crime

Woman arrested for using spray on bus passengers in Chiba

114 Comments

A 34-year-old woman has been arrested after spraying a mace-like substance on passengers aboard a bus in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday night. According to police, the woman, who has been identified as office worker Kinue Noguchi, was talking on her cell phone on the bus when some other passengers pointed out to her that it was impolite to be talking on the phone. She then allegedly pulled the spray out of her bag and sprayed it at the eyes and throats of three passengers.

Following the incident, the woman got off the bus and fled. The police were called and began searching for the woman. On Tuesday, police received a report from bus passengers that a woman fitting Noguchi's description had been spotted waiting at a bus stop in Funabashi. They rushed to the scene and arrested Noguchi on suspicion of assault.

During questioning, she initially denied the charges, but later was quoted by police as saying: "Yes, I did it. Those passengers were rude too."

© Compiled from news reports

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114 Comments
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At least she didn't pull out a gun.

On the other hand, so much for Japan's "orderly society" myth.

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I've noticed a few similar complaints recently on trains (not buses) where older people look annoyed when they see younger folks chattering away on their cell phones. I even saw one old gent tap a young guy on the shoulder and point to the sticker reminding passengers to put their phones on standby mode.

There seems to be a growing gap in manners between the older and young generations, partly exacerbated by all the devices that we have to play with now.

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On the other hand, so much for Japan's "orderly society" myth.

Yeah I know, it's a shame when one woman can bring down the whole system.

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She had the balls to spray, run, wait 10 minutes and go back to the bus stop. Even when you try to correct someone in this country they still justify it. Getchyo gomen money ready.

denied the charges

huh?

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I dont see the difference between speaking with the person next to you and speaking to someone on the phone IF you are using the same level of voice.

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Most likely the people on the bus instigated physical violence and not just verbal.

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She had the balls to spray, run, wait 10 minutes and go back to the bus stop

Are you reading the same article I am?

Even when you try to correct someone in this country they still justify it

What, all 127 million of them?

Getchyo gomen money ready

huh?

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This woman deserves to have a fair dose of commonsense literally beaten into her. I can't believe some of you justify and make excuses for such behavior. If you currently live in Japan, accept and follow the rules or leave. It's that simple.

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The Problem is that everyone pays to ride a bus train etc. so why do others have to except or put up with others who are rude. Ive poltely told people to stop using their phone....People talking to each other is OK but in a reasonable manner. What gets me are people who do their personal hygyene things like apply their make up etc... Japanese are usually well behaved and quiet so people who yap on the phone stand out but most Japanese dont complain so these people take advantage of their own people....but the Older people talk very loudly when they talk on their keitai, and the ring is like an alarm clock.....

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yes. 1- She ran and probably farted around somewhere in the dark or hung out in a conbini to kill 10 minutes and went back to the same bus route. 2- yes. 3- Gomen nasai money is compensation money to say sorry, little cop paperwork and keep it out of the courts (lawsuit).

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I rode a bus in Vancouver last year and some chick was endlessly jabbering away on her cell for all to hear. After 15 minutes I was about to tell her to shut the **** up but realized it was totally acceptable behavior and allowed. Amazingly, everyone does it and no one gets uptight. I prefer the Japanese attitude towards public nuisance.

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or hung out in a conbini to kill 10 minutes

Hey listen, I have a favour to ask. Can you read the article again for me? Thanks.

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Really, what is the difference between talking to the person next to you and talking on the phone? People get annoyed if two ojisan are jibbering away at each other loudly, but nobody sprays mace in their eyes.

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I kid you not, this is the real reason why cell phones are not allowed on planes. It has nothing to do with signal interference, the stress levels on planes are already high enough. Imagine if some moron was blabbering on the phone at high volume with a ridiculous J-pop ring tome going off every 5 minutes. Even Ghandi or Jesus would strangle them.

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Illegal to pepper spray a bus load of people here ? Well i never !!

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no.

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sprayed it at the eyes and throats

Ok, I can imagine how this can get sprayed into eyes; how does one spray into throat?

Vic: "You see that sign "No talking over the phone" Perp: "Hey, look at me" Vic: "Arghhhh, WTF did you spray into my eyes?" Perp: "Just open your mouth and lean back" Vic: "WTF, you sprayed it into my throat now.... arghhhhh"

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no.

C'mon. Reading is good for the brain and might make you think twice before your next rant.

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Very funny, but I understand it's good to carry pepper spray because you don't know when a group or an individual will bother you.

First of all, the engine on the bus is more annoying than someone talking on the phone. Depending on the bus, sometimes the chime or recorded voice is much more annoying on the bus/train

I don't understand the difference when:

3 - 8 JHS/SHS (girls) students yelling and screaming on the train/bus saying, " KAWAII " 25 times in less than 2 minutes

3-8 JHS/SHS (boys) playing PSP/ NINTENDO DS yelling and screaming about Fighting Blue dragons on their game console. Or literally grabbing each other's bum on the train/bus or kancho each other until they are sore

3-8 old as dirt old senior citizens (old men & women ) talk loudly on the bus or train usually they come in groups of 2.

3-8 office workers/old people smelling like shochu/saki/or cheap alchol talking loudly bumping and touching me because they can't stand on their own power.

what's the difference standing outside the train/bus and hearing the train or bus beep their horn so loud it wakes up the dead. But inside the train/bus it has to be total silence. Why do I have to turn off my phone or have silent mode on near the silver seats. But outside the train or waiting for the train or walking to and from the train station has alot of noise hazards and microwave radiation or whatever kind of hazard that will shut off their pacemaker.

I don't understand what they are trying to prove ?????

Me thinks these people need tooooo wake up !!!

Anyway , people shouldn't be that comfortable on the train or sleep hard on the train because that is why we have apartments and homes for !!!! if you want to snooze, snooze at home or buy a car.

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Amazingly, everyone does it and no one gets uptight. I prefer the Japanese attitude towards public nuisance.

Try walking around Akihabara on a Sunday and find out the real Japanese attitude to noise pollution.

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Yeah my ultimate wish on public transportation would be that EVERYONE shuts up, same like in the movie theater. But that dream will never come true....

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i don't care if people talk on the phone in trains or busses, and i don't care if they do their make-up. sheesh people stop watching others so closely and get a life...

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Try walking around Akihabara on a Sunday and find out the real Japanese attitude to noise pollution

Akihabara = Japan.

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Yes, what's the difference between speaking loudly and using your cell phone?

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how does one spray into throat?

Unless JT edited but i see

She then allegedly pulled the spray out of her bag and sprayed it at the eyes and throats of three passengers.

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I think speaking on a cell phone in a crowded place is considered a nuisance by many because the surrounding people can only hear one side of the conversation. The speech becomes incomprehensible and becomes pure noise. It's like having to listen to a loud foreign language you don't understand.

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Really, what is the difference between talking to the person next to you and talking on the phone? People get annoyed if two ojisan are jibbering away at each other loudly, but nobody sprays mace in their eyes.

I wonder that too. Is it becuase people can't ease drop as well only listneing to one side of a conversation? And, from what I have seen here, many in Japan don't just go and "break the ice" by speaking to strangers, so why should they care if someone is speaking on the phone. As long as they are not loud and yelling, I don't think it should be a problem.

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smartacus: "I've noticed a few similar complaints recently on trains (not buses) where older people look annoyed when they see younger folks chattering away on their cell phones"

Really? What I've seen over the past few years is an increase in ELDERLY (or businessmen) people who don't turn off their ring tones (and often just let the phone ring), speak loudly if called, and always have those stupid little bells strapped to them. Kids have always gone against social morays and there are still plenty of young folk with bad cell phone manners, but we're seeing older people start to ignore them more frequently.

That being said, I CAN understand how annoying it is when some people wag their finger at you and insist that you follow what THEIR intepretation of good manners means. Who's to say that you don't have an emergency call? It's absolutely NO excuse for what this idiotic woman did, but still.

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Why do people make such a big deal about using cell phones on buses, trains etc.? It's no worse than hearing people jabbering with each other.

Good on this woman; she wasn't going to be intimidated and thos epeople will think twice before they butt in again in somebody else's private conversation.

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trulymadlyfukai: "Why do people make such a big deal about using cell phones on buses, trains etc.? It's no worse than hearing people jabbering with each other."

Agreed, more or less, but it "disturbs the 'wa' of those around you!" Anyway, again, the is especially the case of a bunch of obachan are yammering on their way to a hike or home from the clinic, or businessmen/ojisan when it's enkai season. Needless to say young people can be quite loud, if not louder, as well. Still, it's nice when people AREN'T so loud.

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Generally speaking I think the Japanese have better cell phone etiquette than in most other countries; but they also have the odd propensity to absolutely snap and do crazy stuff like this woman did if they are scolded or not apologized to, etc.

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The reason why cellular phones must be shut off near the priority seats is that they emit signals that may negatively influence the functionability if pacemakers.

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As long as someone speaks softly I don't see the big deal.

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The reason why cellular phones must be shut off near the priority seats is that they emit signals that may negatively influence the functionability if pacemakers.

That has never been proven scientifically.

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The reason why cellular phones must be shut off near the priority seats is that they emit signals that may negatively influence the functionability if pacemakers.

No they don't. People just think they do, that's why they have signs. Same as people who think that having a mobile phone turned on while on a plane will cause the engines to explode and the cabin to depressurise.

I wish someone would mace a few old women who gabber on about pointless garbage in loud voices and have stupid little bells attached to their phone/bag that rattle all the time.

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People who ignore the rules in public places should get hosed down with mace for being so selfish. We should carry mace with us at all times for such ocassions.

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I agree that a quiet phone conversation is much less irritating than cackling old people or screaming teenagers. I think it's pretty ridiculous the way it makes people snap or shatter into pieces when someone's violating a rule in a quiet, nonobtrusive way. I once saw a woman on a train take a call that was clearly some kind of emergency because she kept mentioning the name of a hospital, and the word "accident" popped up a few times. She was trying to speak quietly, but the train was dead silent so everyone could hear her anyways, and some old lady freaked out on her and tried to grab the phone out of her hand. The woman on the phone tried to move away from the old woman into the next car, but the old woman followed, yelling at her, and then came back and grabbed a conductor and started complaining to him very loudly. I felt bad for the first woman because she was obviously hearing some bad news and looked shaken, and then she had to deal with some harpy screeching at her and making tons more noise in the process. Yes, it's a rule and we have them for a reason, but it's not the end of the world if people need to break them once in a while.

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Sarahsuz24: Society should follow the rules regardless, even if it results in hardship for a small number of people.

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I guess my point is that sometimes people just can't follow the rules for one reason or another, and other people need to suck it up and deal with it, instead of flying into a rage which is much more disruptive and annoying for everyone. Some guy in my town got into trouble for throwing eggs out of his car window at people who he thought were breaking traffic rules. I just can't understand that kind of rage.

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ridiculous the whole "rude to use keitai in public" thing.

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wow, so she was loud ANd she used spray, what an attitude.

Dont worry it will only get worse. Lately youngsters have found out that their phone also has a speaker so they can play loud music without earphones.

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I'm glad someone had the courage to do something about the rude people in busses and trains who can't tolerate little bit of noise. Sometimes I feel like spraying them with something too.

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Septic Lawyer, i didn't know you were such a law-abiding vigilante.

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american_bengoshi, we're not living in a courtroom. There are exceptions. Noone should think twice to answer their calls, as long as it takes, if they are dealing with an emergency situation, no matter where they are. The old fart's actions in sarahsuz25's story can't be justified. There are more important things in life than keeping quiet in the trains, like dealing with emergency situation.

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I'm glad someone had the courage to do something about the rude people in busses and trains who can't tolerate little bit of noise

Oh, so it's the people who DON'T make the noise who are the rude ones and not the other way around. Joking aside, why do us foreigners have such a hard time with NOT talking on the cell phone when using the bus or train? Why isn't "it's considered rude" or "it's just the rules" not good enough? It seems to be more than enough for smoking. Talking on the cell phone annoys people, just like smoke can annoy people. Just don't do it.

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I am always surprised when people say it is rude to talk in the train while there are incessant and VERY old announcements (which are MUCH more annoying to me). As long as people are not too loud, I don't see what the problem is. Talking is life. All this people saying it is rude to talk can accept the huge noise pollution in Japanese cities without contesting. I would rather campaign to establish anti-noise pollution rules against the local pachinko or the stupid businesses thinking it is appropriate to shout and broadcast music in my neighborhood.... or the local JR station whose announcements can be heard by the whole neighborhood on a 500m radius.

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the next generation of "old people" will not care, this is soon to be a thing of the past.

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Talking on the cell phone annoys people, just like smoke can annoy people. Just don't do it.

Not a good example, second hand smoke can kill you. Someone taking emergency call while on the train should not bother anyone. Just don't do it? Noone can stop me taking emergency call, no matter where I am.

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Anything done to excess can be a problem: driving too fast, riding your bicycle like a maniac on the sidewalks in Tokyo (where bicycles are supposed to be by law <--crazy law), talking loudly on a keitai in a train or bus.

I remember one time, two people were sitting beside me on the train chatting away. My phone buzzed in my pocket so I took it out and answered it. The two talkers gave me dirty looks. I told them I was just talking to an invisible rabbit named Harvey, sitting next to me. They didn't get it.

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My comment got cut off again... I don't know why that happens. Let me try again.

Anything done to excess can be a problem: driving too fast, riding your bicycle like a maniac on the sidewalks in Tokyo (where bicycles are supposed to be by law... crazy law), or talking too loudly on the train whether it be with or without a cell phone.

I remember one time I was on the train and two people sitting beside me were having a great old conversation. My phone quietly vibrated in my pocket so I took it out and answered the call in a quiet voice with my hand over my mouth and phone like many politer Japanese do (it decreases the background noise so the person on the other end can hear much better, and so can you). They gave me really dirty looks, so I told them I was just talking with my invisible rabbit friend, Harvey, sitting to my left. They didn't get it.

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TheBigRiceBowl - A bicycle is a vehicle by law and in general needs to be ridden on the motorway. If you need to use the sidewalk you have to ride slowly because the pedestrian has the right of way.

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It's hilarious how Japanese people keep their feelings all bottled up and then at some point they just explode

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I think there is a difference between phone etiquette and phone pathetiquette. This is Japan - Half of the population don't give poop and the other half are over-reacting nutcases. It seems both of these parties fall into the latter category.

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The problem is too many rules and not enough consideration and plain common sense. People speaking on phones on buses and trains are no problem when compared with the endless annoying announcements telling us not to use them.

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I might give someone, er, no, have given someone the finger for nit picking about cell phones on the bus, but I'm not about to mace them for going on about some silly rule. And what Blacklabel said: "IF you are using the same level of voice" on the phone.

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@the pros- she had obviously been planning the explosion if she had a bottle of mace handy in her bag. Sounds like she had been on edge for sometime and finally reached critical mass.

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rude people, the lot of them. Ban cell phones, they just make things worse than they already were. If the stoopid majority of ppl don't have or follow manners, insert a device that automatically stops service or self-destruct. Mission Impossible-like.

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But my guess is she would use the stoopid spray even if she didn't have a cell phone. Lunatic.

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i don't care if people talk on the phone in trains or busses, and i don't care if they do their make-up. sheesh people stop watching others so closely and get a life...

Try doing that at rush hour in Tokyo. It's not wanting to see it, it is having to.

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Then again all the theater (talking loudly, makeup, etc, etc) is the thing - can't do anything else because they're annoyed, rettsu do something that will annoy people for a 'change'. Yeahh

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wtf imma talk on my cell wherever i want, especially on the bus.

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Let's hope this woman gets the death penalty !

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Absolutely anecdotal, but it is the first thing I thought of. Johnny Knoxville got himself pepper sprayed, stungunned and tazed for our entertainment, and although the tazing looked downright scary, and although he had to tear a tazer dart from his pec,

he reported that the pepper spraying was by far the nastiest of the three experiences. I don't have any reason to doubt him.

So this lady deserves assault charges or something worse for going off like this.

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Smith is so right about people being generally ok, but liable to snap. That is the Japan I live in.

Piglet doesn't know anybody who has a pacemaker, obviously. I do, as of very recently, and I am not inclined to go testing what they can and can't do. It is only someone's heartbeat vs. another person's rude yakking, for heaven's sake.

American bengoshi obviously thinks that pepper spray has an area of effect of about 10 inches around a person's face. Gaily spraying caustic fluids in a bus is not the Dale Carnegie strategy of the new millenium, or even a good way to tell someone to buzz off. Why didn't she just gouge their eyes and knee them in the groin?

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Just be thankful that the bluetooth devices aren't popular in Japan. Those things are so amazingly annoying.

Taka

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imma talk on my cell wherever i want, especially on the bus.

Sheesh! Get a car already

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Three old beldames on the Chiyoda were babbling about cats and cold weather and cakes for twenty-five minutes this morning. Not talking TO each other, you understand, but all cackling and so desu ne-ing at the same time, at the same kind of volume you'd use if you were lost in a cave system.

I got an email on my mobile, which I picked up immediately, shutoff the alarm, read discreetly and put back in my pocket.

I looked back to see them all staring open-mouthed at how appalling my train manners were. Then we get the "We Japanese show consideration for those around us" speech, loud enough for all to hear, based on the assumption I couldn't understand it.

You would have thought I'd gone up on one foot and broken wind. So I broke wind and asked them to eff off.

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I think people consider a cellphone conversation in a public place rude because, generally, most people consider phone conversations private. And when cell phone users expand their private sphere to include those around them, those around them tend to become uncomfortable, much as if two lovers sat next to me on the Yamanote line and kept loudly smooching away for 12 stations....(true story). SHHHEEESSSSHHHH its annoying!

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mace-like substance

Ummm...deodorant sprays like "BAN" in Japan and other countries are like Made-Like. You can do severe damage with them. Also, my asthma inhaler can do severe damage in the eyes or lungs of someone without asthma....so clarify mace-like

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Sounds like a damn freekin fight to me and they all belong to the same club so is just like a movie...capicheeeeeeeeeeee_???

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by the way, it is not true: cell phones DO NOT affect pacemakers.

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What's going on with this country?? This is not the Japan I used to know.

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There would be that as well.

Taka

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I understand your anger, but to mace somebody? Wow! That's taking on a bit of a do-it-yourself Clint Eastwood role, isn't it?

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Haha now this seems funny in a way.

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The bottom line issue here is that this woman used a mace like substance on people who were not a threat to her. Her annoyance of these people trying to set her straight on a policy of being kind when using your cell phone on public transportation indicates a shift in values that most have witness here. As some have already stated “this is not the Japan I once knew" is more than an accurate statement.

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Yeah macing people just because they asked you not to talk on your phone is way overboard and hope she pays for it. But on the other hand she should have told them to "ef" off because if she were not overly loud her conversation (unless overly lengthy) is none of their business. So contradictory to those that talk to each other in much louder voices in person and we have to listen to them.

Once on a train I had my ipod turned up enough to hear the lyrics of the songs over the clacking of railway tracks and an old git turned from 3 rows in front of me and yapped something at me. I took out the earpiece and heard him complain he could hear my music. I guess the sound of unrecognizable music must have disturbed him listening to the loud clacking of the tracks. I then told him to "ef" off and continued listening to my music. He is free to listen to any device in his ears he wants to if he wants to block out the world as well.

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Happens every day in Good Old N.Y. -Exept the "Pay-back involves Weapons!I do hope this is a Rare occasion!

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I never understood why it's rude to talk on your cell phone on the bus/train. It's okay on the street/in the store/other public places, so why not on the bus?

She grossly overreacted, but I agree that the other passengers were rude to tell her to stop. Talking on the phone doesn't hurt them at all.

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"by the way, it is not true: cell phones DO NOT affect pacemakers."

Here is hoping you get a pacemaker one of these days. I have some things I want to test out on you. Just for giggles. Throwing your rhythm a little out of whack would be great sport, and you could let me know what that feels like.

Way back when I used to be a smoker, I would have a little fun with militant non-smokers. I would pull out a cigarette and put it in my mouth and NOT light it. Everyone knows what happens next, right? People start coughing and sniffing. The waiter would come over and tell me that I was in the non-smoking section, etc. The whole Pavlov dog thing. I was a jerk about it, explaining that it was not lit and that I had no intention of lighting it. People would continue to freak out.

As a stunt, someone should get an empty phone shell and pantomime talking on it and "using" it silently. Then when someone starts complaining, just say, "here, it's for you". Then give it to them and walk away. Or take videos of their reaction, or whatever. Make it art. People are way too high strung about it and deserve to be shown up as fools. Using a baby toy phone would make it even funnier.

But I feel strongly both ways. Hermione, I think that the deal is that you cannot get away from it on a bus. That makes it worse. Of course you can't get away from pepper spray either, and you would think this lady would know that.

I sure am glad I don't live in people-living-on-top-of-people land. I suspect that is the real problem.

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Parents don't do much to teach kids manners in Japan these days. And if this had been an incident in the UK, you can bet your butt this girl would have had the crap knocked out of her!

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I agree much of the behaviour that people get away with in Japan would quiet likely earn them a thumping or worse overseas.

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While talking on the phone is a bit irritating, it no way compares to being shoulder barged, trodden on or treated like a non-entity by people on the trains here. That kind of behaviour really does deserve a beating.

Other than this case above, the general lack of aggression in this society is probably why manners have deteriorated to such a shocking level. People can just get away with it.

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That's why there's text!

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If you currently live in Japan, accept and follow the rules or leave. It's that simple.

Or try to change the rules.

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Parents don't do much to teach kids manners in Japan these days.

Hey, I'm a parent and I'm in Japan and I certainly don't agree with your over-generalization. Most parents I know do a really good job in that respect. Just because you see "some" kids lacking in manners doesn't mean that all kids are like that.

She's 34, not 4. She's an adult, not a child. She should have been more careful on the phone and she should definitely have taken her meds.

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Or try to change the rules.

I grok that.

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Bus Uncle popped into my head when I read this. (google Bus Uncle)

This is also another reason I try to avoid public transportation whenever possible.

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Who cares if someone talks on the phone while on public transportation as long as they do so at a reasonable volume? Seriously, are people angry because they can't hear the other half of the conversation? I don't believe that since I don't see people getting angry if the person next to them is talking to someone who has a soft voice. And let's get this straight, it's not a rule. It's a suggestion. I'm all for people having manners and not disturbing others but people who are so disturbed by someone having a conversation at a reasonable volume are ridiculous and just looking for ways to act self-righteous and to bully others. I'll concede the point the day I start seeing people getting angry when young, healthy, lazy people refuse to give up their seats to the infirm, pregnant or elderly or when people get angry at the selfish women who carry their jumbo size bags and think it's okay to keep them poked in your back or the people who push onto the train before everyone exits or the people who get off the train while texting thus moving more slowly than they should be and not paying attention to anyone around them. Really! In the scheme of things one human being communicating with another ought to be cause for celebration not condemnation. And if the issue is that the conversations are inane and not necessary then that's a whole other ball of wax since that would describe most of the conversations I hear. As far as I can see it the whole problem is volume and not someone talking on the phone and that I can understand. Again, though I'd be far more impressed with this whole argument if people hushed the squealing high school girls who nearly pierce your ear drums or the middle-aged women and drunken salarymen who talk to each other at a volume you'd use in a battlefield while under fire. Japanese are quiet when they're alone. Put them with people they know, get them talking and they're as loud as everyone else. If you're that bothered by the noise, get earplugs!

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@ambrosia

I love you post.

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Lostrune2, I was once on a bus trying to get to the station, but the traffic was kind of bad and I was worried because I was supposed to meet a friend. I pulled out my phone and began to type a message. Suddenly this little old woman across the aisle from me got up and started complaining to me about how I wasn't supposed to use the phone on the bus. Not even for texting.

I don't use buses anymore so I don't know if this is the case. Since this event was 6 or 7 years ago, maybe bus rules changed. But it was really annoying and embarrassing.

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What if there's an emergency?!

Next time, say you're using the phone to play a game and not texting. Gameboys are allowed, right?

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Lostrune2: Why should you have to justify it at all, much less with a lie? Politely tell the busy-body that not using a cellphone on the train is a suggestion not a rule, and unless they are going to crack down on all the generally irritating behavior that that goes on everyday on public transportation they should just mind their own business. Failing that, ask to see their etiquette-police badge. What's next morals-police a 'la Iran and Afghanistan? I'm absolutely not condoning what this woman did but I do think that it's high time people started standing up to these hypocritical bullies.

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Who cares if someone talks on the phone while on public transportation as long as they do so at a reasonable volume

this woman was famous among the bus drivers and the passengers who use the bus all the time because apparently every time she was on the bus she took out her phone to speak really loud (and yes, she is a regular bus passenter taking the same line going to the same place).

i guess if the conversation sounded like an emergency, this might not have happened, but since many people on the bus thought like oh, that's this woman AGAIN and she was just speaking with her friend about whatever with a loud voice.. the driver even stopped at the bus stop when nobody was getting off or getting on the bus just to tell her to stop being loud, but her response was that she was paying money to get on the bus so what'd be the problem?

then some other passengers who saw that got annoyed and told her to stop talking and get off if she would continue...

so...

generally, i don't really mind it when people talk on the phone if they do it quietly and they keep the conversation short (like saying they'll be late for the appointment, or just picking up their phone to tell the other person they'd call back when they get off the train and etc).. but when someone is talking about nothing with a really loud voice, then it's pretty annoying (and especially if i see the same person doing it everytime i'm on a bus or train.. that would definitely be annoying)!

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fishy: As I've said before and will say again and again and again on this issue, I find it no more annoying than I do when anyone is talking in an excessively loud voice but I do find it odd that people single out cell phone users for this lack of manners when there are plenty of people on public transportation who are guilty of assaulting others' ears with their loud voices. As for whether or not someone's conversation has to be an emergency or of a lofty subject, really why do you care? Do you tell people sitting next to or near you that they should really talk about things that are more important or do you reserve that demand only for people speaking on phones? And who are you, or anyone else for that matter to decide what is and isn't important? This woman may have gone overboard with her loud voice, she certainly did with her subsequent behavior and as I've said, I don't condone her behavior in any way. I just think it's ridiculous in general to get so worked up about people talking or using their cell phones on public transportation when it's hardly the rudest thing that a person can do or even rude at all if it's done so at a reasonable volume. Notice how I keep coming back to the word "reasonable"? Everyone using public transportation ought to try being a little more reasonable and that includes the unreasonable behavior police. No one's ever explained in a logical manner why it's any ruder to speak on a cell phone than to speak to someone in person while on public transportation. "Because it's rude" is not an explanation any more than "because I don't like it". "Because it's the rule" is neither a logical explanation nor true. You've addressed why this particular woman was a huge annoyance and very possibly nuts but you've gone no further in presenting a logical argument against the general hypocrisy of this particular issue.

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The sound level on JR trains and stations for public announcements is usually so high that is is comical to hear them ask you to refrain from talking on the phone when the biggest disturbance comes from the train company itself. In some trains and stations, it is almost unbearable. If you take a local train, it is even worth as you have almost a continuous flow of meaningless information. Talk about manners...

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it is even worse

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These are the rules in Japan... No phone conversation on public transport. Just obey it.

They are trying a "quiet carriage" in Brisbane, Australia at the moment. Which is one carriage in every train is designated "quiet", where you are not supposed to talk loud on the phone, talk loud in general or listen to loud music. It is not exactly policed, but the idea is starting to infiltrate. I prefer these trains because I don't have to listen to some idiot talking about their sexual exploits or have to listen to some crap music in a really tinny sound.

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It is not a rule! Why can't people seem to understand that? It's a suggestion, a request if you will, in the same way that all the Do It at Home posters are offering suggestions. There is nothing on the back of the ticket or train pass which you purchase to ride saying that you cannot talk on a cell phone. You cannot be thrown off a train in Japan simply for talking on a cellphone any more than you can be thrown off for carrying oversized bags, spreading your legs too wide, putting your make-up on, talking about make-up and hair, falling a sleep on the person next to you or any other of the myriads of irritating things people do everyday on pretty much every car of every train. It's not a rule and it's not a law! There is no need to "obey it" just try to be reasonable. That should be more than enough. Earplugs people or private transportation if it bothers you that much.

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Isn't it just common sense manners to try to refrain from making a lot of noise in public places where people generally enjoy some peace & quiet?

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@dolphingirl

Where did you see any quiet train in Japan? The public announcements are so loud it is almost worse than people talking normally. In Hong Kong, people use cell phone and chat in the trains, it bothered me less than these fascist messages about rules.

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Where did you see any quiet train in Japan? The public announcements are so loud it is almost worse than people talking normally.

When only one person is talking, its OK, but it simply gets chaos if hundred people started talking. Imagine about all the people around you on busy morning train talking on the cellphones.

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@aksksks

I come from a country where people talk on the cellphone in the trains and subways and chat (loud). So, I can imagine ;-)

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aksksk: Well....if everyone on the train were talking on their cellphones wouldn't that mean piglet would be talking on his / her cellphone too and thus, probably not really in a position to be angry at others for doing so. See, what happens when you use silly, hypothetical arguments to try and prove a point is usually that you just end up sounding silly.

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ambrosia you are so right in all of your posts. I'll second your emotion.

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I hate to break up this love-in with ambrosia and mikehuntez, but ambrosia is quite wrong. Her whole theory is this; "If it's not against the law and it feels good, do it. To hell with what everyone else thinks." Fortunately, most of us learned by kindergarten to behave with responsibility and restraint. Common sense, however, comes a little later for some than others.

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Well gosh golly gee horsefella, not only is that not my whole theory it's not even part of it by a long shot but you'd know that if you actually read what I wrote and weren't so stubbornly sticking to an illogical argument. Nice try, though. I think mikehuntez and I will go on loving each other then, if it's okay with you.

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ambrosia-

Earplugs people or private transportation if it bothers you that much.

Your words, not mine, ambrosia. Translation; "If ambrosia wants to loudly yak on her cellphone in the middle of a train, everyone who doesn't like it should buy earplugs or take a taxi" Very nice.

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This might also come as a shock, but fellow riders DON'T want to know; 1. what you just had for lunch 2. what you plan to have for dinner 3. that you think you are getting fat 4. How darn-tootin' busy work is lately 5. your latest tattoo is infected 6. your best bosum-buddy just broke up with her boyfriend, and 7.you met a totally hot guy at Gaspanic last night.

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Please explain how suggesting people wear ear plugs translates to "do whatever you like"? No, don't bother. I don't care that much. However, if you must know, I actually never speak on my cell phone on the train, bus or much at all really. I've never been much of a phone chatter. As for earplugs, I always wear them while on the trains because I am bothered by iPods. Recognizing that it's my problem and that the person wearing the iPod is probably enjoying it and that my sensitivity to them doesn't mean others shouldn't be allowed to enjoy them, I plug out the noise and tune in to books. See how easy it is to be reasonable? Your bitterness is as silly as your attempt to try and put words in my mouth. Perhaps you could walk off that anger. I hear long staircases are good for that. Adios amigo!

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This might also come as a shock, but fellow riders DON'T want to know; 1. what you just had for lunch 2. what you plan to have for dinner 3. that you think you are getting fat 4. How darn-tootin' busy work is lately 5. your latest tattoo is infected 6. your best bosum-buddy just broke up with her boyfriend, and 7.you met a totally hot guy at Gaspanic last night.

I am sure I have been subjected to that conversation. Over and over. I imagine such people cannot imagine that they are not endlessly fascinating to the rest of us, or that their phones have volume controls, which is why they feel compelled to project such gems as if they were speaking at a political rally.

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My guess is that its all about harmony & sensibility. When I first came to Japan I was waking people up on the subways because I was worried they'd miss their stops. Back in my country we just don't dare to fall asleep on the trains for fear of missing our stop. The issues of "NOISE' in, on & around trains in Japan are somewhat confusing, what with horrendous noise pollution from Political Pollsters at the station gate who seem to have 'Carte Blanche' on drowning out platform announcements & everything else within earshot, the slavish, panic driven high intensity drivel that gets pumped out unnecerssarily in cases of obvious train delays & the whispered urgent conversations on the phone to inform bosses that the trains have been delayed AGAIN & WE are late for work!!! Generally speaking it seems to me that anything done on an individual level can be directly dealt with & criticized but if it comes from the 'apparent' system it must be OK.

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I've gotta' say, hosefella... I don't think you live here in Japan. The point you raise of people talking about the 1 to 7 (see post above) just don't happen here with 'fellow riders'. I ain't ever heard that crap!

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@m5c32 "Ok, I can imagine how this can get sprayed into eyes; how does one spray into throat? " allow me to clear this one up for you. This coming from someone who has been pepper sprayed by the police on more than one occasion. This phenomena occurs when just at the very moment you are inhaling, they fill your f'ing face up with pepper spray. nose...check...throat...check...mouth...check...eyes and ears..check check

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