Japan Today
Posters promoting the campaign can be seen on trains. Image: @KurosawaTomoki

Messaging app Line experiments with service to help pregnant women find seats on trains

By Koh Ruide, SoraNews24

A range of maternity services are available in Japan, including ones that give pregnant women priority when waiting for taxis.

And now the popular messaging app Line, together with train company Tokyo Metro and Dai Nippon Printing, hopes to provide a service that helps expectant mothers look for seats on crowded trains.

Passengers who opt into the program will be notified via Line whenever a pregnant woman enters the same cabin and presses the “I wish to sit” button in the messaging app. An interface tells the woman exactly which seat is being offered, allowing the two individuals to exchange places without so much as a single word uttered.

The service will be trialed from Dec 11 to Dec 15 on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, running from Ueno Station to Omotesando Station and Shibuya Station to Ueno Station. A total of eight trains are expected to perform this pilot service in their respective last cabins from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and interested volunteers can help provide valuable feedback to help improve the program.

While this certainly provides valuable assistance to pregnant women, it also highlights some of the difficulties they face when taking public transport in Japan. Seats are swooped upon as soon as they are empty, and many passengers become so preoccupied with their smart phones that they hardly ever look up to notice someone else needing the seat more than them.

If pregnant women have to rely on such roundabout methods to guarantee them a seat on a train, perhaps it’s time for society to do a bit of self-reflection. A bit of empathy goes a long way, and the women who help birth our next generation deserve that kindness.

Source: NHK

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Policewoman’s posterior produces poetic justice as she arrests man she says groped her on train

-- Japan introduces new maternity taxi service in Tohoku to help pregnant women

-- Should healthy young men sit in Japanese trains’ priority seats for the elderly and pregnant?

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

I'm sorry but pregnant women shouldn't have to "find" a seat anywhere.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I'm sorry but pregnant women shouldn't have to "find" a seat anywhere.

of course not. spot on

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What a sad state of affairs. A woman having to use a computer device to find a seat when common decency by others should do the trick.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

ridiculous.. why not encourage to just say " GET UP,its priority seat,you are young ignorant idiot and I am pregnant "

Just last weekend, woman standing with baby and some punk just sitting in front of her, gave him proper stare, he noticed but still wouldnt get up so just told him to get up and if he is not ashamed.. the louder the better!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, good manners should be all that is required.

I'll be slated for this, but in Japan you can usually still tell who is pregnant. It can be tricky in countries where more people have big bellies.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

many passengers become so preoccupied with their smart phones that they hardly ever look up to notice someone else needing the seat more than them.

No. I think it's more like this:

Many passengers suddenly become so preoccupied with their smart phones and never look up once they notice someone else needing the seat more than them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It should be a given: Seniors, handicapped, pregnant women and parent holding baby should always have a seat. I think in some countries they fine people for sitting in the priority seats. South Korea if I am not mistaken.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are plenty of seats for pregnant women, old people and others in need of them. The problem is healthy young people are sitting in them.

I doubt Line's software actually sends messages to people sitting in the silver seats in near a pregnant woman. I don't think a phone's GPS is that accurate on a moving train. Maybe Facebook could make an app to do this using its facial recognition. We cannot yet send a message and address it to a view of a face, but that could come.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Pregnant women should not have to resort to this but at least they have another means of finding a seat now. I used to hesitate to get up because I didn't want to go through a big 'It's OK' kind of scene. Now, I just get up and do a courtesy wave toward my seat, say a 'douzo,' move out of the way and they always sit down. Most are surprised that even a big ''scary'' foreigner can be courteous.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Many pregnant women I knew/know don't want to sit down as it is slow and a struggle for them. Had many offers declined, now I ask 'Would you prefer/like to sit down', because as soon as my butt is lifted someone scoots in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow! Not even 3 minutes arter my post, the exact scenario played out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Technology because Japanese train manners are not existant

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think this is a good idea to help pregnant women and more pay attention to them. Nowadays, people pay too much attention to use the phone. In the train, almost people watch the phone, comics, listen to music to sleep and play games. They neglect those who need to help. And in Japan everyday have so much people use the trains, especially in the morning to work time and come off work time. I think I can use terrible to describe the situation. So, I think pregnant women use the train in that time its dangerous.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

An excellent idea.

Innovation, that's what I love about this place.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm sorry, but seats should be first come, first served. It's not my problem someone is old, injured, decided to have a child, etc. Old people have had way more years to enjoy sitting than us younger people, so let them stand for a while. It's good for their health. Injured should stay home and recuperate if they are truly injured. Mother's with kids, have your husband buy a car for you to use.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites