Photo: AICHI PREFECTURAL POLICE
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Aichi police remove anti-groping campaign posters amid public complaints

31 Comments

A new poster campaign launched by Aichi prefectural police in a bid to eradicate groping on trains (chikan in Japanese), has been suspended amid complaints from the public that the vocabulary used in the posters was inappropriate.

The posters, which were displayed at stations across Aichi Prefecture from June 1, show an illustration of a young man wearing a business suit to the right and an ongoing social media conversation resembling one on the free messaging app Line between two women to the left of the poster. A copy at the center of the poster reads, “It looks like that man was arrested” (Ano hito, taiho sareta rashiiyo).

The conversation between the two women on the poster reads as follows:

-Did you hear? That man was arrested for sexual assault on the train.

-Whaaat? Chikan?

-It’s true! Just read it on the news online. He didn’t seem like a person who would do that kind of thing.

- That’s disgusting. I can’t… He’s a sexual predator.

- He’ll lose his job, too. And his family will suffer.

- Of course. I never want to be involved with him.

- I wonder what will happen …

- By the way…I met him on the train by chance the other day.

- Really? Did he do anything weird to you?

- No, nothing at the time… But I don’t want to even remember him.

- We as women have to be careful not to become victims (of chikan)

After releasing the posters, the prefectural police received multiple complaints from the public, including many that said the usage of the phrase “sexual predator” (seihanzaisha) in the poster is not appropriate because it is based on an assumption that a person who is arrested on suspicion of being a chikan should immediately be labeled as a sexual predator.

The police released a statement saying that they had intended to depict the gravity of sexual assaults occurring on trains and that they were hoping the impact of the posters would be strong enough to prevent people from conducting any similar acts on trains.

Despite verbally supporting the campaign, however, the Aichi police suspended the campaign and retracted all 500 posters from the stations on June 5, only four days after the campaign began.

Michiko Kameishi, an Osaka-based lawyer, commented on the incident on her official Twitter account, saying that the campaign “attracts misunderstandings and boosts prejudice.”

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31 Comments
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Why do they go to so much trouble to make softly worded and childish cartoon-like posters and slogans? Just keep it simple! Something like, “Do the crime! Do the time!” with a few photos of a person in a prison cell with no job or family would be sufficient.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

“attracts misunderstandings and boosts prejudice.” yep , lets advertise the dangers of groping , but do it so as not make the gropers feel too uncomfortable, after all a groper has rights also and they shouldn't be erased because some women dont like it. I swear Japan wants to slowly devour itself tail first.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

As usual, perhaps if women actually reported these things when they occur, and if people would help one another, rather than sit in silence, this type of behavior would not be accepted as "oh well, what can you do?"

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I like how they snuck that phrase "I never want to be involved with him" in there. Do they think that would motivate a man not to grope someone. "Well, I would have groped her, but I didn't want to ruin the chance of any future relationship"

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Maybe first Japanese women need to utilize a little more confidence. These creeps do it partly because they know the women won't say anything.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Can anyone enlighten me what the definition of sexual predator is in Japan, if there is one? I know Japan hasn’t updated their sex crime laws since 1907 (2017). I’m trying to find something of substance online but I can’t.

I know back home (U.S.), “sexual predator” and “sex offender” are quite different. But, someone preying on people and a repeat offender seems to be a predator.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Not sure portraying chikans as clean-cut guys was particularly wise tbh.

Reckon most young women would find this guy attractive and many/most would-be chikans wouldn't mind being portrayed as a young, attractive and smartly dressed bloke either. Confusing message imo.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I like how they snuck that phrase "I never want to be involved with him" in there. Do they think that would motivate a man not to grope someone. "Well, I would have groped her, but I didn't want to ruin the chance of any future relationship"

You'd be better off reading the original Japanese.

A better translation of that line would have been "I want nothing to do with him ever again".

11 ( +11 / -0 )

That was the most ridiculous conversation I’ve read today. Nonsense. English text book worthy! Hehe

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Once again, a bunch of idiots deciding what they think everyone wants to hear, and making up something they can't relate to. I bet men wrote this little conversation, and probably even hired a so-called writer in the process. Way over the top and unnecessary. I'm just surprised there was no woman with an unrealistic bust in the picture as well.

The whole dialogue makes it sound just like gossiping homemakers, and undermines the gravity of it.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I've seen a drunk/high, dirty looking man straight up grope a woman's breast on a nyc subway years ago. The woman went berserk and beat the crap out of the guy and he was bleeding from his head. She was wacking him with her high heels.

I can confidently say that he learned his lesson and would never grope another women. Now only if Japanese women were just as tough, there would be no chikan on the trains.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I witnessed some creep pushing himself up against a senior high school girl on the train this afternoon. I was about 2 meters away on a standing room only train, not packed. This guy was extremely creepy though and I'm sure he was a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic as well. He didn't look anything like the pretty manga boy in this poster. I saw him do it twice and after the second time I walked up and pushed him away from the girl making it look like I was intending to get off the train. Gladly the girl got off at the next stop. I'm quite sure it wasn't her stop, but she got off to get away from this creep. These freaking creeps are everywhere! I see at least one every time I use a train. I keep saying, there is a mental, moral and sexual illness in many Japanese men that they just cannot control. Filming up skirts, putting hidden cameras in school toilets and groping on trains are not done for a thrill. They are done because of a cultural mental illness!

8 ( +13 / -5 )

You can bet there were no women who protested the language - just angry old men and gropers. Personally, I would assume any man on public transport I saw put his hands on a woman he was not clearly in a relationship with as seihanzaisha. Own it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Now only if Japanese women were just as tough, there would be no chikan on the trains.

It isn't about toughness, it is about their willingness to make a scene.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Surprised no one has marketed electric shock thigh bracelets. A proper could be thrown across the train if he groped someone wearing them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

For a guy on a sexual assault charge, he seems pretty chilled out.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Maybe first Japanese women need to utilize a little more confidence. yes that would help but not everybody is self confident, what needs to be utilized first is teaching J men when theyre boys that women arent their private squeeze bags whenever they feel the urge, basically treating women with respect.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Surprised no one has marketed electric shock thigh bracelets. lol yeah that would great, unfortunate the draconian state of J law would probably arrest the women for assault, you know because an electric shock is excessive force when a stranger has his fingers in your crotch.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The Japanese language and illustrations used in this particular poster are very difficult to understand. My Mrs read it and it took a minute or two for her to realize they were actually talking about ‘chikan’. Why do they persist in beating around the bush with such a serious issue? I have a new slogan for them, “Keep your hands to yourself or go to jail!”

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Do they sell tasers in Japan?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I was expecting to read a comment like the one above and there it was, Disillusioned, you made my day! Groping must be eradicated and I’m happy to know that you helped the high school girl out of the hands of the creep.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Do they sell tasers in Japan? yes they do , unfortunately like I stated before the draconian J laws will likely arrest the person who uses the tazer as excessive force, because being groped or raped doesn't justify the use of such force. Until J law see groping and rape as a serious attack on a woman meaning many years in prison if found guilty , then nothing will change

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is a bit on the Big Brother side. If you want to get your point across you don't need to scream your ideas with childish taunting. They use similar tactics on billboards (with crying children's faces) to promote seat belt awareness, anti-drunk driving, 'pro-life' (anti-abortion) and other causes and all it does is polarize opinions, harden hearts and make Americans act like ROBOTS filled with 'doctrine' and 'dogma' and they totally lose track of what message they were trying to give to the youth. If you want to express an idea across with a poster or billboard or ad, be civil, reasonable and don't shout, don't belittle and don't scream. That's for the uncouth and egotistical - and nobody with any sense of maturity wants to hear a loudmouth. That's a major problem in America today - everybody's screaming and putting each other down and nothing gets done. Look at the US government right now, with a shrieking hyper-in-the-diaper brat and his yes-men. I merely mention it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

because someone accused of being chikan, is not same as proven.

there are tons of fake reports and this kind of poster is idiotic at best..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Loud speakers are much effective in stations + rush hours on the train announcements. Short, clear points to women prevent chikans, and warn chikans stop acting sexual predators.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Believe it or not, this happens BOTH ways, so to speak.

I was on a train once, where a young girl came right up to me, and held the pole in front of me,

and quite deliberately put her hand where it would cause a reaction....no complaints here, but anyone ever experience THAT ?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Is this a ranting post for anyone?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

WA4TKG,

yes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@WA4TKG,

me2 ;o_

0 ( +0 / -0 )

expat: "You can bet there were no women who protested the language - just angry old men and gropers."

Actually, no. A number of female acquaintances I asked about it said it was "infantile" and sounded like house-wives gossiping, and not at all serious.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the poster is good, but the English translation is a little off here and there.

"Seihanzaisha jyan!" is not a dry matter-of-fact 'He's a sexual predator", as if the legal facts are already established, but it suggests a casual opinion, more like "wow, like the guy fits the bill of committed predator!"

Where it says 会った "I met him on the train by chance the other day" it could be more like "I bumped into that guy", or "I saw that same guy on the train just the other day!"

And 一生関わりたくない "I never want to be involved with him" would sound better as "I'll make sure to stay well clear of him from now on!" or "I never want to tangle with that guy again", or "As long as I live I will avoid that creep."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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