who needs assistance, etc.).

They are on the windows inside the carriage, on the ground in front of each door, and on the automatic barriers on the platform... and yet people still manage to not see them. You can usually tell you has made a mistake, and who is being a dick.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In other comments.

"Rather than be angry about the reason for the carriages, and demand that men stop harassing and assaulting women, this person is angry about this (imperfect) solution to the problem, in order to protect women.

Sigh. His male tears stink of piss."

"I hope the yellow liquid is only pee pee. Offensive but not dangerous.

But I have a question. Do the signs really read "Ladies Only" and not

"Women Only"?"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

tsk. I meant You can usually tell who has made a mistake, and who is being a dick.*

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I never take notice of the women's only signs, why should women only have their own carriage? I'll sit in whatever carriage I want, no woman has ever complained or looked at me funny for it.

Todd man Gak

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

why should women only have their own carriage?

Well...

Tamaka Ogawa was about 10 years old when she was sexually assaulted for the first time.

Many victims stay silent, unable to talk about their experiences in a society which, by many accounts, trivialises this phenomenon. 

Matsunaga began her Osaka-based organisation, Groping Prevention Activities Centre, in 2015 after her friend's daughter was regularly molested while taking the train to school.

She began to confront offenders, who would then angrily deny touching her. Onlookers did not help. 

Hiroko Goto, a feminist, professor of criminal law at Chiba University and vice president of Japan-headquartered NGO Human Rights Now, believes many people do not consider groping to be a crime.

"I hear many girls telling me that they have experienced men's hands under their skirt, and the groper's fingers in their vagina," Matsunaga says. "It is rape."

Men ejaculated on Ogawa's friends. Often, she says, the perpetrators put their hands inside her underwear. Many times, the abuse involved being penetrated by men's fingers.

Japanese society focuses on telling women to be careful, how to dress and to travel in women-only carriages - which are mainly available during peak hours on weekday mornings - Ogawa says. "They are telling women to protect themselves, to be careful, but no one tells the men not to do it," she says.

...more victims must speak up. "I think if women don't talk about what is happening, then it will be always invisible," she says.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/03/sexual-assault-japan-girl-victim-170307101413024.html

7 ( +10 / -3 )

@Todd - Because dudes like to touch them on crowded trains, it is too crowded to see who did it and there are a lot of sick guys out there. Would you want your daughter getting on a crowded train with a bunch of perverts who get off on touching ladies on a crowded train? Wouldn't you feel safer by having women in their own carriages instead of being falsely accused of groping and then being convicted JUST on her testimony?

Obviously there needs to be women only cars. Sounds like the guy who sent those to the Nagoya officials is someone who is really angry that he can't feel women up any more.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Trains here during rush-hour(only time for those carriages) tend to have more women passengers than can fit into 1 carriage.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So it seems women over here have to be a little more proactive about the situation and stop letting themselves be groped. If they stood up for themselves a little more they might not be so quick to demand their own carriages. Can you imagine the feminist rage if there were "men only" carriages?

Works both ways.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

Todd Gak, let me fix your comment for you.

So it seems men over here should really be taught how to be decent and not to molest and rape people on train. They should be more proactive in aiding women who look like they are being sexually assulted a little more and demand that perverts have their own carriages (behind bars) Can you imagine if laws were properly inforced to make women feel safer?

Really does work both ways for human rights.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Can you imagine the feminist rage if there were "men only" carriages?

Yes, what a treat it is to be the target of abuse, assault, violence, and degradation, to choose to segregate yourself, and to raise your daughters to segregate themselves rather than risk being assaulted,

Do you think they serve us tea and sandwiches along the route?

If there were men-only carriages, it would be because boys and men were constantly being subjected to the same obscene treatment, with no idea who might be an aggressor - anywhere, any time

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I never take notice of the women's only signs, why should women only have their own carriage? I'll sit in whatever carriage I want, no woman has ever complained or looked at me funny for it.

My nomination for the most obnoxious comment ever made on JT.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Do they not monitor who is using the female car? I would assume a train guide or even a security guard/police officer could enforce it. Any such male trying to sneak on would be held and or arrested. Either that or the rest of the females beat the hell out of him. Either way problem solved.

It's a damn shame they even need all female cars to begin with. I rode the trains in general for two weeks while there, but do not ever remember seeing the cars. But I also did not notice any problems on the train either.

I do remember certain benches for women and or old people though for certain times of the day. Most of the time me and my girlfriend would give up our seats regardless what part of the train we were on or at what time if an older person, handicapped or an adult with children and they all could not sit down.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How does everyone know the culprit is male?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Do they not monitor who is using the female car? I would assume a train guide or even a security guard/police officer could enforce it. Any such male trying to sneak on would be held and or arrested. 

Men are not legally barred from riding the female-only cars. It's custom, not law. There isn't anything they could be arrested for.

I rode one one-station one time without realizing it was the female only car (they were still new, and it was my first time riding the train in Tokyo after they had come into effect). Hardly something I should have been arrested for.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How sad to accept this situation of women only locations...

For a few sickos, you punish everyone.

Sickos will put their fingers before or after rush hours, totally stupid.

I have two small daughters and several years ago, I already told them to kick the balls if any man would touch them (voluntary) and/or shout clearly.

1 minute lesson to change a life. I did my parental education, that is all.

Sickos of this type are punished easily.

If you don't learn to stand for your right, you don't deserve it.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

For a few sickos, you punish everyone.

Who is being punished, and how?

If you don't learn to stand for your right, you don't deserve it.

Ahh, the good old 'blame the victim' stance.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

For a few sickos, you punish everyone.

Exactly. Why should i have to get into a packed carriage just because a few women want to put their makeup on or gossip in a more comfortable environment! Ridiculous.

Men are not legally barred from riding the female-only cars. It's custom, not law. There isn't anything they could be arrested for.

Yes and hence why I may ride on the them if I want.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

with all these big brother laws, why aren't they caught? if it was anthrax...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I don't think it is a question of 'want.' I don't think he can help it.

Yes, it seems pretty natural. And I'm sure like most internet tough guys, he's never stepped foot in one of these carriages. Simply fantasizes about it. The first woman that looked at him askance or the first station attendant to politely ask him to move and he'd put on the dumb gaijin act, bowing and apologizing.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

with all these big brother laws, why aren't they caught? if it was anthrax...

They are sometimes caught, but in these cases it is due to the woman either shouting and fellow passengers seizing them or the woman herself taking them to the station office.

But just simply riding in the women's carriage, as one has the right to do, is not punishable by law.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

I never take notice of the women's only signs, why should women only have their own carriage? I'll sit in whatever carriage I want, no woman has ever complained or looked at me funny for it.

Might not be enforceable by law, but have a bit of respect, eh? You sound pretty insensitive in that comment, Todd.

Women need these carriages because there are so many damned pervs on trains... groping, upskirt photos, etc... They've probably not complained because they're afraid to... probably why they're in the women-only section anyway... to get away from blokes.

Can't believe you'd be so arrogant as to just ignore people's wishes. Do you also keep your mobile's ringer on and make voice calls on the train?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

You are punished because:

there is one less carriage for me as I am a man

women because of this may see me as a perv just because I am a man, since you show to all that man = special tretment

You are a victim if something goes against your will...or outside the law.

By experience, gropers are rapidly and naturally punished by women and men in many countries, if not all developed countries .

I take time to explain that to my Japanese female acquantainces, it may just fill the hole of their education (no pun intended).

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

my train is often so crowded that one cannot help touching sensitive parts of crushed against neighbors (male and female). Female only cars is a reasonable solution, but the larger problem is the overcrowding on subway lines.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Agrer overcrowfing is a problem but they can't add more trains as they run every 2-3 minutes on some lines

They can:'t get evrryone off the platform before the train arrives.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

PS The sign says it is restricted to female use only during the rush hour, and only on weekdays, ie from the first service until 9:00 am, then from 5:00 till 9:00 pm.

This suggests that the pervs are seen to be mostly commuting men, or men who ride the rush hours.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Female only cars is a reasonable solution, but the larger problem is the overcrowding on subway lines.

This is one of the CAUSES of the overcrowding in the first place! They are sometimes near empty in peak hours, (possibly because more men work than women), so theres a lot of unused space.

Do you also keep your mobile's ringer on and make voice calls on the train?

Sometimes yeah, in my line of work I cant ignore phone calls from important clients, if people on the train want to get sensitive thats their right - as it is my right to sit in any carriage I choose!

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

I have never seen a near empty women only car, often they are even more crammed than the normal carriages.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is one of the CAUSES of the overcrowding in the first place! They are sometimes near empty in peak hours, (possibly because more men work than women), so theres a lot of unused space.

I've had the benefit of riding the subway that is the subject of this article both before and after the women only policy came into effect. It had no impact on crowding, female passengers just gravitate towards the women only carriages if they see fewer people lining up there and the cars remain evenly balanced, even in rush hour (these are 8 car trains with only 1 designated for women only).

Sometimes yeah, in my line of work I cant ignore phone calls from important clients, if people on the train want to get sensitive thats their right - as it is my right to sit in any carriage I choose!

Man you are just piling on the self entitled obnoxiousness. You probably sit in the priority seating while ignoring elderly people with canes and pregnant women too, right?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I would also point out that it is not just chikan-prevention, on crowded trains, the men are leaning heavily, and I often see petite women or elders getting crushed. It must be somewhat better for them in women only carriages.

Second, some above suggest "shikata ga nai" during rush hours, but Japan make NO effort to try innovative changes such as shifting school hours later (school kids are a large part of my lines burden), or flexible pricing (supply and demand). The crushing situation in Tokyo is ridiculous, beyond comprehension from a human dignity point of view. I literally stopped wearing nice pressed clothes because what's the point? When I get to work I am sweaty, wrinkled and frazzled. Totally ridiculous situation.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Well having said that, a carriage designated just for the elderly should be made too. If the women get their own ones, claiming ill-treatment, then the oldies should too. They elbow people and scoot under people when getting on the train, push in to the front of the line and dont move their shopping off the seat!

There could really be some good systematization room for Japanese rail networks if only they took these groups into account

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

What I didn't understand about these so called "woman carriages" in Osaka was that there were only few women in them while the mixed sex carriages were full if the problem is as big as they say.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I think anytime we engage in segregation it needs to backed up with solid data. We need to be able to provide and airtight justification to ensure it's not just an ineffective and empty gesture. In this case, what percentage of men are estimated to be gropers? How many groping incidents will women-only carriages actually prevent? What percentage of women commuters can squeeze into the women-only carriages? How many women would not ride the train unless women-only carriages were available?

The danger with allowing discrimination is that it risks growing into an out of control monster that can turn on you. How long before a company decides that commuting to central Tokyo is no longer safe for women and that female staff should be moved to a location on the outskirts of the city for their own safety? Or perhaps not hired at all? The infantalisation of 'weak and vulnerable' women who are supposedly incapable of standing up for themselves is partly what has led to this problem. Reinforcing this narrative with forced segregation is probably not the answer.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

In this case, what percentage of men are estimated to be gropers?

I don't think this is relevant. The other questions you ask are more relevant. But it's also the same as what I said earlier in the thread about men being falsely accused - the risk may be low, but the effect of it happening is horrible. Being groped can sit with a woman for the rest of her life. In that regards, having a place where women can be free of worry is worth the payment, rather than forcing them into a situation that will cause them significant stress every single day (if they are rush hour commuters).

Also, the term segregation implies being forced, whereas this is at best self-imposed segregation. No one is forcing the women to sit in the women-only cars, and the men are not segregated as a gender, so it's not the same as forced segregation. Why this is relevant is directly related to this comment:

How long before a company decides that commuting to central Tokyo is no longer safe for women and that female staff should be moved to a location on the outskirts of the city for their own safety?

No one is deciding these women have to ride the women-only cars. The cars are provided for the women to use if they choose, which is a drastically different situation to the scenario you present here where they are made to move regardless of their feelings on the matter.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Oops, submitted too early.

Reinforcing this narrative with forced segregation is probably not the answer.

No one is being forcefully segregated.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I cannot follow your logic Strangerland. I understand that the segregation for women is voluntary, but surely it is mandatory segregation for the men who are not welcome in the women only cars solely on the basis of their gender?

and the men are not segregated as a gender, so it's not the same as forced segregation.

How can you say this? If I follow you correctly, it's like saying white-only fountains in Mississippi didn't specifically discriminate against or segregate black people on the basis of their race, because they were just additional facilities which white people could voluntarily decide to use ('rather than forcing them into a situation that will cause them significant stress every single day' because of the racism in their minds).

Being groped can sit with a woman for the rest of her life. In that regards, having a place where women can be free of worry is worth the payment, rather than forcing them into a situation that will cause them significant stress every single day

There are many examples of people who fear for their safety through exposure to different groups. The reason statistics become very relevant (such as what percentage of men are gropers) is that they allow us to decide whether or not these fears are objectively rational or not and whether we should be disadvantaging anyone to placate irrational fears. For example, alot of people might be happy to exclude all middle-easterners from their carriage based on the fear that they could all be suicide bombers. Fortunately, the statistics tell us that this fear is in fact irrational even though the consequences of a terror attack can be deadly.

which is a drastically different situation to the scenario you present here where they are made to move regardless of their feelings on the matter.

It's not meant to be an analogy, just an extreme example of the slippery slope when we paint women as helpless and in need of special protection. All it takes is for someone to sue their company for requiring them to take an 'inherently dangerous' commute.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I cannot follow your logic Strangerland. I understand that the segregation for women is voluntary, but surely it is mandatory segregation for the men who are not welcome in the women only cars solely on the basis of their gender?

For men to be segregated, there would have to be no women allowed in the cars men are in. Women are not only allowed in the cars, they also ride them, so the men have not been segregated. There is only self-imposed segregation of women, if they choose to do so.

It's like saying white-only fountains in Mississippi didn't specifically discriminate against or segregate black people on the basis of their race, because they were just additional facilities which white people could voluntarily decide to use ('rather than forcing them into a situation that will cause them significant stress every single day' because of the racism in their minds).

White only fountains did not allow black people to use the fountains, therefore they were forced segregation against black peope. White people were not segregated, as they could use the black fountains if they so wished (I have no idea whether any did or not.

There are many examples of people who fear for their safety through exposure to different groups. The reason statistics become very relevant (such as what percentage of men are gropers) is that they allow us to decide whether or not these fears are objectively rational or not and whether we should be disadvantaging anyone to placate irrational fears. For example, alot of people might be happy to exclude all middle-easterners from their carriage based on the fear that they could all be suicide bombers. Fortunately, the statistics tell us that this fear is in fact irrational even though the consequences of a terror attack can be deadly.

I see what you are saying here, and it does make sense.

It's not meant to be an analogy, just an extreme example of the slippery slope when we paint women as helpless and in need of special protection. All it takes is for someone to sue their company for requiring them to take an 'inherently dangerous' commute.

The problem is that while you are pointing out a slippery slope, it's a different slope than the one we are on.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

PS The sign says it is restricted to female use only during the rush hour, and only on weekdays, ie from the first service until 9:00 am, then from 5:00 till 9:00 pm.

The sign is wrong and has nothing to do with the article. The article specifically speaks about the Higashiyama Line in Nagoya city. That line has one designated women only car on every train all day.

Personally not in favor of women only cars, mostly for the reasons M3M3M3 gave in the well stated post above. Also, given the mind bending gymnastics western society is putting itself through atm regarding gender issues, identifying a space as 'women only' seems pretty insensitive to the feelings of the trans community.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Strangerland

For men to be segregated, there would have to be no women allowed in the cars men are in. 

I think you have it completely backwards here, don't you? Just because women are free to enter the men's spaces on the train doesn't mean men are not being segregated in their own space. The key point is that they are barred from entering the women's areas.

Applying what you said to the water fountain, could someone attempt to argue?:

*For black people to be segregated, there would have to be no white people allowed in the fountains black people are in.*

Clearly this is false because black people were obviously segregated. And you even recognise this when you said:

White only fountains did not allow black people to use the fountains, therefore they were forced segregation against black peope. White people were not segregated, as they could use the black fountains if they so wished 

How can you state the principle so correctly here but also say the exact opposite above? What if we apply this to the woman's only cars?

*Women** only cars did not allow men to use the cars, therefore they were forced segregation against men. Women were not segregated, as they could use the mens cars if they so wished*

I hope you can see where you've gone wrong here?

(Needless to say, the horrors of racial segregation are not exactly comprable to woman's only cars in Japan, but I use it only because it highlights the point so vividly.)

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

.What I didn't understand about these so called "woman carriages" in Osaka was that there were only few women in them while the mixed sex carriages were full if the problem is as big as they say.

right?!

theyre a waste of space. But on the plus side I can always get a seat in them :)

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I think you have it completely backwards here, don't you? Just because women are free to enter the men's spaces on the train doesn't mean men are not being segregated in their own space.

I actually get what you are saying here. The men are segregated against as they are not allowed into the women-only cars. And you're right, I was contradicting myself.

That said, I still think it's ok. The same as I think that we should have men-only cars, thereby segregating the women from said cars.

(Needless to say, the horrors of racial segregation are not exactly comprable to woman's only cars in Japan, but I use it only because it highlights the point so vividly.)

I'm glad you say that, as they are hardly comparable, other than as a highlight to the point you were making.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

.What I didn't understand about these so called "woman carriages" in Osaka was that there were only few women in them while the mixed sex carriages were full if the problem is as big as they say.

I guess there are women who avail of the carriages because they don't wish to risk being assaulted. Or maybe, just maybe, they've suffered from the actions of predators before. Maybe many times.

right?!

theyre a waste of space. But on the plus side I can always get a seat in them :)

Perhaps. Perhaps the women are quietly terrified when a man asserts himself by getting on the clearly marked carriages.

Do you avail of disabled seats, women's toilets as well?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Strangerland

Thanks for clearing that up. I see your point of view as well and I agree with nearly everything you said on the other thread. I'm not entirely against woman only cars if they can be justified with some supporting evidence, otherwise we run the risk of living in a society built on peoples' fears and prejudices. No doubt groping happens, it's disturbingly common, and it's very serious, but most men are not gropers (and never will be). The fact that the train companies are private businesses also complicates the issue. They are free to set policies that would be completely discriminatory and illegal if the railways were publicly owned.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@ toasted heretic

yes of course I don't use the disabled and women's toilets, how osnhat anything like this?

This situation is about womens' self entitlement to have their own train carriage. Something which is totally unnecessary.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

yes of course I don't use the disabled and women's toilets, how osnhat anything like this?

They might be empty?

This situation is about womens' self entitlement to have their own train carriage. Something which is totally unnecessary.

Do you patiently explain that to any of them should they query why you're in their safe space?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The sisterhood needs to band together and nab the perverted individuals and throw them from the trains, preferably while at high speed.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Obviously, the fair solution is to segregate all the train cars - half the train cars would be women-only, and the other half men-only

That way, everybody has the same # of train cars, heheheh

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I do not see the problem with women only car. For all purpose, I prefer to avoid any misunderstand situations that could happen - it is a waste of my time and adding emotional stress (I have enough of that already.) I actually got on one by accident one time when I was in a rush, then I immediately left the car.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Todd - I'm really confused reading your comments between "Are you actually saying these things?" and "Maybe he is just trying to get a rise out of people."

A sense of entitlement? Are you kidding me? Well, yeah they should feel a sense of entitlement NOT to be groped. This is all on perverted dudes not being able to keep their nasty little hands to themselves. Hence they need for a private carriage. Do you ACTUALLY live in Japan? I am seriously doubting it. Have you ever seen the way people are mashed in together on morning and evening commutes? Do you actually understand that groping on the train is a SERIOUS problem and not a figment of anyone's imagination?

If you don't like that the woman's carriages are not full and you are stuffed in like canned sardines, well that is men's fault.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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