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crime

The desperate lengths that chikan perverts will go to

56 Comments
By Luke Mahoney, grape Japan

Japan is a unique country. Isolated on a string of islands, its culture developed in part independently from mainland Asia. Although at times intriguing, such eccentricity has a dark side: a long history of permissive attitudes towards sexual assault.

According to expert Sachiko Nakajima, "The concept of consent in Japan is far from understood." Victims are often seen as "asking for it" and are blamed for incidences they are involved in. As we’ve pointed out before, rape crisis centers and other support services are noticeably lacking throughout the country. As such, many cases of sexual assault and abuse sadly go unreported.

Shiori Ito's recent struggle underlines Nakajima's point. In 2015, Ito, a young journalist, accused Noriyuki Yamaguchi, a prominent journalist and her mentor, of sexual assault. The writer claimed she was taken to Yamaguchi's hotel room while intoxicated and forced to have intercourse. While Ito mounted a case against Yamaguchi, his political connections initially allowed the charges to be dismissed.

Ito began a #MeToo campaign in 2018 only to receive scathing criticism. Prominent female LDP members claimed it was the young journalist's fault for being drunk while others openly mocked her. Other online reactions were harsh, claiming Ito was a prostitute or that "she should have been strangled and killed." Nevertheless, Ito was eventually awarded 3.3 million yen in damages.

Pushing back

Chikan, pervert, is a term akin to “sexual deviant” in the West. It is related to a swath of lewd acts such as groping, voyeurism, indecent exposure, and so on. In Japan, trains are commonly associated with such debauched behavior.

While historically resigned, female victims are beginning to push back. Despite Shiori Ito’s troubling experience, the #MeToo and related #KuToo furthered the women’s rights agenda in Japan. More recently, the I AM demonstrations at Shinjuku station demanded an end to male chauvinism.

Products are also helping make a difference. Anti-groping badges are warning deviants that female commuters are hands-off. Furthermore, passengers are using an anti-groper device to mark chikans discreetly. The stamp-like device applies special ink visible under UV light.

Cautious women are also downloading the "Digi Police" smartphone app to protect themselves. The mobile application, developed by the police, can be activated to repel gropers in the case of an attack. Victims push an alert button, and the app sounds an alarm while repeatedly saying, "please stop."

These are notable advancements, but chikans still aren't getting the hint. Many view their unwanted advances as a mild nuisance for their victims and persist despite a growing risk to themselves and others. And the problem is far from limited to Japanese business people.

According to mental health and welfare professional Akiyoshi Saito, who treats those who committed sex crimes, the number of foreigners who have come to him for help with chikan behavior has increased in recent years. Saito says these are mostly expats transferred from a major company or IT technicians without any prior crime record and no prior experience riding packed trains who acquire the behavior after accidentally touching a woman's body.

Despite supposed innocuous beginnings, it’s clear such unpalatable behavior is finally being reigned in by Japanese society. Although the writing is on the wall, perverts are still lashing out. Indeed, the lengths some will go is astounding. Here are some of the more surprising examples.

Like a scene from the movie 'It'

In 2015, A Kobe man was arrested for the second time in three years after hiding in a sewer. The man entered the gutter in early in the morning and reportedly hid there for five hours. He used his smartphone to film up women's dresses in the meantime.

To the shock of pedestrians, a woman noticed the man's hair sticking out of the drain. She notified the authorities, and the man was apprehended. He had previously been arrested for hiding in a drain outside of a female university in 2013.

Groper express

In December 2019, a suspected groper escaped authorities at a Tokyo train station by running away along the railroad tracks. Officers searched the scene after arriving but were unable to find the man. The incident caused train delays of 15 minutes.

Sadly, this is becoming the standard MO of suspected gropers. In 2017, the Mainichi Shinbun reported on the growing incidence of such cases. During one month, there were reportedly five cases throughout the Tokyo area. On such occasions, trains are delayed, and, in many cases, suspects successfully escape.

Others, however, are not so lucky. In 2001, an accused groper escaped along train tracks only to fall into a nearby river and die. In a similar incident in 2003, a man ran onto the tracks where he was fatally struck by an oncoming train.

Blind groper

In February 2018, a squinting customer in a department store approached a female cosmetics employee. After claiming to be blind, the man asked the saleswoman to guide in him to the restroom. The man tumbled to the floor near the washroom. When the woman bent down to help him, he grabbed her chest and quickly ran away.

Security footage later revealed that the man had wandered through the store with ease. After some searching, police eventually arrested a 33-year-old male suspect they believed responsible for a string of similar attacks throughout Tokyo and Kanagawa.

Dressing the part

Police arrested a man in October 2019 on suspicion of voyeurism. The man had dressed in drag and entered the ladies' room. There, he filmed unsuspecting women.

Police arrested the part-time high school teacher after a female staff member notified a male colleague of his suspicious behavior. The male employee waited by the bathroom and grabbed the chikan as he left the ladies' room.

AirDrop chikan

In the age of smartphones, chikans are updating their tactics. Cyber chikans are using Apple's AirDrop function to send lewd pictures to female commuters. If a victim has their phone set to accept airdrops from "everyone," there is little that can stop the attack.

After a few arrests following related incidences, Japanese media began reporting on this novel means of cyber harassment. Most anchors expressed disbelief while recommending commuters change their airdrop settings to accept images from contacts only.

Groping insurance

As public molestations gain media coverage, one insurance company is offering protection against "false groping accusations." The policy began after the previously mentioned 2017 explosion of men escaping along train tracks after being accused of groping.

For a mere 6,400 yen, the policy protects holders against damages in the case of wrongful accusations of molestation. With over 1,800 public nuisance arrests per year in Japan, that could be a lot of fraudulent coverage to ward off.

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© grape Japan

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

56 Comments
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The man had dressed in drag and entered the ladies' room.

Security guards and the public need to be alert to this kind of thing.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

"The man had dressed in drag"

Please can we avoid such American slang?

-31 ( +7 / -38 )

It’s a mental (and moral) illness that goes untreated.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

A groping app that when activated yells ‘please stop’.

WTF !?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

There seems to be a large amount of sexual perversion crimes in Japan. Does it stem from social attitudes from a bygone era I wonder. Looking at Japanese adult entertainment gives some insight into the psyche as well.

And as for the lame excuses I read like "she was my type" and "I don't remember" would be instant straight jacket material in other countries.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

What I noticed when living in Japan years ago was not enough public service announcements, radio, TV, newspaper etc.

There needs to be a hard hitting message, ideally delivered by a prominent figure whether politician/actor/athlete/media presenter etc to get the message out.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

When society asks why, psychiatry will answer.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Getting rid of porn in combini's would be a good start. I see bored looking salarymen buying their morning coffee, browsing the girlie mags, then onto the crowded train.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

What I noticed when living in Japan years ago was not enough public service announcements, radio, TV, newspaper etc.

There needs to be a hard hitting message, ideally delivered by a prominent figure whether politician/actor/athlete/media presenter etc to get the message out.

And what 'message' would you recommend? Be careful of chikan? Don't be a chikan?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Security guards and the public need to be alert to this kind of thing.

Protect is from the dudes in drag!! lol

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Ok realistic, what do you suggest?

My point was there needed to be a hard hitting message, aggressive education campaign if you will. Even better from the top down!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Living in Tokyo 10 years I heard 3 instances of chikan, in all cases it was a morning rush and I could not see anything let alone do anything to assist. Due to the crowding it is possible to inadvertantly touch another person inappropriately without any intent but it also can be used as a cover to do so on purpose.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Wonder how much of this behaviour is from a porn addiction

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Wonder how much of this behaviour is from a porn addiction

The problem I have with that is, of course, such people obsessed with sexual fetishes will be large consumers of porn. That's correlation. Causation is another story. I am sure that alcohol causes 100 times more crime, yet I never hear people talk about banning it.

In any case, aside from actual molestations, the voyeurs and exhibitionists are likely doing more harm to themselves than to others - and perhaps psychiatric could help them to overcome their compulsions. A short stint in prison might help as well, but may serve to further isolate them from society after their release.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Seems to me that everyone needs to realize that there is a big difference between a sexual appetite and a disregard for others' feelings.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Police arrested a man in October 2019 on suspicion of voyeurism. The man had dressed in drag and entered the ladies' room. There, he filmed unsuspecting women.

So why are activists pushing for biological men to be able to have free access to girls and womens private spaces such as public baths and bathrooms, shower rooms, girl scout tents, etc and run the risk of more groping, voyeurism and worse?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Concerned,

There’s a big difference between a trans woman (born male, feel female) than a pervert. I hope you realize that. A biological male but a psychological female is highly unlikely to grope another female, just as a biological female is unlikely to grope another biological female.

In fact, people who are against trans women from entering female restrooms claim, as you do, more sexual crimes will occur. As far as I have read, there have been zero cases of this occurring from trans women.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

And what punishment did the apprehended perverts receive? There is no mention of it in the story.

Based on articles I have read in the past I would imagine they received very light punishment and herein lies one of the problems. If these people are not being made examples of, it does little to discourage others from committing offences.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Go back to the old days of a one person outhouse. One "person" enters and one "person" leaves.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@borscht

Activists are campaigning for any biological male who 'feel' female at any given time to freely enter girl's and women's spaces and perform, until now services and actions reserved for females in girls and women. Eg: Genital waxing, police pat downs and intimate searches, invasive medical attention, girl scout leaders sleeping in tents alone with groups of girls, etc.

I'm afraid this will lead to more groping, voyeurism and worse like the example in this article.

In light of this do you support such activism?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

"chikan" is a Japanese word. Japanese does not mark the plural case with "s". Japanese or other loan words used in English should not be pluralized according to English orthography. Just my two pence(s) worth...

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Living in Tokyo 10 years I heard 3 instances of chikan, in all cases it was a morning rush and I could not see anything let alone do anything to assist. Due to the crowding it is possible to inadvertantly touch another person inappropriately without any intent but it also can be used as a cover to do so on purpose.

Been in the area for a total of 10 years and have stopped three chikan on the train and two dudes smashing into women. It's sickening.

There’s a big difference between a trans woman (born male, feel female) than a pervert.

Honest question: How can someone who has been male all their life know what it feels like to be female? Isn't that the equivalent of someone who has never been addicted to crack saying they feel like a crack addict?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

So instead of improving human rights, they have reduced. Women 'asking for it' became a denied excuse decades ago in the West. As per usual Japan struggling and failing to protect innocent people.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I’ve only seen it once and it was a high school boy. He threw his scarf down purposely near a high school girl. Then when he went to fetch it he took a quick picture up her skirt.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Activists are campaigning for any biological male who 'feel' female at any given time to freely enter girl's and women's spaces and perform, until now services and actions reserved for females in girls and women.

Interesting that you turn a story about the sexual victimisation of women into one to push a conservative gender agenda.

And you do so by creating a straw man argument about it being about men having the right to access womens' spaces in an ad hoc basis.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

@3RENSHO

Are you quite sure its an Americanism? The expression was used in the Times in 1870 ('I know what "in drag" means; it is the slang for going about in women's clothes.':)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Expat is right on with that grammatical remark. I agree. No such word as Chikans.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Ah_so

Interesting that you turn a story about the sexual victimisation of women...

That's is what I am arguing against...the sexual victimization of girls and women such as quoted in this article;

Police arrested a man in October 2019 on suspicion of voyeurism. The man had dressed in drag and entered the ladies' room. There, he filmed unsuspecting women.

So how about you answer the question?

Do you support activists campaigns to allow biological men who 'feel' female at any given time to.....

Freely enter girl's and women's spaces such as toilets, bathrooms and showers

Perform genital waxing, police pat downs, intimate searches and invasive medical attention

Become girl scout leaders and sleep in tents alone with groups of girls

Thus increasing the possibility of the incident highlighted above....and

Participate in girls and women's sports and win everything.

Yes or no?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Interesting that you turn a story about the sexual victimisation of women into one to push a conservative gender agenda. 

And you do so by creating a straw man argument about it being about men having the right to access womens' spaces in an ad hoc basis.

Are you talking about gender or sex? They have been bifurcated. You can choose your gender l, but not your sex.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Concerned: Another question you might ask is whether people support men that feel like women competing in women’s sports. We see that when this happens, the men that feel like women dominate.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan isn't unique. As soon as I read that first sentence, I gave up.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Chip Star

Concerned: Another question you might ask is whether people support men that feel like women competing in women’s sports. We see that when this happens, the men that feel like women dominate.

I did. Please see my most recent post.

These ten boys/men not only win the events but also can change and shower alongside the female competitors. This is a terrible danger to and human rights violation against teen girls and women.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

On the subject of transgender individuals and restrooms:

we had a transgender individual (a biological male who identified as and dressed as a female) who worked as a janitor at a place where I worked. It felt funny, but that person would often clean the men's restroom, dressed as a woman, while men dressed as men were using it. No problems ensued. I do not know if he also cleaned the female restroom while women dressed as women used it. The most important takeaway from that experience is, I guess, that there was zero sexual harassment happening as a result of that individual and his activities.

Now that I think about it, there have been a few times in my life when I have seen women intentionally use the men's restroom, because the women's restroom was full, and they couldn't wait. The times that I witnessed that, nobody paid much attention to it. One time, when I was very sick and confused, I accidentally used the women's restroom. By the time I realized what I was doing, it was too late to stop. Fortunately for me, everyone just laughed at me, instead of accosting me. I would hate to have it put on my record that I was a sexual pervert because of an innocent accident.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

While Ito mounted a case against Yamaguchi, his political connections initially allowed the charges to be dismissed.

Yes. Or, to be a little more precise, he wrote a book praising Abe to the skies and thereby escaped any kind of punishment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Read about Japanese societies in the past were they wonderful peaceful people with high moral standards?

Let me know what books contain those findings all I have read was about warlords killers and sexual deviants.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A biological male but a psychological female is highly unlikely to grope another female, just as a biological female is unlikely to grope another biological female.

There is no such thing.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

A biological male but a psychological female is highly unlikely to grope another female, just as a biological female is unlikely to grope another biological female.

I used to think that until I had to leave my girlfriend alone for a couple minutes at a bondage party in the EU. I thought she was safe with the nice "biological male but psychological female" we were talking to. I wasn't gone long but he was already putting strong moves on her, ladylike as he appeared.

The simple fact is that biological males are more likely to grope females that biological females, regardless of their so called "psychological gender." Male gropers outnumber female gropers by many multiples, whether they wear a dress or not.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The best victims can do is actually fight back. If you don't, nothing will happen to the pervert.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In light of this do you support such activism?

I support people being able to live comfortably in their bodies. I'd hardly call that activism, more like 'existence'.

I'm a man. Some men rape. Should we be organizing all existence to keep men apart from women due to the fact that some men rape? No. Because the problem isn't men, it's rape. Same as the problem isn't trans people, it would be men pretending to be trans to fulfill their sexual deviations.

People want to conflate the two, but they are two different things. Just because you cannot visually tell the difference doesn't mean there isn't one.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Being drunk does not in any way give a rapist the green light, in fact it the opposite.

People go out to have a good time with family and friends, have a drink and socialize, and not to end up being raped.

This JUNGLE Savage mentality must end, and severely punished.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Strangerland

I support people being able to live comfortably in their bodies.

So do I.

But that is not the only thing activists are campaigning for. Below is what they are also campaigning for. So I ask again........

Do you support activists campaigns to allow biological men who 'feel' female at any given time to.....

Freely enter girl's and women's spaces such as toilets, bathrooms and showers

Perform genital waxing, police pat downs, intimate searches and invasive medical attention

Become girl scout leaders and sleep in tents alone with groups of girls

Thus increasing the possibility of the incident highlighted here...

Police arrested a man in October 2019 on suspicion of voyeurism. The man had dressed in drag and entered the ladies' room. There, he filmed unsuspecting women

.....and

Participate in girls and women's sports, win everything plus change and shower with them.

Yes or no?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

...the problem isn't men, it's rape. 

Isn't the problem rather the primate sex drive that causes so much suffering in mankind? As "the weaker sex" women will always be potential victims of violent assault. Despite changing social values, raising the position of women in society, transforming consciousness through education so that males learn to treat women's bodies and souls with respect and the steady refinement of laws to enforce women's rights to create a better society, sexual harassment and rape will still remain an ineradicable problem for women and men. It's a perennial state of affairs called "the human condition" that will only end with the extinction of our species.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But that is not the only thing activists are campaigning for. Below is what they are also campaigning for. So I ask again........

Do you support activists campaigns to allow biological men who 'feel' female at any given time to.....

Freely enter girl's and women's spaces such as toilets, bathrooms and showers

Perform genital waxing, police pat downs, intimate searches and invasive medical attention

Become girl scout leaders and sleep in tents alone with groups of girls

Thus increasing the possibility of the incident highlighted here...

Police arrested a man in October 2019 on suspicion of voyeurism. The man had dressed in drag and entered the ladies' room. There, he filmed unsuspecting women

.....and

Participate in girls and women's sports, win everything plus change and shower with them.

Yes or no?

I personally don’t.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@bass4funk

Thanks for answering the question with common sense and respect for girls and women. It seems like the several other people I asked the question have been avoiding it. I wonder why?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Thanks for answering the question with common sense and respect for girls and women. It seems like the several other people I asked the question have been avoiding it. I wonder why?

It’s very simple for me, I don’t wish harm on anyone, not even transgender people, but this entire notion that you can choose your sex is ridiculous. You can feel a certain way sexually I get it, you can even feel sexually leaning to one side or another or even both, but you are what you are and if you’re born a man and you have your male anatomy intact, you are still a man, always a man and will die a man even if you feel like and relate to women or even if you have a sex change, you are still anatomically a man, if they exhume your skeletal remains in the future and do a DNA test, it will come up as a “man” not a woman and no amount of political or gender politics and word wrangling will change that and as a parent who has a daughter, there is No Way I would allow her to participate in sports with a transgender, it just wouldn’t happen, not to mention most girls wouldn’t like it as well.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I did. Please see my most recent post. 

As soon as I pushed post, I saw it. Apologies.

These ten boys/men not only win the events but also can change and shower alongside the female competitors. This is a terrible danger to and human rights violation against teen girls and women.

Agreed.

Bass: Spot on.

I still don’t understand how someone who has never been something can know how it feels to be that thing and nobody seems to be able to provide an answer.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Chip Star

No apologies necessary. Glad to see you support the protection of girls and women.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@bass4funk

No Way I would allow her to participate in sports with a transgender, it just wouldn’t happen, not to mention most girls wouldn’t like it as well.

You bring up a great point: I'm sure the vast majority of girls and women don't want biological men in their private spaces nor legally able to perform the activities with and on them that I listed. So why are so many men, including some on this forum supporting this in spite of the objections of girls and women? That is misogynistic and dangerous.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No apologies necessary. Glad to see you support the protection of girls and women.

I support rational, scientific approaches to issues.

As Bass said, I don’t wish harm on anyone. This includes females who are harmed when the spaces they struggled to carve out of society are invaded by males who decide they feel like a female despite having no point of reference to know how a female feels. They may prefer dressing and acting like a female, but that in no way makes them a female.

The only solution to the issue is to create separate sports leagues and facilities for transgender people. It would allow them to act how they want without forcing the rest of us to participate in their thinking.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I used to think that until I had to leave my girlfriend alone for a couple minutes at a bondage party in the EU. 

I knew there was more I liked about you beyond your approach to music.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Concerned CitizenApr. 12 02:16 pm JST

Police arrested a man in October 2019 on suspicion of voyeurism. The man had dressed in drag and entered the ladies' room. There, he filmed unsuspecting women.

So why are activists pushing for biological men to be able to have free access to girls and womens private spaces such as public baths and bathrooms, shower rooms, girl scout tents, etc and run the risk of more groping, voyeurism and worse?

might have something to do with the double standards where Japanese female employees are allowed to enter mens bathing spaces at onsens and public toilets.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@Andrew Crisp

Concerned CitizenApr. 12 02:16 pm JST

Police arrested a man in October 2019 on suspicion of voyeurism. The man had dressed in drag and entered the ladies' room. There, he filmed unsuspecting women.

So why are activists pushing for biological men to be able to have free access to girls and womens private spaces such as public baths and bathrooms, shower rooms, girl scout tents, etc and run the risk of more groping, voyeurism and worse?

might have something to do with the double standards where Japanese female employees are allowed to enter mens bathing spaces at onsens and public toilets.

I'm not sure I understand your point.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Andrew CrispToday 01:43 pm JST

might have something to do with the double standards where Japanese female employees are allowed to enter mens bathing spaces at onsens and public toilets.

Yes, exactly. I think it is a total double standard. The male employees should be able to go into the women's bath whenever they need to.

I mean, it's not like the male employees will do anything bad or gross, like stare openly, hit on the women, or try to touch them. When does that ever happen!? It does not! We all know women constantly lie about sexual harassment.

Women can 100% trust every single male employee of hot springs, just like the men 100% trust every female employee of hot springs. Men are not more likely to commit sex crimes than women, so male employees should be allowed into the female bath area, or else it is discrimination and we all know that discrimination is sexist.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Concerned CitizenApr. 12 02:16 pm JST

So why are activists pushing for biological men to be able to have free access to girls and womens private spaces such as public baths and bathrooms, shower rooms, girl scout tents, etc and run the risk of more groping, voyeurism and worse?

Right, because biological men should not be allowed in women's private spaces like public baths and shower rooms, because they might grope them or stare openly at them, or worse!

Oh wait ...

Andrew CrispToday 01:43 pm JST

might have something to do with the double standards where Japanese female employees are allowed to enter mens bathing spaces at onsens and public toilets.

Well, now what do we do ...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Back on topic please

The immense powa of pantsu compels them

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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