Bullet trains are seen at Tokyo Station. Photo: WIKIPEDIA
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Passengers to be banned from carrying knives onto all trains in Japan from April

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Ahh dang added scissors but forgot knives. Adding it to a list should clear things up for the mentally deranged.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

train operators will be able to force passengers out of their trains in case of violation

The problem is people who will go rampage hardly to show those items before they do their action. By the time they able to force passengers out it's already to late.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

some psycho out there is thinking damn it I was just going to go do a rampage on the train now I can't because knives are banned

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Folks may not like it, but these trains should have airport type security in place, or at least have all baggage scanned! Also metal detectors as well.

-23 ( +8 / -31 )

Folks may not like it, but these trains should have airport type security in place, or at least have all baggage scanned! Also metal detectors as well.

Agreed.  They are like land based aircraft after all.  I'm not sure of the statistics, but I can take an educated guess that there are more crimes commited on trains than there are on planes.  Yet train station security is far inferior to airport. 

S

-20 ( +3 / -23 )

Heck.... whatever the case, the Bullet Trains and Japan are extremely safe. I wouldn't want to see them overly increase security or their budget just to stop 1 idiot every few years when hundreds of millions of people ride these trains annually. I'll take my chances as they are.... I'd hate to see the boarding process turn into the mess we're going through at airports.

25 ( +25 / -0 )

Govt has to do what govt do, not to terrify people.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

According to the draft of the revised version of a ministry ordinance which regulates carry-on luggage, knives, hatchets, saws and scissors are expected to be added to a list of prohibited items.

You mean they weren't before?? Jeez!

Carrying explosives or flammable materials into trains are already banned.

Well thank god for THAT!

But the question is how they will implement this.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

 I wouldn't want to see them overly increase security or their budget just to stop 1 idiot every few years when hundreds of millions of people ride these trains annually.

Let's just hope that a few years down the road the next victim is not a loved one of your own.  But it will be someone's.

S

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Oh well - if steak tonight you had better go to the home center to get a set of knives by bus

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And yet, I can still carry my gun and ammunition on any train in Japan. Strange law.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Well that's just great aint it? One nutjob commits an offense and everybody else has to suffer for it. I go camping and use trains. Hatchets and knifes are used when camping. If bags have to go through detectors then that's that done with.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

They are not banned already?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Way to criminalise law abiding folks. The fruits and ne’er do wells won’t take the blindest bit of notice.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Is this all of a sudden a big problem? Short of patting everyone down or having them walk through metal detectors, which won't catch the ceramic knives, how do they propose to enforce this?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I'd hate to see the boarding process turn into the mess we're going through at airports.

Agree, one of the reason many people prefer riding Shinkansen is to avoid the hassle of airport security. Adding security check seems to defeat the purpose altogether.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Erm, how are they going to enforce this?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

What is 'unpacked' referring to in this case ? Even the airlines allow round bladed or butter knives.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The ministry has been considering measures to beef up security in trains since a man in his early 20s 

Shinkansen bullet train operators have also increased the number of interior surveillance cameras after a man burned himself to death

According to the draft of the revised version of a ministry ordinance which regulates carry-on luggage, knives, hatchets, saws and scissors are expected to be added to a list of prohibited items.

2 isolated incidents that will affect the masses! What if a seamstress has to take her sewing box on the train, must she ship/mail her scissors to her destination?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is not suddenly a big problem.

This is Japan.

There is an incident.

Media reports hysterically -

The Government or Company creates a piece of paper stating a response (cost ¥10,000,000)

The End!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Hope their plans include a way to check knives and pick them up on the other end. Lots of chefs are going to be unhappy.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I admire Japan but at the same time I think they are so bad at solving problems. They are great thinkers and producers but so poor at finding solutions to problems. Banning the knives will not solve the problem as a crazy person who has a tendency to go amok will just find another tool to hurt or kill people until Japan authorities have already banned everything inside the train. Now people who will shop for knives for home utility will have to take taxis or walk and the crazy people who have dark plans will start to think of using wine bottles to hurt people. Why not focus on improving the social and mental health of the people? I bet that solution is more bankable.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

A single isolated incident is NO cause to start checking baggage. You simply can’t clamp down the whole system for a single case it’s just a knee jerk reaction. For sure the train companies don’t want this and neither do the public at large. It will be impossible to prevent a determined person getting one on the train unless you have airport type security installed which will effectively level the playing field for airline operators and give them the advantage who are no doubt lobbying hard for said change. What’s next? Body search me every time I come downstairs to eat breakfast in the morning...extreme but where exactly do you draw the line? It starts to become rediculous. The world has dangers, we do realise this and we have the right to make individual choices and access the risk for ourselves. Those that feel getting on a Shinkansen is now too risky have the choice to opt out. The majority of us that access otherwise have the choice to get on unhindered. Give people back their responsibility for themselves. If this type of thing was happening weekly or monthly I would start to support the idea of increased security or start packing a taser when I travel.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Folks may not like it, but these trains should have airport type security in place, or at least have all baggage scanned! Also metal detectors as well.

No, no, no, no! I don't want traveling by shinkansen to be negatively impacted by extreme security measures just because of 1 or 2 looneys. I like traveling by shinkansen as it is thank you very much.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

If this is just for PR to shut up people expecting JR to anticipate and instantly stop every possible incident that could ever happen in a public space like a train, then good on them.

If it is an actual policy, then you don't need much of a brain to find problems with it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The transport ministry will prohibit passengers of all trains in Japan from carrying unpacked knives onto trains from next April

Totally useless. Unless they are planning to start screening both hand luggage and suitcases this is totally unenforceable. If they did so it would, as pointed out earlier, greatly diminish the convenience of using the Shinkansen

As far as I can see this just is a duplication of the Swords and Firearms Control Law which prohibit people from possessing blades longer than 5.5cm or 8cm depending on the type. The rules were tightened after the terrible stabbing rampage in Akihabara in 2008. The law also specifically bans the use of a knife as a weapon.

The Petty Offense Law also bans the possession of an aggressive tool without a justifiable reason. It is up to the police officer on site to determine what exactly an aggressive tool is based on time, place and circumstance. Walk across a public road with a large hatchet to cut down a tree on your land in the middle of the day on you're fine. Hide in the shadows at night in the middle of a city with the same hatchet, and you can expect to be having a rather protracted stay in a very uncomfortable (but solidly built) hotel courtesy of your local constabulary

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ah, impressive. So until now, by law, you was allowed by law to go around with unpacked knifes and blades...? Like what, katanas on your belt (or obi) and hand-handling Rambo-like or Yakuza-like tools? That is forbidden in the normal world since decades, if I am not wrong.

So, there is gonna be a kind of check-in also for trains in the future, with x-rays and prohibited items (we'll have to discard water too, perhaps)... lol

These folks are so naive...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Agreed. They are like land based aircraft after all. I'm not sure of the statistics, but I can take an educated guess that there are more crimes commited on trains than there are on planes. Yet train station security is far inferior to airport. 

Kind of hard to hijack a train and have it take you to wherever your want to go.

There are more crimes committed on city streets. Should we start putting metal detectors all over the place?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I know: why not ban stabbing people too? That will definitely keep the nutters under control.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Enforcing it how? After someone cuts up people, then they are asked to get off the train?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Calm down, calm down. This is Japan and you know how it works.

There does not need to be enforcement. Look at all the other laws and regulations. Enforcement is not the point. The point is not results, the point is the EFFORT.

Effort: media reports, JR companies hold meetings, more meetings, and more meetings since April and:

TA DA a knife and pointy item ban. No enforcement needed. The effort is the result and enforcement.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Ridiculous idea. Some people really have no common sense. How many people travel on trains in Japan in a day. Anf how many people get stabbed? Hey, there are 4000-5000 traffic deaths a year in Japan. Ban cars! And scooters and bycycles too. And while we are at it, people can be pushed down stairs. Ban stairs too.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

kyushubill has nailed it above. It is an effort to show the public that they have done something about the last incident, mostly to appease the complainants. On the other hand it is nothing too radical which might inconvenience everyone else, just a restatement of the existing law with a few little tweaks.

The other half of the coin is that it clarifies the law in light of the excuses that the previous perp came up with, making clear what is an arrestable offence.

Lizz. Unpacked vs Packed is the secret escape clause for people who legitimately need to be carrying something like a bread knife, and gives the police leeway if/when they discover something. If your knife is in its original box, for example, wrapped by the shop, and this box is buried deep in your luggage, then it is fairly obvious that you are not holding it ready for some instant attack. If you have a deadly-looking blade in your jacket pocket on the other hand, there will be little sympathy for you from anyone. (Two extreme examples for clarity.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Classic Japanese mentality! It's going to be completely illegal to carry knives onto trains (I guess it wasn't until now, despite it being against the law to walk around with knives), but they have no way of checking. So, short of declaring you have knives, they won't know you're carrying the on board and will be powerless once again to stop what happens. And of course, what are they going to say if you are going to have your knives sharpened or you just bought a set of Japanese knives that are still wrapped up? IF you tell them you have them?

Until they have you Walking through metal detectors, this means diddly squat. It certainly won't stop what happned from happening again.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Great Thomas the tank engine photograph above, by the way. :thumb:

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ yubaru - airport style security might work with the shinkansens, but the sheer volume regular train traffic would make impossible for daily commuters, so what's the point?

"Let's see, do I try to make it through airport security with all these weapons, or should I just get on the train at Yokohama station to do my Rampage?"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

smithinjapanToday  11:00 am JST

“Classic Japanese mentality! It's going to be completely illegal to carry knives onto trains”

Not true. More like a classic case of inability or unwillingness to read and comprehend. As already pointed out by nandakandamanda and others, this will be a prohibition on “unpacked knives”.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ridiculous example of the nanny-state in action. Are they going to ban 0-mochi at New Year's as well? How about kerosene heaters? Cars? More people die from these than from knife attacks on trains. There is no way to stop someone boarding with a knife, and anyone who does attack someone that way isn't going to be deterred by being charged with carrying a knife on a train.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Readers, please note that this story refers to unpacked knives.

But there's already a Prohibition against carrying unpacked knives, unless you can prove you're doing it for a specific purpose like work. I know from first-hand experience, because I was stopped by the police @ Tachikawa station. They searched my backpack and found a pocket knife. Fortunately for me, I had all my fishing gear with me, because that's where I was coming back from. By the time they were finished, they were bowing and saluting and apologizing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I assume 'unpacked' means not in a box. I brought a set of cooking knives, still in the box, on the plane with me to Japan with no issues. I assume it would be the same if you bought a new set of cooking knives while on holiday and took them back with you on the train.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

High speed trains and many other trains in China have airport style security check. So it can be done but it will cause inconvenience to passengers.

Just depoly more security guards and police patrolling those trains. Simple but effective.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I saw one of the new extra security guards on the shink a few weeks ago. Had a lot of stuff dangling from his utility belt. It was one of those Secom type outfits.

He walked down the length of the train once and then I didn't see him for the rest of the trip.

It's all right but I don't think it'll deter or prevent anyone from going bonkers and hurting people.

He'll probably be called in to stop a wacko once one goes berserk. (That is if he can run down the length of 16 cars in time if they're on the opposite ends of the train.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"in April"................................how about "from November?"

Well, get your stabbing done before April while the getting is good.

These trains should definitely have some kind of checking procedure before passnegers get on.

Honestly, is it much different than from being on a plane? A bunch of strangers in one moving room for 2-3 hours. Chances are there are going to be some crazies on board while you're sleeping.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I was just gonna carry my machete to JR with me...

But seriously, what kind of idiotism is that... , how much time did they spend coming up with this "plan" ?

Any real blades are already banned from carrying ( except for special license holders or professionals ) .. a pro cook typically has his / her real working blade with them if they need to move thru restaurants ( those are expensive and high precision blades ) , same goes for hunters and people going camping ( my leatherman often with me ) , cutters are pretty much in most art students backpacks and dont get me started on scissors...

So this "announcement" has absolutely 0 value , unless they actually plan to build detector gates and create chaos way worse than a singular psycho.

None of these things are actually dangerous, neither on airplane or on train any more than its dangerous in a street or elsewhere... if one wants to inflict damage on others.. this announcement will do absolutely nothing to discourage them...

Nothing more than an idiocy practice....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

 I don't want traveling by shinkansen to be negatively impacted by extreme security measures just because of 1 or 2 looneys.

The same people who complain about this are going to complain about how nothing was done to prevent the incident and how Japan is a dangerous country. I guess people choose sides depending on the day.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Knives are already pretty much banned in Japan. As if this is going to deter someone who wants to commit multiple homicides. Just another knee jerk reaction to create the illusion of total safety.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Folks may not like it, but these trains should have airport type security in place, or at least have all baggage scanned! Also metal detectors as well.

Agreed. They are like land based aircraft after all. I'm not sure of the statistics, but I can take an educated guess that there are more crimes commited on trains than there are on planes. Yet train station security is far inferior to airport. 

There are reasons why people choose to travel by Shinkansen; mostly for the convenience and the stress free travel. I do agree that security scans will give stress to those who already have stress from their jobs. I'm sure the railway travel industry will decrease in business; especially during the heavily travel times, like Golden Week.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Like I said, people aren't going to like it, but these trains are not your normal everyday commuter trains, pressurized cabins, high speeds, potential for disasters.

The "heiwa boke" syndrome runs deep with far too many people. The same folks who dont want to see increased security, as noted by another poster, are going to be the first in line to point fingers when the next incident occurs. And you can bank on it, it will happen.

The same people complain here about focusing on prevention, this is one area where prevention is prudent. But like so much of other things here, it only matters if it does not inconvenience them.

It is NOT so hard, nor time consuming to screen luggage, and people will get used to it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Folks may not like it, but these trains should have airport type security in place, or at least have all baggage scanned! Also metal detectors as well.

Yubaru, You're recent posts are starting to concern me. I used to agree with a lot of what you said but really? metal detectors/airport security aren't going to happen; cooler heads SHOULD prevail.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Laws like this are, I suspect, used primarily to provide a legal basis for detaining people and bringing criminal charges after the fact not as a deterrent.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So, we are, from April, going to be more at risk of being a stabbing victim while waiting to be screened outside the station than on the train. Same crazies, subtly different location.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Metal detectors wouldn't be much use for plastic or nylon knives...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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