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Majority of Japanese women in poll support idea of men-only train cars

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Japanese trains are internationally famous for three things: being amazingly punctual, startlingly crowded, and distressingly the place where chikan, men who grope other passengers, operate. The second and third characteristics are related, since chikan often take advantage of the packed conditions to make it harder for victims to identify or confront them.

In an effort to alleviate the problem, some rail operators in major cities designate certain train cars as being for female passengers only during the morning and evening rush hours. But a recent survey by Japanese research organization Macromill decided to turn things around and ask commuters how they’d feel about male-only train cars.

Macromill polled a total of 500 train commuters living in Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama, home to many people who ride into the city for work or school each day. Respondents’ ages ranged from 15 to 59, and 242 were women.

When asked whether trains should introduce cars for men only, the majority of the women polled, 73.9 percent, expressed support for such a move.

Should men-only train cars be introduced?

● Absolutely yes: 13.6 percent of female respondents

● Yes: 60.3 percent

● No: 25.6 percent

● Absolutely not: 0.4 percent

However, while roughly the same proportion of men were strongly in favor of all-male cars, overall the concept was less popular with male respondents, though 65.1 percent still said they agreed with the idea.

Should men-only train cars be introduced?

● Absolutely yes: 14.3 percent of male respondents

● Yes: 50.8 percent

● No: 30.6 percent

● Absolutely not: 4.3 percent

The rationale of those who are in favor of all-male cars fell into two general categories: chikan and equality. Regarding the former, women said they felt that all-male cars would decrease the likelihood of groping. Meanwhile, men who like the idea of having a car just for the guys said they would benefit by eliminating the chance that a woman would mistakenly interpret inadvertent physical contact in a crowded train as them purposely copping a feel. As for equality, there were both male and female respondents who simply felt it’s unfair for there to be women-only cars, but not men-only ones.

It’s worth pointing out though, that women-only cars in Japan are voluntary. Women can choose between using them or the mixed-gender cars, and ostensibly the same would apply for men if male-only cars were introduced. As such, it seems unlikely that men being able to sequester themselves with other male commuters would do much to cut down on male-on-female train groping, since chikan would be the men least interested in exercising their option to distance themselves from women on the train.

That leaves “not being mistaken for a chikan” as the primary upside of male-only cars, and while the potential for such a misunderstanding is something certain commuters worry about, it isn’t something Japanese society, as a whole, is significantly concerned with, and this is likely why train cars just for men have yet to be introduced in Japan.

Sources: Macromill via Nico Nico News via Jin

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Survey finds big gap in Japanese train passengers who want to sit next to someone of opposite sex

-- “Women who attract chikan, and women who don’t”: The illustrated guide that’s provoking debate

-- Anime-style art encourages young women to report Japanese train gropers in new posters

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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While of course there are a few people who are determined to do this kind of thing isn't it mostly enabled by the fact there are times of day where you are pressed so closely to other people you barely need stand but are held up by the people squashed into you all around.

I think more trains and reasonable capacity limitations are the most likely to actually help with all these issues..

Men only car in summer.. no thanks..

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Need more laws to prevent those chikans. One of them is to make clear the limitation of people to get on, like elevator. Cameras to be installed or more cars (wagons) to avoid sardines-in-the-box. Only man space will create other pervert issues, anyway.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I've been pushing for this ever since they first introduced female-only cars. Nice to see that so many Japanese also agree.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What they need to do is to prevent and educate people against chikan behaviour, not to separate people to avoid it.

It would be good to have seats free off obachan and shopping housewives though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What they need to do is to prevent and educate people against chikan behaviour, not to separate people to avoid it.

Why not both?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Would be a lot less quieter.

Just saying

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Farmboy - that will probably be the funniest thing I read or hear all day. Thanks!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So rather than dealing with the core problems, the "solution" is more separation?

Theres no easy solution to stop twisted prerferts from being perferts but overcrowded trains probably only excit these freaks.

Im sure that our trains were designed to have a maximum capacity and I'm sure they exceed that capacity, daily. It's far from natural for human beings to be that close to so many total strangers, let alone it being an unsafe practice, from an engineering standpoint and a common sense safety standpoint.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

When you give half the population access to all 10 carriages and the other half only 9, things become unbalanced, and men get squeezed in a bit more.

Men only car in summer.. no thanks..

Well, on more than one occasion, I've had to move away from women because of the amount of perfume.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I think its ok to implement this rule during rush hours, but I think it's too much to do this at all times when trains are spacious and not crowded. There is so many segregation in this world already why do we need to add more? To do this at all times will be inconvenient to many passngers I think. Plus maybe banning adult videos with sexual harrasment themes would prbably help a lot too? Just a suggestion, why don't they make a carriage for People with luggages during rush hours only too?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is a very good idea!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well in all fairness, just as men should not have a say in women's only car matters, neither should women be involved in men's only situations as well.

If their was a men's only car on the train (or several of them to prevent crowding) I would frequent them to eliminate the chance of me ever being falsely accused of anything perv related.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A very good idea. I personally think half of the cars should be either female only or male only. Just declaring one car as male only will not make a big difference.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why not just stigmatize the gropers. A woman's group should start a campaign by making some sort of small symbol men could wear on their lapels and hand them out at the stations?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Gender segregation is never an answer. It will only make the problem worse. Better teach Japanese men good manners and how to respect women. Start with banning that disgusting hentai manga and porn that turns schoolgirls into sexual objects.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What they need to do is to prevent and educate people against chikan behaviour, not to separate people to avoid it.

You are forgetting that avoiding difficult issues is a Japanese national sport.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

bosphorus - actually I'm in favour of this proposal. On my train line, there is one women (and disabled/children) only carriage on the fast trains. It's reasonably full each day, with people standing, so it's obviously meeting the needs of some women who don't want to travel with men for any number of reasons. On the other hand, many women don't feel the need to use the women-only carriage and all the carriages have many women in.

In short, they seem to work on my train line.

If they introduced one men-only carriage, I imagine the same thing would happen. Men worried about false accusations of groping would use it and would feel slightly more relaxed during their commute. Other men would continue to use the mixed carriages. I think it's definitely worth having a trial on some lines.

I also agree that the Japanese depiction of women needs to change.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


Well said! the problem with sexual harrasment is not gonna be solved through male/female segregation! pervert men will always be perverts wherever they are. When women gets off the trains, perverts can still follow them and do their thing outside. Indeed educate Japanese men not to treat women as sexual materials.


 I personally think half of the cars should be either female only or male only. Just declaring one car as male only will not make a big difference.

I agree that for rush hours it can't be helped and these could be applied. But during regular hours? come on, not all passengers travel alone, some travel in groups. It's going to be really inconvenient to be separated from your companion when commuting.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The simple answer is in the rush hour keep the sexes separate - Womans only cars already exist make compulsary they use them between 6am to 9am

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How sad that it may come to this.

Why not just stigmatize the gropers. A woman's group should start a campaign by making some sort of small symbol men could wear on their lapels and hand them out at the stations?

Why not a woman's and men's group?

What am I saying; just more making light of an unpleasant issue. Enough.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why not a woman's and men's group?

Better yet, though most of the men are working.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A train for gropers and women who want to be groped would be for the best.

But then you'd have the problem of random tourists getting felt up.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

They already have women only carriages. Why not have carriages specifically for gropers? That would eliminate the inconvenience to other commuters. (sarcasm) It is a sad fact of the modern society, but unfortunately, this is necessary. However, this will also create major logistical problems. They will have to carefully examine the percentage of women and men using each line and label the carriages accordingly. Otherwise, they will have 40 women sharing one carriage all putting on their make up and fixated on their mobile phones while 150 blokes all jammed into one carriage like sheep on a truck. A big 'thank you' to the few childish idiots who can't keep their hands to themselves while I'm jammed into a stinky male only carriage!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's going to be really inconvenient to be separated from your companion when commuting.

Too right. My Silicone Sally might miss her stop because of these deviants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Should have a special ticket and price for women and have functionary for receive and add more waggons.

because all people have worked a long time and all people want back for your house the faster.

today, in system old, in the hour of rush is complicate choose waggons. if your choose waggons, you lose the train.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As long as am not FORCED to travel on men-only trains I'll be all right. 120-150 blokes of all shapes, sizes & b.o packed in a train car would be depressing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't think this is the way to go about it. If they are not forced to go to male-only cars, men can still go to the cars with women in them and grope them.

While if you have a female only car, then men can't get to them because it wouldn't be ok for them to go in those cars.

So this is not really a solution, just a silly idea. Still to be fair, there's a deeper issue here and that is the way those men develop into chikan. I like a good looking woman as much as the next guy, but I don't just go around groping them. So try finding the core of the problem for that and try solving it that way.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Segregation will only reinforce in people's minds that the issue is "too big to solve" when in fact it isn't. Teaching men that women are not objects should not be overly difficult, but the whole sick porn thing here combined with poor access to mental health care and insanely crowded trains are a bad, bad mix. All of these could be solved relatively easily but the motivation is simply not there. Better to have a panel discussion on what to do rather than actually pass a few laws and get it done.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Men-only cars... hmm. Will they play Top Gun on the displays and pipe YMCA over the speakers?

Do they do that in onsens? Men's changing rooms? Okinoshima?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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