crime

Tokyo police advise women on how to stay safe while in elevators

78 Comments
By Philip Kendall

Which of the locations in the image at left, from A to E, would you consider the safest when riding an elevator with a person you don’t know or are suspicious of? Chances are you’ve never really thought about it, but the Tokyo Metropolitan Police recently published the following safety information intended to educate women about riding elevators alone with men, advising them of what to do should they feel uncomfortable.

“If, on the occasion that you find yourself riding alone with a man in an elevator and feel afraid,” a statement from the police begins, “regardless of how rude doing so may seem, immediately press all of the buttons and get out of the elevator at the nearest floor. If you wait until something happens it will already be too late.”

Naturally, this being Japan, the warnings that accompany the safety information come with a cartoon (below left), in this case showing a dastardly villain attacking a woman from behind while wearing sunglasses and grinning menacingly.

Information contained within another graphic (below right) provides more detailed instructions:

“Take care when riding elevators if someone enters just before the doors close. If you find yourself alone with a person you do not know, stand in the location shown in the diagram, keeping your back to the wall, not the other person. Stand close to where you can reach the emergency bell, and get off the elevator at the nearest floor. After doing so, check to see which floor the elevator has stopped at before boarding again and making your way to your floor.”

This is indeed a serious matter, and it’s great to see Tokyo’s police giving such practical advice. But at the same time we can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for any innocent men who, going about their day and just managing to catch the elevator before the doors close, suddenly see the woman in the corner start jabbing at the buttons and race out as quickly as possible. Not only would it leave them confused, and probably a little bit freaked out themselves, but they’d then have to continue their journey up in the elevator alone, stopping at every… single… floor on their way.

Source/images: Tokyo Metropolitan Police

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Ladies Beware! 9 Things Men Don’t Want to Find in a Girl’s Room -- This Automatic Door Doesn’t Need Electricity. -- An Increasing Number of Japanese Men Opting for Bachelorhood

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78 Comments
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If, on the occasion that you find yourself riding alone with a man in an elevator and feel afraid,” a statement from the police begins, “regardless of how rude doing so may seem, immediately press all of the buttons and get out of the elevator at the nearest floor. If you wait until something happens it will already be too late

Seriously so every man alone with a woman in an elevator is a rapist or molester. Nice fear campaign.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Well, he did say "If...you... feel afraid...", Matthew. Not every man, just the ones that unnerve you. Better safe than sorry. O course, if a woman didn't get out of a lift and was then attacked, she would later be asked: "You say you felt uncomfortable, so why didn't you get out?"

Unfortunately, this is how most women feel, what they have to think about, every day. Where to stand, where to walk, how to carry your bag and keys, how to go about daily life... It sucks, but there it is.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Or how about we teach men it's not ok to grope or grab or sexually harass women? What an idea!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Or how about just press the two or three buttons close to the floor you on so I don't have to stop on the other 15-20 floors after that because your "scared".

6 ( +8 / -2 )

On most public places, including hotels, they should install security cameras on elevators. Nobody likes to get caught and the security cameras are deterrant to bad behavior. If Police has evidence on camera, it's much easy to prosecute the perpertrator.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Unfortunately, this is how most women feel, what they have to think about, every day. Where to stand, where to walk, how to carry your bag and keys, how to go about daily life... It sucks, but there it is.

Yes, this is unfortunately true, it's something that most women have to live with. As soon as I step out my front door - or heck, even when I step out onto my verandah to check my flower pots - I'm on my guard.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

immediately press all of the buttons and get out of the elevator at the nearest floor.

Really? If I was in an elevator and a women pressed all of the floor buttons because she fealt threatened by me......she's going to get an earful by me. It's like some stupid prank that a child would do. Press all the floor buttons on a tall building and run....and what's worse, the people getting on the elevator after the women gets off are all going to think you are some kind of crazy person because they think you pressed all the buttons for each floor.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

How about addressing the problem of the number of men in Japan who feel free to grope women?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Great article advising women to panic, push all buttons in the elevator, escape at first chance, wonder if she should also accuse the poor guy of molestation and rape.

Damm not every man who stpes into an elevator is a baddie.

Next they will have woman only elevators.

Fairly ridiculous sexist stupid article really.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

L Spiro - first of all, congratulations on your success in the world of TV and film.

Secondly:

I can see how this might really piss off and offend others who might be more violent, and ultimately this may just cause more women to get hurt.

Really. Really? You can see how, if a woman gets a bad vibe from a stranger in an elevator and makes a small adjustment in her journey (which does not inconvenience him in any way at all), this action could upset, offend and anger a man so much that he could get violent and attack her.

And that would therefore be her fault, because she was worried about being in a confined space with a stranger who she was worried could get violent, who then actually turned out to be violent because she doesn't want a stranger to know what floor she lives on.

And you think she's the nutter...

On the other hand, of course, she could simply have left something in her car/bike basket, forgotten to pick up her mail, or decided to go back downstairs to the convenience store to get some milk and a copy of a paper with the TV listings, as she's sure she just saw that guy off the telly.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

what if the "ayashii" guy gets out on the same random floor as her?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Maybe I look harmless, I don't know, but I've never experienced frightened women in a lift, and I've been in a lift alone with a lone woman several times in Japan... quite a lot of times actually. Maybe overweight baldy foreigners aren't seen as threatening, lol

However, I can see it from the woman's POV: they are very vulnerable in an enclosed space. CCTV is a necessity here, and so is someone actually looking at the screen now and then. CCTV is an excellent tool, if it's used. Sometimes security personnel only check the video after an event rather than being proactive.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Alex Einz said: 1. Just use the darn stairs!

Always take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spots)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's important for women to feel safe but they shouldn't be coerced into feeling fear from scaremongering campaigns that seemingly show the police being proactive. Is there a real problem in elevators? (Compare this 'action' to the inaction of the police over reported stalkers). Or is this PR?

Imagine a woman being irrationally scared and pushing ALL the buttons on the elevator and then jumping out. As Okinawamike hinted, how are you going to feel stopping at ALL the other floors before you reach yours at the top?

Result? Less sympathy for fearful women.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

i'm sorry but the ending to this article stinks. the whole point of the police warning is so that women shouldn't have to feel guilty about pressing all the buttons and leaving. but the author ends the article by stating that exact same point!

and about pressing all the buttons, the rationale is that the woman is aware of the pervert and is doing something obvious about it. just pressing one or two floors doesn't send that signal to the creep in the elevator.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Or how about we teach men it's not ok to grope or grab or sexually harass women?

It's these types of sexist generalisations that are the problem. MOST men are not gropists, nor do they sexually harass women. MOST men are fully aware that touching a woman inappropriately is wrong, as is any other form of sexually harrassment. MOST men are just as disgusted with perpetrators of these crimes as women are. How about you teach yourself a non-judgemental attitude towards the opposite sex?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Don't ever get on an elevator with a man who looks suspicious; wait for the next elevator. If you are on the ground floor waiting to go up. Don't board an elevator going to the basement; pick it up on its return. Before entering the elevator, take a quick look around and check out the man you are getting in with you. You should trust your intuition and never enter an elevator if you feel uneasy with a man entering with you because anything can happen in the enclosed area that is far from the eyes of the public. Before entering an elevator check the security mirror, if there is one and if a suspicious man enters an elevator you're on, get off immediately. Last of all take a course in self-defense and carry a pepper spray. But learn to use it properly. However don't let either give you a false sense of security.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If people are scared to sit next to us foreigners on the train, can you imagine how they must feel being in an enclosed place with us like an elevator?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If this is big problem in Tokyo then city should made new law requiring installation of cameras and panic buttons in all elevators. Otherwise there is no much place to run or do anything in case of any emergency.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Really? If I was in an elevator and a women pressed all of the floor buttons because she fealt threatened by me......she's going to get an earful by me. It's like some stupid prank that a child would do.

Exactly. What moron came up with this lame idea? If you feel threatened just because you don't happen to like the way someone looks, or smells, or acts, just get out of of the damn elevator on the next floor. Why do they need a fear-mongering campaign with idiotic advice?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As Maria and Tessa mentioned, women need to have another way of thinking about their surroundings. I do a lot of trail running and when I mentioned it to a fellow runner, she said she would be scared to run through the forest alone. I also have a little daughter and while on one hand I would love to see her pick up running, I know it would also worry me a lot every time she goes out running in the forest.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

From kobousha:

I saw a documentary once on discovery channel about FBI profiling rapists. They basically asked rapists "what make good targets ?". One of the result was "appearing weak". Most would give up if the to-be victim even put up a little bit of a fight, for fear of getting caught if they can't do their act fast enough.

Or perhaps they are blaming the victims for their own violent behaviour, lack of self-control and inability to see woman as human beings on an equal with themselves. Blame the victim, blame the woman, blame how she dresses, blame their wife for not wanting sex, blame all the others but never themselves.

This is the same old sexist bull.

If we replace the word "rapist" with child molester", or simply "aggressor", and suppose the victims are young children, or a general member of the public, say an elderly woman or a teenage boy, is this still an acceptable argument the FBI is presenting - if the kid / old lady / person put up a fight, the aggressor would have backed down. Or maybe he (for it is a man in the overwhelming majority of cases) would just get more violent.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Maria, there's a difference between being aware and being paranoid.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

LSpiro- I appreciate that you seem hurt and offended by how a stranger reacted to you, another stranger. Maybe she did not stop to consider you as an individual with feelings and many virtues. Maybe she didn't think you'd notice or care (and to be honest, why should she? How often do we consider how our every action in public - the push of a button or lack of a smile - affects others?)

It is demoralising and humiliating to be continuously lumped together, generalised about, objectified, not treated as a person but as a thing... It's horrid, I know. I sympathise.

By the same token, you might wish to stop and consider why she reacted that way. Has she had bad experiences with other tenants before? Has she experienced unwelcome approaches which make her nervous? Has a neighbour been harassed recently? Is she hiding out from an abusive partner? Would her husband get suspicious and abusive if he saw her stepping out of the elevator with a man? Is she afraid of foreigners? Is she racist?...

Who knows? You don't, any more than she knew you kept a drunk man from falling. The world would be a better place if we stopped to consider the people whose paths we pass, and treat everyone with respect and consideration.

Not much of that going on on this thread, is what I'm saying. A lot of What about me??? and not much But how about them for a second? It's not always about you. Get over it

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Well....I'm surprised any man with no agenda would feel he needed to make a comment about a fear campaign!? Being groped on the subway...having idiot men think it's ok to put mobile phones near skirted women because he'd like a photo or two? etc etc !!! get real guys! Japan is weird!! Women are not respected and it is a serious issue!!! Lifts can be scary and all women need to be aware of their surroundings at all times!? sad ..but true!! Wake up mate and try and be a bit more sensitive!? oh sorry ..I forgot....it's Japan... no need!!!???

1 ( +6 / -5 )

How long till we're all walking around with the human equivalent of dash cams strapped to our foreheads, so we can prove who did what in potentially dangerous/awkward situations like this?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maria, unfortunately , contrary to what seems your belief .. not all men and not even majority of men are rapists. This one sided overprotecting is way overboard... and quite comfortable revenge weapon for a woman. and yes if a women claims she was assaulted - then yes she has to prove it 110% because otherwise it is ruining the other persons life, just by the accusation.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Wow, I never knew that elevator attacks were so common to warrant this advice. It's the first time I even heard of it. I'm just wondering how long most elevator rides are, and how long an attack would take? I'm assuming that the attack is to molest a woman, not just hurt her. I would think that an elevator is a poor area for someone to attack another person.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maria: So, which forms of behaviour are "being aware", and which are "being paranoid"?

If you're unable to walk down the street without your biggest though being personal safety then you're probably taking it too far. Studying each situation that you might be involved in (elevator, stairwell, garage, in the park, etc.) and learning the best process for handling your safety is a bit excessive. It sounds like the person has a lot of fear, some of it being rational (awareness) and some of it not (obsessive).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fearmongering, seems to me. How many (few?) instances of lift assault have been reported in Tokyo in 2013? Very few I'll wager.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What bugs me is that it perpetuates the myth than a crime against a woman is more tragic than a crime against a man.

What bugs me is that so many people here consider:

that there's no reason to worry about crimes against a woman,

that the actual victims here are men,

that it's a personal affront to them if a stranger is freaked out when alone with another stranger,

that molestation isn't a proper crime anyway ("A couple of years ago a chick grabbed my bottom on the Yamanote line. Could never understand why because she was actually quite good looking and could have just ask..[sic]"), and

that there are other crimes more worthy of consideration.

It seems that it's not an important enough topic if it's just about women.

Seriously, Superlib. Read some of the comments. Post after post of patronising and mocking and angry 'opinion' and such an attitude of entitlement. Someone who thinks the act of a woman not showing what floor she lives on is justification for anger and retaliation - not that she delayed this poster's journey at all, not one second, she simply chose not to press a button, and this guy is furious!

Who's actually considered the basic content, the meaning, the purpose of this article, beyond focussing on how it affects them - how many bloody buttons a theoretical woman has pressed in panic and thus inconvenienced their theoretical busy time?

The generalisation and misogyny expressed on this topic is - well, par for the course to be honest, on JT. My stance has not been any more 'bullying' than anyone else's. My stance is simply in opposition to many, and consistent - I haven't given up trying. You notice me because I have posted my opinion several times, in response to a few different people. To you, for one - I asked you how your approach has affected your life here. Is that bullying, or simply a question you haven't answered yet?

(Calling me a bully simply because I express my opinion and disagree with people is called 'gaslighting', by the way. Look it up, it's very interesting.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Woman should be careful, but there's no need to be paranoid all the time, If you see someone "suspicious" inside an elevator, just don't get inside it. and if you are inside the elevator and someone "suspicious" enter it, just get the out, don't wait the door to close to press every button. I wonder if some people have common sense...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

After doing so, check to see which floor the elevator has stopped at before boarding again and making your way to your floor.

I find this to be strange advice. How is this to be effective if you had pressed all buttons? You now have no idea what floor the man exited to. He could easily be waiting for you at your floor having been stalking you for days during busy periods learning your schedule and working up the courage for an attack. Typical government advice, poorly thought through and not error checked.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maria, you've been flawless in this post and you spoke for reason. As for my opinion, I am curious as to why laws are so flawed towards sexual agressions in Japan? And instead of punishing the agressors more they actually ask the women to protect themselves more... Isn't the state supposed to protect its citizens or...? This logic of victim blaming is dumb as hell, the japanese... No, after reading the comments here, the WORLD needs to wake up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is there a upswing in elevator crime? Maybe the police are pushing paranoia button.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Hahaha and wear a chastity belt!

The reason for pressing every button is that if you're being attacked, the elevator will open at every floor and give you a chance to escape or shout for help in every floor and hopefully people in each floor could see what's happening inside the elevator. All that possibility of being found-out could scare away the would-be attacker in the first place.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Interesting. In the US, we would give advice like: jam your heel into the top of his foot, gouge his eyes with your thumb, etc. Some women carry mace, a knife, a gun, a Taser, etc. Japan is much more gentle.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This article and some of the comments make me think that I should never get into an elevator with a woman in case I am assumed to be a pervert. If a woman gets in the elevator I should probably get out quickly.

I didn't realise society was operating on this level of fear.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Best advice for men - refrain from entering buildings as they may have elevators, and some insecure neurotic woman may have just exited an elevator looking for a man to fear and accuse of being a rapist.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Alex:

, contrary to what seems your belief .. not all men and not even majority of men are rapists.

Quote where I said that. If you misread or misrepresent me from the outset, it's not much of an intelligent discussion, and not worth continuing.

@kibousha -

Or would you rather lie to yourself that this will never happen to you ?

I can assure you, there is hardly a woman you talk to who thinks this. Sexual assault of some kind has happened to more women in your acquaintance than have admitted it to you.

And you're quite right, woman have to be aware, and know how to protect themselves. To walk tall, and carry their keys sticking out between their fingers, and learn self-defense, and not walk home alone or in the dark, and not drink too much, and not accept drinks from strangers, and not from acquaintances either, and fight back, and don't fight back... oh, the list goes on and on, what women are advised to do.

To this list we can add, When you take an elevator, stand near the door, by the floor buttons and alarm. If you feel at all uncomfortable or threatened, get out quickly if you can. if you feel attack is likely you should hit the alarm and door buttons and try to get out. Of course, some would say you should wait until you are actually being attacked before you do anything, otherwise you're making it up,aren't you.

I will add to what you said, kibousha, about blaming the victim, that in sexual assault, more than any other crime I can think of, it is all about blaming the victim. It happens all the time. Look at what the poster below you has written.When else is 110% proof demanded from a victim?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

sighh!!...as if women avoiding the seats close to me on fairly crowded trains was not enough! Now I will have girls rushing out of elevator after pressing several floor buttons!!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Similar crimes do happen and quite frequently too. Can't understand why some try to downplay it, or even ridicule the idea.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Superlib:

there's a difference between being aware and being paranoid.

Ok, some useful and level-headed advice at last. So, which forms of behaviour are "being aware", and which are "being paranoid"?

Since women are constantly being told through the media, the law, educators, parents and peers, what they should do to stay safe, and a lot of it is contradictory (ie "fight back" vs "don't fight back"), it would be useful to have a definitive answer.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

tmtmsnb, I think this gets ridiculed and downplayed for several reasons. One is that western chaps like me have met more neurotic, insecure, self-obsessed, paranoid J-girls than you've had hot dinners. The idea of these nut-jobs freaking out very time they are alone in a lift is too painful to contemplate. Another is that we cannot imagine anyone attacking a girl in a lift, because none of us would ever do anything like that. Finally, we probably think that the kind of girl who believes we would attack her in a lift is a mental case who needs help, not a realistic modern woman taking care of her own body space. People should be more aware of what goes on around them, but encouraging the borderline neurotic to freak out does not seem helpful to normal men who don't abuse women. That is why some posters downplay this, but some others are just what we in the UK refer to as dickheads.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Maria, yea as a poster above said, this is encouraging ridiculous neurotic behaviour only. and its you that keep repeating same thing about rape being this and that and how terrible everyone is, nobody laughing at rape., that said rape aint murder so yea it aint going to be taken more serious than a normal physical assault, because that is what it is. and third, why is this one sided attitude, are only women being raped? So forced sexual relationship is a man virtue only? I wonder with feministic stone did you crawl under from but I am quite a believer in gender equality and erratic women behaviour is definitely as insulting to a man... Hence my suggestion - is a women feels she is threatened to be with a man in an elevator.. she does not need use one

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This did happen to me. And it wasnt a man but a psychotic woman (wh was eventually arrested for assault on someone else). It came from nowhere. She screamed at me and punched me and I had my 5 year old and 2 month old baby in a pram with me. She also tried to up-end the pram. It was a terrifying experience. I tried to fight back but the minute I took my hand off the pram she was attacking it. There was a camera in the elevator but the angle of it blocked most of the evidence. However, a few days later she attacked someone else (she lived in our building which was where it happened) and that time there were eye witnesses and injury to prove what she did.

Its not just "evil" men you have to watch out for. It can happen to anyone by anyone at any time. No need for paranoia, just awareness.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Don't know how it would work on elevators, but you better get out the way of an old lady armed with a furoshiki...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting. In the US, we would give advice like: jam your heel into the top of his foot, gouge his eyes with your thumb, etc. Some women carry mace, a knife, a gun, a Taser, etc. Japan is much more gentle.

Actually, no we wouldn't. Just because some guy gets on the elevator and a woman doesn't like how he looks, it doesn't give the woman carte blanche to assault him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Superlib:Well, that's very interesting, if a bit vague thank you.

How do you feel this approach has improved your efforts as a woman in Japan, to keep safe while out and about as well as at home?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of the things that concerns me about this article and advice is that the police don't recommend hitting the alarm. There is an alarm button in place - doesn't it work, or is it only for other emergencies, like breakdowns?

Also, aggressive self-defense isn't suggested because apparently (this information has been going around recently, since that boxer complained?) self-defense is illegal, even if you're being attacked - is that correct in all cases?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Better idea. As part of Abenomics and to reduce unemployment, put a dude/woman with lightstick or ill-fitting uniform in every elevator in the country, thus preventing attacks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maria: that the actual victims here are men

Your approach is horrible. Some men are expressing their opinion because it's something that relates to them. You seem to take this as some kind of insult that they just don't sit down and keep their mouths shut and just listen to your rant.

You live in Japan. Surely you've been in a situation where someone didn't want to deal with you because you were a foreigner. Know that feeling? It's the same, but instead of someone looking at you with some kind of generalized foreigner fear they are looking at you and thinking you might be thinking about molesting their child. Then imagine the Japanese woman tells you that foreigners are scary and she just wants to make sure she will be safe.

You're saying there wouldn't be some kind of pissed off feeling inside of you? This lady is next to you and making it clear she's worried that you will hurt her child because you are foreigner, and you'd be emotionally neutral to all of it? Now imagine telling your friend about it and she comes back and tells you that you are being insensitive to the topic of assaulting children.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, if the goal is to increase the general misogyny in the world, I think its a great start. Surely a lot of men will begin down the path of hating women once they have received this treatment a few times. And what results do you expect from that?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If this advice had been given in the UK, I'd say "more misandric bullsh1t designed to demonise males."

However, things are a bit different in Japan, which is why women-only trains exist.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Introduce women only Elevators? Don't solve the cause solve a symptom!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why is it that "fight back" never advised ? Afraid that it would break the "wa" spirit of Japanese women ?

I saw a documentary once on discovery channel about FBI profiling rapists. They basically asked rapists "what make good targets ?". One of the result was "appearing weak". Most would give up if the to-be victim even put up a little bit of a fight, for fear of getting caught if they can't do their act fast enough.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Most newer elevators will allow double-clicks to 'erase' a pushed button. You are kind of SOL if you are in an old elevator though.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Maria

It's not about blaming the victim. It's about equipping people with knowledge and tools to reduce the chances of being "picked", or increase the chances of survival if it ever happens to you. Or would you rather lie to yourself that this will never happen to you ? I'm not saying women should all worry 24/7 about being raped, that's just mental. A little bit of awareness goes a long way, again, I'm not and will never say that it is the victim's fault if you're not aware, as everyone of us has the right to live free from fear ... but we don't live in an ideal world do we ?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Alex:

Firstly, thank you for your considered response.

Secondly, you say,

[if] a women feels she is threatened to be with a man in an elevator.. she does not need use one

Well, yes. That's what this article is about. If you'd read it, you'd see these words:

If... that you find yourself riding alone with a man in an elevator and feel afraid...get out of the elevator at the nearest floor.

That's what the article is about. With the onus in bold.

Thirdly,

I am quite a believer in gender equality

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA-HAHAHAHAHAHAAAH! Yeah, nice one.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Press all of the buttons!!!"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Everyone should be "aware" but this article, and many posters, promote paranoia! A more balanced "awareness program" by authorities would be better.

A couple of years ago a chick grabbed my bottom on the Yamanote line. Could never understand why because she was actually quite good looking and could have just ask...

There may be more men than women perverts around but, from all I see and hear, there are far far fewer dangerous perverts around Japan than in many (most?) other countries. There should be awareness not fear mongering!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Maria, people can disagree with your approaches without them being insensitive or not caring about women. You're trying to bully people in the conversations here.

Why not have an article that talks about the safe places in an elevator....for everyone? Why not teach it to younger boys? I've never understood why they split up the sexes other than promotional value. They want to sell it as "things every woman should know" but obviously anyone and everyone could find something useful. What bugs me is that it perpetuates the myth than a crime against a woman is more tragic than a crime against a man. Teach everyone because there's no reason not to.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

and this guy is furious! I am not furious, nor did I feel a need to retaliate. I stated that for her personal safety around strangers in general she should not draw attention to herself with such strange behavior.

And I for one am only carrying on a civilized discussion about it—I tend to get right to the point so it might come off as harsh or angry in writing, but it’s not.

And again, my feeling of shame for what she did to me is justified. After all the times I have gone out of my way to help not only women but strangers in the first place. I saved a drunkard from falling in front of a train because everyone else was too afraid to follow him, though it was obvious he was too close to the tracks for the way he was wobbling. And in one moment, she subjugated me, associated me with common scum, and took all my efforts towards doing good in the world, stomped on them, spit on them, shot them, and left them to rot.

Men can be victims too, and I certainly was the victim there. Her paranoia is no reason for me to be made to feel so ashamed.

L. Spiro

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I am always paranoid when I get into an elevator where there is a lone woman, but only in Japan, because Japanese women seem to be overly paranoid in public toward foreigners, no matter what the situation. I only take the elevator if there are more than 3 floors that I have to climb or if it's really hot and I don't want to get sweaty.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Let me share a very friethening experience years ago in Shinkuku. I boarded an elevator to a floor where I thought I was going to have lunch..once inside, it climbed up to the third floor, that's when this man got in. Certainly he looked suspicious to me right away as he was grinning and already looked weird, plus he kept looking at me while he leaned on the wall, what I did I pressed on the next floor and got. The minute I got out, to my surprise, I got out to room dark with tables and chairs in shambles or at least one on top of the other.in order words there was no said open Thai restaurant as the information next to the elevator said so. But I acted and stepped out and said the loudest " oh hello, it's been years that I ve not seen you, etc.." And eventually the doors closed after that! Phew, that sure was a close one! I pretended that there was a person on the end of the room which the man couldn't see and must have given him a reason for doing something God knows what he had in mind! I still get goosebumps whenever I think of this incident. Since then, I never went to Shinkuju alone! You never know. It's always good to be suspicious. I for one being a foreigner is always being looked at suspiciously when I step into a store, may it be fashion or food stall. They think ill put some thing in my bag. It annoys me even if I'm dressed properly. But then again I got used to the Japanese mind.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan, the country where girls are so well dressed up and beautifully showing that they scare themselves thinking every man comes for them. Elevator is really not the place to get molested...

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

StormR said:

and some insecure neurotic woman may have just exited an elevator looking for a man to fear and accuse of being a rapist.

Alex Einz said:

if you want to use the elevator fast and alone, without waiting for others to stop just properly ogle the woman coming in so she will leave!

Did you just trivialise the very real fear of being raped, or trauma resulting from being raped, as being insecure and neurotic? Do you think rape is nothing much to worry about - in fact something to joke about?

This is what adds to the tangible fear of being raped - not only will a woman be viciously attacked, she is then accused of lying about it, mocked for fearing it, questioned about her motives and behaviour even if she can prove she was raped. This is one of the reasons sexual violence is one of the most under-reported crimes worldwide.

Another reason is that in many countries, the law simply does not see the rape of a woman as a big deal - never mind the idiot on the street, just listen to what their politicians say (yes, I'm looking at you Japan and the USA).

Rape and sexual assault is not something to make fun of or trivialise. I'm sure you'll remember that when one of your family members or friends calls you, in shock after being attacked (a statistical likelihood; although an attack by an intimate is much more likely, so it could well be someone you know who attacked her. But that just makes it even funnier, right?...)

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Pay attention ladies - some kind of physical malfunction, is almost guaranteed to produce a useful effect. eg groan..."Oooh hell, Im going ...to be soooo s-i-i-ick" .... or have diahorrea, or a miscarriage or a fit, or a seizure - ie - just talk up what you do best. With a bit of luck the bloke will fight his way out of the lift before you've got one finger to any button - and you will be able to carry on to whichever floor you wanted to go. If you can manage to create some kind of bad smell at the same time - greased lightning!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Maria

Really? You can see how, if a woman gets a bad vibe from a stranger in an elevator and makes a small adjustment in her journey And you think she's the nutter

Firstly, I got on before her. If she didn’t like the vibe should could have pretended to check her mailbox instead of getting on with me.

Secondly, if I ever even gave off bad vibes in the first place I wouldn’t do very well in the industry. I literally catch insects in my room and carefully set them free outside. I literally “wouldn’t harm a fly.” If she got bad vibes off me then yes she really is a nutter.

Things are not one-sided here. Women have definitely been more aggressive towards me than I ever have towards them, although no full assault has taken place ever.

When a woman treats me like the way she did (skipping her floor just so I wouldn’t know which it is), I have the right feel subjugated—she is looking at me as if I am some kind of monster, and when I pride myself on being gentle to all creatures and making humans laugh and smile, I have the right to wonder what I did wrong and to take that offensively.

Not because I am a nutter. Because I am human.

As a normal person, I got offended, but I just got off and went to my room. A weird person might watch the elevator to see on which floor it stopped just to spite her. A weirder person might start hanging out on that floor. And of course the level of weird eventually leads to someone who would assault her.

But with all the times I have ridden in elevators, that is the only one I remember in detail. As was mentioned, it’s better for your safety not to draw attention, and drawing attention is exactly what she did.

As I said before, gentlemen have the right to be offended, because it is a slap in the face after all their efforts to treat women so well. But towards nutters, it just draws attention and increases your own risk. Just because I can imagine that there are people out there who would convert that offense into outrage and rape does not make me the nutter.

L. Spiro

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

One word: ridiculous! Things that you only see in Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I got a better suggestion that would work both to keep ladies on good physical form and reduce the stupidity in the above suggestion... Ladies that are scared of men and afraid every second something will happen can do :

Study self protection ( effective and well popular ) or...and even better for the form!

Just use the darn stairs!
-3 ( +1 / -4 )

But at the same time we can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for any innocent men who, going about their day and just managing to catch the elevator before the doors close, suddenly see the woman in the corner start jabbing at the buttons and race out as quickly as possible. Not only would it leave them confused

Not just confused, pissed off. I am on Japanese TV every week and in 2 movies this year. I am obviously not a threat to anyone, as even the slightest fault on my behalf could be damaging to my career, which is of course secondary to the fact that I simply don’t want to do anything to anyone but good. I thrive on happy faces. If I didn’t enjoy entertaining people, I would not be in the entertainment industry.

One day I went into the elevator of my own place with a woman I did not know.

I hit my floor and she hit nothing, leaving me to believe she was on the same floor as mine.

Then I was the only one to get off. I was extremely offended and angry. Since mine is almost the top floor, I know that she let the elevator pass her floor just to prevent me from knowing on which floor she lived. I didn’t care in the first place, but the fact that she would go so far out of her way to protect that information made me feel like a freak. I stood there, gave the typical courteous bow they give at night, and stood in front of her (not staring at her from behind with glass etc.) while wearing a suit and tie (just came home from an acting job), but somehow I am a weird guy to whom it is “dangerous” to give the location of your living quarters?

Not confused. Pissed off and offended. When I devote my life to entertaining people and specifically making them laugh, how dare someone treat me like a common villain?

I have not seen her since and I hope I never do.

While I would never take any violent action towards anyone, I can see how this might really piss off and offend others who might be more violent, and ultimately this may just cause more women to get hurt. And of course there are still the poor men who have to deal with landing on every floor etc. for no reason as the article mentions.

L. Spiro

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Whatever the flaws of this advice by the police as outlined in the article, it's a lot better than telling women to put up with threats to their safety, accusing them of exaggeration or falsehood or otherwise dismissing their safety as unimportant.

This topic is not about foreigners - as important and special as you think you are, Japanese people mostly go about their daily life not thinking about you. They have other concerns, including personal safety.

The topic about children's safety is a very important one. The steps we need to take to protect them and that they need to take to protect themselves, are different from the ones outlined here. However, most certainly, steps must always be taken. In another article, one that focuses on the ways children can keep safe and escape a potentially dangerous situation when in a public place.

Wherever you go, wherever you are an outsider, you will be looked at funny. People look at other people funny all over the world, including in your home country. People disrespect strangers on an international level by lookin' at them funny like. It's just that they don't look at you funny where you're from, because you aren't an outsider.

Yes, in Japan, I have been looked at funny by all kinds of people. Most of the time I ignore them. Sometimes, I look back until we both crack a smile. Sometimes I just nod, then look away.

I've had worse happen, too.

Obviously, in Japan, men from other countries are treated differently from women from other countries. men and women alike get both preferential treatment, and a raw deal, depending on the situation.

But that is off-topic. A good topic for another article.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Yeah, Japan is weird and all points made by girls are true...

But have anyone thought why the men are acting like that? May be they are not getting enough from their women after all and need to do all those stupid things? No excuse for their actions but the problem is much deeper I think!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Best is to use stair cases, don't just think about the number of floors, Its all about your safety. But personally I think Tokyo is safest City in the world and Elevators are safest place in the city. Dont know why Tokyo police publishes such advisory. (oh yes I recall the story of a jCOP... building... evening... elevator... alone cute teenager girls.. jCOP suddenly show xxxxx... elevator...). OK Advisory is fair enough to educated women travelling alone in elevators with a unknown person specially if stranger is a jCOP.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

(Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spots)

By far the most dangerous thing about taking the stairs is that you could trip and fall down them.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

actually in second thought its perfect... if you want to use the elevator fast and alone, without waiting for others to stop just properly ogle the woman coming in so she will leave!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Women only elevators between 7 and 9:30. Men can take the stairs.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

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