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Shinkansen rampage revives debate over safety and convenience

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If guns are banned then incels and other nutters turn to knives.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

Another frustrated Japanese turns violent-how many more are out there?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

No thanks for delays, inconvenience and cost of extra shinkansen security checks: it's still the safest way to travel.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I think we just have to accept this as an isolated incident which is impossible to prevent. If they increase security on the Shinkansen, it will just happen on the Yamanote line instead.

But if JR really wants to cater to nervous travellers, perhaps they can provide one or two trains per day where all the passengers in one car are security screened. People who are willing to pay extra and show up in advance could use the service. I don't think many would though.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

That guy gave his life protecting other passengers JR should compensate his family handsomely and maybe put a plaque in that car commemorating his bravery and sacrifice

20 ( +20 / -0 )

This man, Umeda, died a hero's death. It was completely pointless, but he stood up to protect 2 women who might otherwise be dead themselves. I hope he is honored for that - it's a terrible loss. The wrong person died that day.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

cla68

If guns are banned then incels and other nutters turn to knives.

And if they aren't, then they turn to guns and kill a hell of a lot more.

There is no need for more security screening, trains are pretty damn safe here. Just another band-aid solution to an otherwise complex situation.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

If guns are banned then incels and other nutters turn to knives.

Which is a much preferable state of events.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

M3M3M3

That's an excellent idea mate!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hate to say I told you so.

I was thinking about this yesterday. We are lucky that we live in an era where we can still get on the shinkansen without too much trouble. Buy a ticket, go through the gate and get on. Not like boarding an airplane.

It's because of nutters like this that we cant have nice things and need security everywhere.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The transport ministry called on train operators Monday to step up security measures

Nice ass covering message from the “Ministry of disinformation” and as with everything emiinating from government completely unhelpful! Slapping everything on to the railway operator. Why don’t they do what they do best and come up with regulatory measures which will cripple Japans rail service and in turn draw the well deserved ire of the Japanese proletariat? Completely unhelpful!

The train operators don’t need to do anything different! Let people decide if they want to to travel or not under the current system...sorted!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Writing him off as a "nutter" or "evil" in the way the US media routinely does only obscures the toxic social conditions which breed such events. Rising unemployment, casualization, lack of social security, alienation and an absence of any popular organization for mounting a political challenge to the status quo mean isolated and disturbed individuals are bound to explode periodically in such violent and anti-social ways. Of course in the US you can add a quarter century of war and the glorification of militarism into the mix. Japan is set to follow that path.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I guess people should learn self defense. Coming from my birth city in the UK that what a must when I was a kid, unless you wanted hurt. What to do in different situations to survive. I've taught my wife, who's now a little old lady, what to do if she's attacked and we practice those moves from time-to-time. She's more self confident and sure of her abilities.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

He was not on good terms with his parents and was adopted by his grandmother more than a year before.

There is the root of the problem. Bad parents have bad kids. No amount of security measures can protect anybody from 'the crazies'. It's no different to the barriers they put up on train stations. The crazies just find another station without the barriers. Japanese society is full of these ostracised, agoraphobic, delusional and angry nutcases. It starts in junior high and continues right through to their working life. Japanese people are constantly being told what to do and are always under pressure to live up to someone else's expectations. It has to drive people crazy. There was a report four or five years ago stating that 27% of Japanese adults have some kind of mental illness and that was only diagnosed cases. It would be pretty safe to conclude that the actual percentage is around 1 in 3. Mental health is a huge problem in Japan, but it is not adequately addressed.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This rampage is very rare case. The cult Aum did sarin gas killed many people decades ago, but same kinda crimes have never happened since. That was very rare case. Shinkansen is still very safe transportation although it may happen in the future. Shinkansen are transporting hundreds of passengers every hour, so it seems that a few security policemen need to board on every train at least if all passengers luggages can't be checked.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

One guy with a knife amidst 40 or 50 or more people in the train car. He could quickly have been overpowered by 3 or 4 individuals. The problem was there was only one who tried.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The shinkansen doesn't need to add metal detectors or have people go through security.

Security is best achieved by strengthening and eliminating the embarrassment and taboo of using and accessing mental health care.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Bad parents have bad kids.

Awesome post! I completely agree with all except the above line. But it could just be my perceived nuance of the sentence. I think society here has a lot more to do with breeding mental illness than parents. And I believe that even if you are born to lousy parents, you can still make a good go of things. That said, sure, the odds are against you.

This rampage is very rare case.

Not really. There are the odd knife and car rampages in crowded areas. I'm happy that guns are banned here - as they should be. If they weren't; murder would skyrocket here.

Couple in the daily familicide incidents, and you are looking at quite a statistically unsafe country. That may explain why women cross the street when they see someone coming toward them at night (and even day).

There are some serious mental health issues that have never even had a look here.

No doubt, the shinkansen are a serious problem for 2020. It's a major weakness. People are trapped in there and easily corralled. I imagine these two women in the story above were trapped in the seat area while the assailant went psychotic on them. No escape. The guy who gave up his life to help them is a hero. A true man.

I'm sorry to say, but most people in Japan cower in a corner and look away when someone is in need of physical help here in Japan.

2020 could bring about some really ugly incidents that Japan is simply not able and ready to confront.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

There is no way to be 100% safe, even if you stay home. Ginning up groundless fears and introducing unworkable legislation to solve virtually non-existent problems is the stock in trade of the GoJ. Watch how many NJ residents get profiled if any action is forthcoming, despite the fact that every "terrorist" incident in Japanese history has not involved NJs...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Instead of heavy security checks that would make passengers turn to planes instead of Shinkansen, hang the killer right away to draw lessons for those who engage in any sort of crime and violence.

The other day a former criminal on TV was saying he did every single crime trying to secure a place to sleep and meals in prison.

10 years after Akihabara stabbing rampage that took life of 7 innocent people and injured 10 others, the killer is still feeding on taxpayers money in prison!

Seems June 8th to 9th are popular among attackers since 2001.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

 There was a report four or five years ago stating that 27% of Japanese adults have some kind of mental illness and that was only diagnosed cases.

That's not true. However - there was a report four or five years ago stating that 24% of Japanese people have some kind of mental illness at some time in their life. That is completely different.

It would be pretty safe to conclude that the actual percentage is around 1 in 3.

No it wouldn't.

Mental health is a huge problem in Japan, but it is not adequately addressed.

This one is true.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't understand why the issue of security in shinkansen is even being raised in relation to this. Its clearly an attack that could have happened anywhere and the fact that it happened to occur on a Shinkansen is just incidental. If the attack had occurred on a sidewalk (equally likely) it would make zero sense to be having a debate about checking everyone's backpack before allowing them to walk on sidewalks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Writing him off as a "nutter" or "evil" in the way the US media routinely does only obscures the toxic social conditions which breed such events. Rising unemployment, casualization, lack of social security, alienation and an absence of any popular organization for mounting a political challenge to the status quo

There is no evidence that any of these caused his mental illness. Anyone could pull out a list of their favorite social problems and suggest that they are the root cause of whatever. Simply, he is mentally ill. There will always be mental illness. Though I agree that social conditions can increase/decrease mental illness rates, there is much debate over which conditions those are and how they can be addressed.

Also, most mentally ill people manage not to go out with the intention of slaughtering complete strangers. These murderers are the anomalies. Using cases like this to spur a broader discussion of mental illness tends to tar all mentally ill people with that hint that they might be dangerous. Better just handle the murder case as a murder case, and save the bigger issues for more common problems.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@gentX - Bad parents have bad kids. - Awesome post! I completely agree with all except the above line

You cannot blame the society for disfunctional and antisocial children. It is the parent’s responsibility to bring up their children in a manner where they learn self-respect and respect for the society they live in. Children are a product of their environment. A bad environment creates bad children. It’s that simple! How can parents discipline children if they cannot discipline themselves?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Despite a few isolated incidents, Shinkansen's safety record is impressive and Japan is still one of the safest countries. If we installed airport-like security for all shinkansen service, it will become expensive, inconvenient, and slow, totally annulling all reasons to ride in the first place.

Besides, there are way more people taking the regular commuter trains. Where is the difference?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

MizuameToday 09:53 am JSTOne guy with a knife amidst 40 or 50 or more people in the train car. He could quickly have been overpowered by 3 or 4 individuals. The problem was there was only one who tried.

japanese people weren't raised to be heroic. they were raised to avoid public scrutiny, agree to whatever the rest of the group believes and to avoid confrontation at all costs. these may seem like overly generalized comments but, they are firmly rooted in objective, impersonal observations.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You cannot blame the society for disfunctional and antisocial children. It is the parent’s responsibility to bring up their children in a manner where they learn self-respect and respect for the society they live in.

I agree that parents play a large part in a child's emotional upbringing. But here in Japan, children spend more time being educated by various establishments than parents. Many parents actually expect that schools will educate their children on manners and all things 'social' and often refrain from scolding, etc, their own kids.

A quick calculation:

Mon-Fri: 8-10 hours spent at school + 2-3 hours at parent's choice of cram school and/or homework = 10-13 hours spent away from home + commutes etc.

Mon-Fri: time spent with parents for remainder of waking hours minus other distractions = 2-6 hours, tops!

Sat and/or Sun = Club training/competition.

This leaves a scant amount of time for parents and children to connect. Add to that the fact that Dad is usually working (or drinking) late.

Basically, you are thinking in western ideals. In Japan, kids are raised, and values are instilled, more-so by the state than the family. The same 'state' that raises the children does not also afford adequate help and facilities for people with mental health issues.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

AgentX - I agree that parents play a large part in a child's emotional upbringing. But here in Japan, children spend more time being educated by various establishments than parents. 

You just confirmed my previous post. Dysfunctional children come from dysfunctional parents. Thank you!

Basically, you are thinking in western ideals. In Japan, kids are raised, and values are instilled, more-so by the state than the family. 

Oh, boy! You are really stretching the reality into a non-tangible logic. Basically, I am thinking as a parent and grandparent who has four 'functional' children and five self-respecting grandchildren - all in Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Whether it is inside a shinkansen or on a street, the situation is the same

Or on a subway or other JR service, or a bus.

Psychos can strike anywhere, sadly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Last time I rode the "Shinkansen" in China--and thousands use it every day--I had to go through a security check just like getting on an airplane. It was quick and not cumbersome at all. If China can do it Japan should be able to as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Agent X

Totally agree. I honestly don't think it is a fault of the parents as a whole, just a problem with the whole culture in Japan, in that people are brainwashed into thinking that work and and educational excellence are more highly regarded than spending time with family and letting kids be kids. Only a few weeks ago I had quite a heated discussion with the principal of my daughter , who I quite like, about the type of controls that the school places on the children outside of school hours. FFS, where does it end and the responsibility of they parent begin. My ex-Japanese wife quite happily goes along with the 'suggestions', as she is not one able to think for herself and just follows the herd mentality. He is an expert and his advice must be followed. He is the effing principle of a school, not an expert on child raising.

Kids have so much pressure placed upon them here to perform, yet when they don't they are pushed even harder and sent to more 'cram schools' or Kumon to get a better education. These types of stresses have a huge impact on the child's life and there comes a time when they reach a breaking point. So sorry Disillusioned, it is not just 'bad parenting' but a system that fails to teach the importance of being human and that it is ok to not be the best at everything. Kids that have less homework, or even none, allowed to socialize and play games, seem to be more leveled headed and have an ability to adapt and suffer less mental strain than those in a lot of Asian cultures.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I certainly hope that the DOT doesn't overreact to this nutter's stabbings by 'airportizing' shinkansen stations. Its already a major pain in the rump to fly, it would be really bad to make taking the train just as painful.

If guns are banned then incels and other nutters turn to knives.

I'm pretty sure that if he had a gun, MANY more people would have died. Not even a viable argument so don't even start.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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