crime

Saitama train conductor assaulted after asking man to smoke in designated area

63 Comments

A 23-year-old man was arrested for assault on Thursday, accused of kicking and punching a train conductor after he was warned for smoking in a non-smoking area on a JR Kawagoe station platform.

Police said Tomoya Hasegawa, a wrecking yard employee and resident of Kawagoe City, got angry at around 11.30 p.m. on March 17 when a male train conductor asked him to smoke in the designated area. He was quoted as telling the conductor: “Don’t give me that, I just lit up.”

He began kicking the conductor when asked again to move to the smoking area. The man then got on the train and got off about 10 minutes later at Matoba station, and assaulted the conductor again, punching him in the face, police said.

Police said Hasegawa went to the station office and told them the conductor had a bad attitude. He left his name and walked off. Hasegawa has admitted to the assault and told police he was drunk at the time.

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I really hope this idiot will be punished severely.

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What's next, they are going to report the crime before actually doing it? It just shows that alcohol is a far more dangerous drug than a little bit of wacky tobaccy.

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He should be given a last cigarette and shot by a firing squad.

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I am amazed that a JR official actually asked a smoker to smoke in the designated area. Usually they look the other way. So three cheers for the conductor and three groans for the creepoid smoker, who should get the book thrown at him.

JR could solve the problem by banning smoking totally.

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Wow. No way to defend this guy at all. "I beat him up becuase he had a bad attitude and I am drunk". No fun for me on this one. Just prosecute and fine him and maybe some anger management courses, but not sure if they will help. I guess it is good that he reported himself...

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Hasegawa went to the station office and told them the conductor had a bad attitude. He left his name and walked off. Hasegawa has admitted to the assault and told police he was drunk at the time.

How convenient...!

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JR could solve the problem by banning smoking totally.

they have from the first April (wednesday) but only Tokyo and around (50kms)...for now.

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what an a**ehole. Fine him into penury.

The smoker's reaction, however, is typical in a country where the natural instinct (and people's expectation) is to look the other way. Several times I have told drunks to stop smoking when on a platform in the Tokyo subway - and rest assured I wasn't the only person down there...

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"he was drunk"

Oh, then, all is forgiven.

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i didnt see any problem when there were smoking sections. Now that they have taken away the smoking sections, there may be more problems in the future.

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It would be nice if Japan would enact a public intoxication law.

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I am thrilled to see that a station official actually asked someone to refrain from smoking in a non-smoking area. That's a first in my book.

And this is only about the third day in a row this kind of incident has occurred. I think it's time for a serious crack-down on attitudes and a zero-tolerance policy for people who behave this way. The guy was drunk and so he assaulted someone? Great, give him a few years in prison and a massive fine. Or, simply give him a massive fine (I think the $5000 in many Western countries is suitable) for smoking in a non-smoking area, and a massive fine and jail time for the assault. In cases like fines for intoxicated driving, I don't believe the fines are very effective in prevention, and certainly are too late in the event of an accident, but for simple things like smoking in a non-smoking area and people reading about 'the guy/gal who was fined 500k yen', it would be quite helpful indeed.

What I'm saying is, as long as there is public acceptance of infringements such as these (smoking in non-smoking areas), there are going to be people who think it's simply easier to say nothing, or look the other way, instead of feeling free to speak up. Again, good on the station official.

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smith - it was actually a conductor on the train (presumably the guy opening the doors and sounding the alarm on the platform) as he got assaulted twice at two different stations.

Sounds like the station staff were in their office eating donuts or something

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A difficult case this: I hate smokers as much as the next man, but I also hate being told what to do by petty-minded-little-people, whom I often want to punch as well.

Given that he was smoking, and smoking in a non-designated area, which is generally seen as a heineous crime, my sympathies lie in this case with the conductor.

Each case is different.

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I've pulled cigarettes out of punks mouths before on the platform. Face it, if they smoke, they usually are pretty out of shape. Only one fought back and he gave up within about 20 seconds.

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Hey, it's OK! He was drunk! All is forgiven. - The new law of banning smoking on train platforms throughout the greater Tokyo region came into effect the other day. I was at Nishi-Funabashi station around 9pm last night and there were four guys standing at the old smoking area puffing away merrily. The saddest thing is, there was a JR security guard on the opposite platform and he did nothing about it. I saw him notice the guys but he did nothing. There is no way I am gonna walk up to a potential loon and tell him to "butt-out". There were four guys, that means at least one of them had some sort mental instability (24%). The disregard for laws by the public and the apathy of supposed 'enforcers' is a bloody disgrace!

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Such is life in Japan. First, I feel for the smoker here. I have met dozens of surly and rude JR staff employees. They sit on their duffs most of the day doing absolutely nothing to make the morning and evening commutes better. I can think of so many things they could be doing to secure the platforms and offer better services, but alas, they figure slapping up dozens of posters in and around the stations is sufficient. As for said smoker, I see these clowns all over the lpace also. They light up where and whenever they want. They have few considerations for others and just blindly go about their days with that dazed look on their face. So what to do ? Put the gloves on them and let them have at each other for 3 rounds, by then the smoker will have exhausted himself enough that that piss-poor excuse of a JR employ should be able to get in a few licks.

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I carry a small aerosol foam fire extinguisher in my rucksack to sort out this kind of pondlife but so far I've never had to use it; the sight of a 1.9 metre 110kg threatening gaijin bearing down on them brandishing a red cylinder seems to be sufficient encouragement to quit being a nuisance.

Maybe JR employees could be issued with small portable extinguishers like this as standard. There's one easy way to extinguish a fire.

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I dont think it is wise to control other people to live the way that one believes. While some of you punish one person in which "you" think they are doing wrong, you too are doing something wrong. Quite hypocriticle of anyone to tell/force them to live your way. Everyone is different.

If anyone were to grab a cigarette out of my mouth...boy that person better run quick. It would be the same if I saw someone eating a donut as it isnt good for your health either.

no one is perfect but we dont need anyone threatening us to be completely healthy. Especially a stranger.

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these stories are just funny. Next: train conductors arming themselves for battle with smokers!

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Psych

You need help if you don't see the fundamental difference between an individual smoking in public and the immediate health hazard he inflicts on those around him and an individual eating a donut which may eventually and only possibly pose a health hazard to himself and only himself.

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Psych: "I dont think it is wise to control other people to live the way that one believes. While some of you punish one person in which "you" think they are doing wrong, you too are doing something wrong. Quite hypocriticle of anyone to tell/force them to live your way. Everyone is different."

There is no smoking in that area, so therefore it is an infringement to smoke there, and EVERYONE has the right to tell a smoker to stop. Eating a donut is unhealthy, but it doesn't harm the person standing beside the person eating, for example, and there is no such thing as a 'non-donut' section. Yes, I think your off-the-wall comparison would have some relevance if a nut entered Mr. Donuts and started grabbing donuts from people, but as it is asking a person not to smoke in a non-smoking section is not at all wrong, nor relatable to what you said.

As I said before, people like you -- who defend the guilty and accuse the victims -- are a sick element of this society, and are the main reason why people like this conductor get punched for asking people not to break laws.

"If anyone were to grab a cigarette out of my mouth...boy that person better run quick"

Well, don't light up a cigarette in a place that is designated a non-smoking area. If you do, and someone grabs your smoke and you assault them, I'll be cheering for you to go to prison, since you infringed on the law, and then flat out broke it by committing assault -- and all because you lacked the self-control to smoke in a designated smoking area.

Again, it's perfectly fine to impose these laws for smoking and what not, and I hope in the future there are laws enforced for public drunkenness and/or any lewd or wrongful acts that result from said drunkenness. Most civilized countries have laws like this already in place, so what's the problem with Japan? Two days ago an innocent man was beaten to death by a drunk, and now this, and these are only the REPORTED incidents! ah, but not to worry... there will always be people in Japan who will say, "Oh the poor man who died... but perhaps he said something to the killer that he should not have said!"

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Psych>

You've missed the point completely. Smoking in public is not acceptable to the masses. We (the majority) don't like it and you should respect that.

Only an ignorant smoker like yourself would post such a comment.

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Psych and Nisegaijin, I liked your comments.

I wonder why they are after smokers? Why not drunker? why not cell phone users?

I think those who drink in the train or are already drunk are much painful to the public under the influence of alcohol. Several times in the train I have seen, these drunker teasing women, half sleeping and bothering others. Instead of smokers only I think JR should also think about drunker and those who use cell phone on train.

Recently I have heard in the train that on Takasaki line there will be no smoking area on platforms. So, guess what will happen.

Those who make law need extra education and experience.

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smith

there will always be people in Japan who will say, "Oh the poor man who died... but perhaps he said something to the killer that he should not have said!"

It's to be expected in a culture where it's unthinkable to assign 100% responsibility to either party. The blame is always distributed to both sides, regardless of the circumstances. It's one of the few things I despise about Japan...

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Ari94: There is no law in place against use of cell phones. The most anyone can do is ask a person not to be so loud and/or disruptive when using a phone on the trains, and perhaps with a little more justification when using them in the 'Yuusen saseki' areas where you are supposed to actually shut off your phones. But those are more courtesies than rules, and in those cases you do actually run the risk of scorn for prying into others' business (that does not justify any violent reciprocity, however).

I agree that issues with alcohol need to be addressed in this country now more than ever, and I think public drunkenness laws should be enacted. If someone is wandering around drunk with no aim of going anywhere/doing anything, they should be asked by authorities to go home. If they seem to be up to no good, they can be taken in for a short night in the slammer, then let go. If they are going home, however, and merely drunk, well, it's a bit tougher, especially given that they SHOULD be taking public transportation home and not driving themselves. Still, I don't know anyone who thinks 'being drunk' is an adequate excuse for committing crimes, be it assault or otherwise, and there should be ZERO leniency when taking inebriation into account.

But you simply CAN'T compare the issues to smoking, since there are clearly bounds and designated areas.

Moderator: All readers, stay on topic please. Cell phones and alcohol are not relevant to this discussion.

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USNinJapan2: "It's to be expected in a culture where it's unthinkable to assign 100% responsibility to either party. The blame is always distributed to both sides, regardless of the circumstances. It's one of the few things I despise about Japan..."

There are of course cases in which 100% of the blame should NOT be assigned to either party, but I agree with you in this case. My friend was hit at an intersection by a woman riding a motorcycle the other day, and despite her making the turn into the wrong line and hitting him while he was waiting at a red light (in his car), he still had to shoulder 20% of the blame, lost his 'gold' license, and had to pay some insurance premiums, etc. Simply because he was in a car with its engine running he had to take on part of the blame, and the woman actually had the gall at first to accuse him of being entirely at fault (it should be noted that it was in the evening and it turns out she didn't have her headlight on).

Anyway, it sickens me also.

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USNinJapan2: wno help needed. There seems to be a lot of stereotyping of people here. If you smoke, then you blow smoke at people who dont smoke. I for one, do NOT smoke if there are non-smokers or anyone closeby. I do like an occasional smoke if im outside by the river where there is no one around (or even a cigar).

Perhaps the picture that you and i see are different. But from what i see from my perspective is one person is smoking and then "you" approach the smoker (even if the smoke wasnt bothering you) and you take the cigarette out. In this sense, it can get violent. I abide by the law and rules about smoking because i dont want anyone to suffer from what i am doing as i dont want anyone to fart in my area.

As for the smoker in the article, it was the alcohol that made him violent. So in this case and for the immediate care of people around alcoholics who are proned to be violent, Japan should make it illegal to be drunk in public. And since i do not drink, i will form a group and stereotype drinkers, put them down and inslut them. (i am a drinker, but wanted to put it in another perspective.)

once smoking is banned, then alcohol? Then being fat? Then walking and using cell phones? Then the way people walk? if this continues, then everyone will be the exact same.

Ari94: has valid points. great perspective.

smithinjapan: i do not like violence and think that the drunk smoker in the article above should have smoked in the smoking section. I would appreciate it if you would not say that I am a sick individual. I do NOT defend the guilty and accuse the victims. I do not go out to public places and start smoking close to others. If there is no one around and i am relaxing anywhere, then i have every right as you do. If you are home and you see me smoking in a public place, should i stop smoking there? no, thats crazy. Before you call me a "sick individual", dont jump to conclusions. i am not that sick individual that goes out and tells how everyone should live the way i do.

Stop this witch hunt on smokers and fix your own faults. Obviously, the man was drunk and probably a bad apple. but when i smoke, i dont affect anyone. and when i drink and smoke, i abide by my own rules, "dont hurt anyone".

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and to note:

it is against the "rule" to smoke in undesignated areas. it is NOT the law.

if some city official chases you down and demands that you pay the 2,000/3,000 fine, you dont have to. But to smokers, dont walk and smoke while there are others around. Even I smoke, i HATE when someone blows smoke in my face.

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I for one, do NOT smoke if there are non-smokers or anyone closeby. I do like an occasional smoke if im outside by the river where there is no one around (or even a cigar).

Psych-Which is it, do you or do you not smoke? If you occasionally smoke, what is occasionally? Perception is key. Your comments are confusing?

smithinjapan-lol. cheap shot man. I only defend if there are good holes in the story and if being devil's advocate is fun. No holes on this one. This guy was wrong, period. Rule or law, it was put there for everyone's safety.

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Psych et al - I'd be more than happy for you to smoke anywhere you wish - as long as you were prepared to do so wearing some sort of impermeable tent around your head so that none of your carcinogenic toxins affected anyone else around you.

What? You'd suffocate? Too bad

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I smoke on the train like smokin' Joe Frasier The hell raiser Raisin hell with the flava

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seems that everyone thinks that their way to live is the best. No one can clearly agree.

i smoke occasionally. that means if it is a non-smoking restaurant, i dont smoke. if it is an izakaya, i smoke. if i have no money, i dont smoke. if I had a bad day at work and im walking back home and there is NO ONE around, i smoke. if there are people around, i dont smoke.

some laws are put there to control people from the complaints it recieves from people who complain. not always for the safety. there are more things that need to be a law before taking away the smoking sections. The guy in the article, yes, was wrong. we all must come to an agreement. not just decide on everyones fate from one group that complains.

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The smoker clearly was in the wrong. First of all, he shouldn't have been smoking in a non-smoking area in the first place. But then, when being warned by the conductor about it, it should have ended there. At that point, this incident wouldn't have made the news at all. But then, he crossed the line and compounded the problem by assaulting the conductor. If he was pissed off at being told, it would've been in his right to just yell at the conductor, but by assaulting him, he committed a crime and thus should be punished for that. I don't see how anyone could defend this guy's actions at all.

Most civilized countries have laws like this already in place, so what's the problem with Japan?

Good point smithinjapan, but there is also the fact that although some countries do have these laws or rules in place, very few actually enforce them. It is the reason why when a noble person actually takes action and enforces a law or rule, then it makes news. I've seen it occur time and time again in Japan, the U.S., Britain, etc.

Perhaps the picture that you and i see are different. But from what i see from my perspective is one person is smoking and then "you" approach the smoker (even if the smoke wasnt bothering you) and you take the cigarette out. In this sense, it can get violent.

Good point, Psych. Telling the smoker politely to stop, should be the first course of action; not taking the cigarette away from them.

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Hotbox08 is so right. It should have ended as soon as the conductor told him to stop. there shouldnt be any violence from anyone. if he were urinating on the platform where he is not supposed to, the result would have been the same, but quite messy.

i vote for Hotbox08 to resolve the differences. well explained.

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a punch that began in Jomon now re echoes in modern times.

but for every young man who reacts in a violent outburst towards authority, there are 999 who smoked in the appropriate spot.

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IchyaWarFare: "smithinjapan-lol. cheap shot man. I only defend if there are good holes in the story and if being devil's advocate is fun. No holes on this one. This guy was wrong, period. Rule or law, it was put there for everyone's safety."

I wasn't addressing my post to you, at all. It's funny, though, that you would think as such. I did it yesterday intentionally to poke fun at you, but that was it, and poking fun at you again for the same thing would only show poor arguing on my part. I was in general addressing people who defend the aggressor and attack the innocent.

Psych: I agree my words towards you were somewhat harsh, but you really don't get the point. You said things like, "If someone tries to steal a smoke from me they better run!" suggesting that the train conductor had some kind of guilt in all this. THAT is a sickness that is rampant in Japanese society, and tantamount to the people who say such rubbish as being wary of the victims and protective of the people committing assault.

" If you are home and you see me smoking in a public place, should i stop smoking there?"

If it's a no-smoking area, you're darn right you should stop smoking there! People who think they can flaunt the rules just because 'no one else is around' are living in their own private little world to the detriment of the rules themselves. I don't urinate in a public place just because no one's around, and it's not right to do so. I do appreciate when people who smoke go to lengths to avoid blowing second-hand smoke on others, but it's still not the point when it's a non-smoking area.

We've now established that you are against violence (despite your threat to someone who tries to take your smoke away from you). Good. It still doesn't excuse the attitude that you shouldn't say something to someone who is infringing on the rules or on the law. And it is LAW in most countries, the same as parking in a no-parking zone is; and yes, you DO have to pay the tickets you get from government officials on such parking infringements, and I hope that becomes the norm here in Japan, too. If you think it's NOT a law, I challenge you to light up a cigarette next time you're on a plane -- domestic or international, and see what happens. I know it failed when they tried it in Chiba three years back or so, but I hope they try it again and it sticks.

I'm not witch-hunting on smokers -- if you want to smoke, find a place where there's a smoking area and do it. I used to smoke myself and enjoyed it when I did. But the sooner more places are banned, the better, and the people who smoke just have to learn to live with smoking where it's permitted, and NOT smoking where it is NOT permitted.

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nisegaijin all a conductor need is a can of pure oxygen, just spray it in the direction of the sigaret 0__0

the "i am drunk routine" is getting a bit stale

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this guy has the right to smoke but not to do so in non-smoking areas or to harm the health of others. somebody please recall cigarettes... the conductor blew the whistle and asked someone to do the right thing, hats off to him.

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if its the law, i abide by it. for now, its only a rule. smoking on a plane is prohibited by LAW. walking in non-smoking areas is a RULE. you DONT have to pay the fine. i used to smoke around shibuya but not anymore as it made sense not to smoke by people who dont smoke - also it is too crowded and would rather fight my way across that intersection than to light up. Quite honestly, i am becoming too lazy to find a smoking place to smoke and end up skipping a smoke because of it. but as long as there is a smoking spot, its ok.

There are people who do not go by the rule or smoking manner, but i guarantee that i personally dont affect anyone around me. its just simply rude.

It could be best to get rid of the smoking sections little by little but having people tell other people what and what not to do simply because "today" is the day that smoking will be prohibited. Especially if they had no protest or vote in it and if they have been smoking at certain places at certain times in their life for years.

as for the "donut theory" (hahaha), being a little overweight could influence children. They may end up regulating "when" and "where" you are allowed to eat donuts as they dont want overweight people influencing children. Seems a little unrealistic, but so was having the idea of "designated smoking sections" in Tokyo 40 years ago.

in defense, if someone reaches for something i have in my mouth, a french fry or cigarette, i call that stealing and an invasion of my space. I AM against violence but i will protect, in any means, my space and body from people who violate it. (these two are different)

It is unfortunate for the train conductor to get hit. The smoker should have just said "i am sorry" and put it out. it is the alcohol-influenced persons fault. the is clearly the train conductor and the assailant should be punished for his crime. and you know, i bet the assailant stops smoking from today ;)

You simply dont pet a dog you dont know.

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I wasn't addressing my post to you, at all. It's funny, though, that you would think as such. I did it yesterday intentionally to poke fun at you, but that was it, and poking fun at you again for the same thing would only show poor arguing on my part. I was in general addressing people who defend the aggressor and attack the innocent.

Maybe I am getting sensitive...uh oh...lol

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crime FAIL

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Psych...earlier when you said

no one is perfect but we dont need anyone threatening us to be completely healthy. Especially a stranger.

That is true, no one should be aggressive and threatening when it comes to someone else's health. That is the business of the individual alone. Grabbing a cigarette out of someone's mouth?? That is just daft and overly obnoxious! Just open your own mouth and say something. Much easier and more civilized. But I digress...

I think the point is not so much whether people are concerned for the smoker's health; of course, I am sure people are but also recognize if a person makes a conscious choice to do something like smoke, drink or eat doughnuts, tempura, too much rice, potato chips (you get the picture! Ha ha!), they have a right to make such a choice. The sticky thing is that with cigarettes, it affects not only the smoker but any others around him/her. I think it is great that you are such a conscientious smoker; sounds like you are doing everything the right way! Unfortunately, there are many people in this country who have a long way to go to catch up with you.

You also said:

it is against the "rule" to smoke in undesignated areas. it is NOT the law.

That depends on what city you are living in. There are some cities in Japan where it has become law.

Yes, folks, Japan has a long way to go in catching up with many other countries with their non-smoking legislation but they also have already made great strides in a very short time! I never thought I would see this much happening this quickly! Japan used to smell like the world's largest ashtray..now there are actually places where I can feel oxygen entering my lungs! I hope they keep it up!

Hats off to the conductor for saying something! Sure hope that incident doesn't deter that conductor from saying anything to people in the future!

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“Don’t give me that, I just lit up.”... No manners no respect for anyone but for himself. Lucky guy that I wasn't there, he will be sorry that he was the day he was born.

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Public transport should be free of smoking, most of the world had adopted this issue.

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Saitama........again.

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jeancolmar at 09:40 AM JST - 3rd April I am amazed that a JR official actually asked a smoker to smoke in the designated area. Usually they look the other way. So three cheers for the conductor and three groans for the creepoid smoker, who should get the book thrown at him. JR could solve the problem by banning smoking totally.

Absolutely.

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You can say that the smoking area rule is only a rule but the railway can deny you the use of their railroad too. The conductor was well within reason and the criminal had absolutely no justification to assault the guy.

It would have been better if the conductor had a mace dispenser.

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Since smokers are knowingly committing slow suicide anyway. lets just shoot them all now and get it over with. That way we dont have to pay for their lung cancer and slow lingering painful expensive deaths in Japanese hospitals.

The attitude of the smoker in this article is common, most smokers only care about their nicotine fix and to hell with everyone else. Look how they throw their used cigs on the ground anyway, sometimes still lit.

Lets face it, if you smoke you are stupid. And you are a hopeless loser addict. Smoking should be banned everywhere and allowed only in limited out of the way places where smokers can help kill each other. Kinda like a circular firing squad.

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peace lights all the way!! ive smoked in the train more than once as a young intoxicated gaiijan definitly none of you big talkers would open your mouth. zurcronium, smith and the rest need more than a cigarette to calm down i imagine.

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Saitama strikes again! Definately has to be the air or the water there . . .I hear they burn PET bottles n Saitama . . .amybe thats the cause.

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Regards the non-smoking policy being a rule versus a law: very true. But rules are in place for a reason, as they are intended to benefit the greater good for the majority of people. It's the same reason there are prohibitions against drinking in the workplace: drinking is legal, but it's inappropriate to do it at work, so rules are put in place to curtail that behavior. Smoking is banned in hospitals, but it's not ILLEGAL to smoke in a hospital or on a hospital campus. Does that mean people shouldn't be held accountable for their actions if they light up in the waiting room of the Pediatric Unit? The conductor was totally justified in telling this young man to smoke in the appropriate area.

I think the more pressing issue is that this 23 year-old hoodlum, who claims to have been drunk, was able to beat up the conductor, then GET ON THE TRAIN, then get OFF the train and HIT THE CONDUCTOR AGAIN. Where is the police presence? Where is station security? This type of behavior on a plane would have gotten the passenger kicked off the plane and taken into custody. A train and a plane are different vehicles with different safety concerns, but a passenger who is disruptive to the point of abuse should have some kind of sanction placed on him or her immediately. Take him to the little corner police station and let him sleep it off if he's really that drunk. But don't let him just carry on like nothing's wrong.

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Zurcronium, If I ever meet you I am going to sue you for plagarism of my thoughts. You wrote almost word for word my own thoughts. What evil method do you have for reading opinions on smoking?

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I saw a monumentous event on the train tonight, 1st time I've ever seen this in Japan. Steven Seagal would be proud. A drunk was kicking doors, yelling, rolling his R sounds a lot and generally being an idiot. Of course no-one did anything and stared at the floor until the drunken idiot knocked into a baby pram .A seemingly disinterested old fella who must have been in his 60s pushed past me with a polite 'sumimasen', grabbed the idiot by the hair, threw him to the floor and stood on his neck. game over. I still can't believe I saw it.

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"when asked again to move to the smoking area"

He should have been kicked outside the station after lighting up on the platform and banned from riding the railway for 6 months.

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Apart from a health risk to passive smokers, it is a safety issue as well. Fires on trains or train stations are deadly at this time of night, as most hospitals will not except patients, even emergency patients. If say 50 people are injured, and each patient is turned down by about 14 hospitals...

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Japan may seem like a paradise to the naked "gaijin" eye, but yes, here in "paradise" and to the trained "gaijin eye" we can see a crazy, nicotin drug addict Japanese looser a mile away. Well, at least I can, how about other gaijins or J friends here?

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right on elbudamexicano

We are in the land of Oz. The paradoxes of this place is that we are safe without being so and protected with no protection. In a very real sense, the people govern themselves (or don't) and the J-cops are like ushers at an event, but not pro-active or pro-anaylitic as we all know. The majority, say 90% or so, (decreasing these days?) are "orderly" and the other 10% just flout it with no fear of retribution. Just yesterday, as one train was delayed by the annual "Jinshin jiko" (suicide), the people were piling up so fast on the the subway platform (the alternative to the accident prone railway above ground) that even the stairways leading to the platform were full and had to stop progress. I was about 20th in line, and some guy was pushing me from behind. As there was no where to go, I shrugged my shoulder to get him off my back, and then he started barking angrily at me "why did you give me your shoulder?" (in Japanese). I turned around to see this obviously job-less goon, and since there was absolutely no breathing room, just stared and finally said "Tanomu yo" (be careful). Lo and behold, the guy, then snaked himself past me, and through the hordes of people to squeeze into the next train ahead of us all using the space above the doors to wedge himself in as is the technique. The doors closed, and he was on his hurried way. To where? That's what always gets me. People are in such a hurry, but we all know they have no where to go. Thats what you mena right elbuidamexican?

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I hope that some day someone beats the crap out of that guy. Bloody idiot!

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Hasegawa has admitted to the assault and told police he was drunk at the time.

Well Oh.... That's makes it all OK...!

Don't worry, we treat everyone up to age 79 as a 12 year old, you are free to do what-ever you want, just remember to say the magic words, that you were drunk, and your mommy didn't love you, and it didn't matter who you kicked or wipe saliva on!

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Regards the non-smoking policy being a rule versus a law

It's private property, they own the train station, he is a direct representative of the owner of that property, YES it is against the law to break those rules.

This isn't your buddy Kenji's house and his no-smoking sign in his genkan, this is a public facility, and their rules, as with no smoking in a movie theater is punishable by law.

The conductor was totally justified in telling this young man to smoke in the appropriate area.

Of course he was! What planet are these people living on...?

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The little smoking areas on platforms are a good balance between the rights of smokers and the majority, but they should be adhered to. Psych above shows how a balance can be achived. Drunks smoking all over the platform is not helpful and this guy deserves the punishment he gets.

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The audacity of Hasegawa Tomoya san is unbelievable. After assaulting the train conductor, he then stopped at the station office to report the conductor’s misconduct. I hope he’s dealt with accordingly. And not just apologies and drunken excuses so many assailants/criminals seem to use. The law seems to be too lax and I believe this contributes to the frequency in crimes and senseless acts of violence.

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