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JR East to remove graffiti from walls, pillars next to train lines

32 Comments

East Japan Railway Co (JR East) has announced plans to spend 80 million yen on anti-graffiti measures in the coming years.

According to a company spokesperson, JR East plans to remove the graffiti from walls and pillars next to train lines, before coating them with a glossy, anti-graffiti paint. The paint is designed to make spray painting difficult and to be easily cleanable, Sankei Shimbun reported Friday.

The company plans to clean and coat around 100 locations in Tokyo over the course of the three-year plan, with each location reported to cost around two million yen. The program is scheduled to begin in 40 test locations in Shibuya and Harajuku stations from the end of May.

"Just washing away graffiti hasn't been enough. It is always replaced," the program supervisor said, according to Sankei. "With this new initiative, we're hoping to reduce the problem, if only just a little."

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32 Comments
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I recommend JR East invest in some American anti-graffiti walls.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqIHlnfGKV0

5 ( +5 / -0 )

80 million yen! They could have bought 160 melons for that.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

"Just washing away graffiti hasn't been enough. It is always replaced"

Not if the penalty for spraying graffiti is made heavy enough. Like a severe public whipping, and community service on weekends for a year.

Jonathan - Har!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I don't get the purpose of grafitti. Some guys in New York did some bubble letters and now everyone else in the world has to copy it for the next 30 years.

What a waste of money cleaning it up all the time.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I knew grafitti in Japan was diffierent when years ago I saw a street map where the spray paint was placed so it didn't cover the map. A more polite grafitti you could say.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

How about a commensurate length of community service by the perpetrators themselves? Time fits the crime.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Apt title: "JR to provide blank canvases for budding local street artists"

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I recall reading that so far the only measures taken to prevent tagging has been restriction on sales of paint to minors. Japan has a growing graffiti problem and needs to get tough. Enforcement of laws against vandalism don't work without arrests. How about installing security cameras in frequently hit places, and pouncing on the offenders, and then making them pay for the damage? (I'd suggest letting Dobermans patrol the areas at night, but some bleeding heart would immediately leap to the defend the rights of trespassers and call dog bites cruel and unusual punishment.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Why doesn`t JR spend the 80mill on building some homes for the people still waiting to be re housed after last years disaster....who really cares about graffiti...really!

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

cactusJack Rogerrabbitt I couldn't agree more. people may not like graffiti but going to war with it can be an economic black hole. millions of dollars are wasted and it never goes away. its best to put the resources to better use. the people in the north need homes. kids entering the workforce need jobs. cleaning up walls just leads to more graffiti. hire some artists to paint the walls. there's enough concrete to go around for everyone

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Let see, we just need some controls over which colors are use,at this station it will only be black and gold, at that station only green with blue and perhaps a dash of yelow and over there...[Grin] and perhaps by topic,body functions at this station particularly near schools and universities, politicial protest at that station, perhaps only in Haku poetry.

Or perhaps allow the property owner to brand any graffitee artist with whatever brand he feels like to permanently mark the artist for life. The brand should be a sybols objectionable to the artist it is used on.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

All you do when you remove graffiti is leave a blank canvas.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Is this a case of Tokyo = Japan?

In my part of the Kuni, graffiti is as rare as rare can be. Even travelling to other regional cities this side, I have hardly spotted graffiti.

My 17yr old Aust. nephew visited for a month recently and couldn't believe the "clean" walls, bridges, underpasses, pillars, paths, benches etc. His first experience.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Personally I think it's nice to have a bit of colour in Japan's drab grey/brown cities.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I agree with smithinjapan. A clean slate to portray art....that is the honest truth.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Perhaps not a waste of money under normal circumstances, as Japan has its own high standards of cleanliness, but all things considered, there are much more urgent things this money could be spent on - at least some of it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Do the fuddy-duddies hate graffiti this much? Or do they love a fight and a belly-ache this much? its hard to tell.

Personally I find the graffii to often be interesting and refreshing.

And I am going to make a fortune selling portable sand blasters!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

For those suggesting stiffer punishment...you have to catch them first! That would cost a lot more than this project.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Couldn't they think of anything more important to spend the money on?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I cannot believe anyone would think graffiti is ok. My god...!

That's someone ELSE'S property, or it is an eyesore on public property. Some kid with a 200-yen can of spray paint should not be confused with true artists. Most displays you see are simply vandalism, and are hardly "refreshing."

Please go back to wherever you think this is fine, and leave us the beautiful little neighborhoods where other "fuddy-duddies" painstakingly clean the alleyways and grow gorgeous pots of flowers & greenery for anyone and everyone to enjoy. And set wonderful examples for young people.

The last thing we want is another nasty, ravaged street of New York or Los Angeles. Why do you think we live HERE?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

PS

The only large graffiti I have seen in my own neighborhood was sprayed on a store's sliding night door, and was a mishmash of incomprehensible, drippy black lines. We got to see it for the next 4 or 5 years, and now the store is a parking lot.

I can just imagine that the old owner, who opened up that store at 7 every morning at least for the last 30 years, no longer had the money nor the will to clean it.

How smug that young "artist" must have felt, thinking of the street cred that graffiti gave him with his other little friends! Likely he now has kids of his own.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Expensive now for the locals.

Where did this influence and culture of vandalism and lack of respect come from I wonder..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

foreign influence hey

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How smug that young "artist" must have felt, thinking of the street cred that graffiti gave him with his other little friends!

That`s exactly the reason graffiti should be removed as soon as possible even it is a continuing process at first. Eventually these kids give up trying to leave their mark.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Graffiti is something that makes my blood boil. It is done in the dead of the night by mostly, uneducated, unemployed losers normaly male, 21 or under. It has no redeeming factors whatsoever. The graffiti problem in Japan is minor in comparison with other countries. I applaud JRs efforts and hope they can radically reduce it now while it is still a small(lish) problem.

There are two vital elements to eliminating gaffiti. Firstly, paint over it every day. The blank canvas theory doesent hold because a graffitti vandal wants other similar minded neanderthals to see their work as a challange. If it is not cleaned of immediatly they will be out the next night or so to put their tag up.

Secondly, there needs to be severe punishment for those caught (and more effort in catching them). Some years ago an american youth was caught graffting in Singapore. He was sentenced to sixstrokes of the cane which were carried out despite President Clintons appeals. You can bet your sweet ass - or his sore one - he never graffitied again. Been to Singapore? How much graffitti did you see there?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

80 million can install a lot of cameras capturing the acts of the would be artists. Make them famous or make them pay.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The local community needs to take the hard line on graffiti as they do in Singapore. They don't take to kindly to artists who feel compelled to share their art on the walls of trains or businesses.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hunter Brumfield 'Beautiful little neighborhoods'. Thanks for the laughs. Japanese cities have all the charm and colour of a school toilet.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@presto325.... So, a camera on every corner and on every alley in Japan would cost a lot more than 80 million yen.... Anti-graffit paint which has a teflon type of exterior when dry is the only real answer.... paint cant stick to it.. it just drips and runs .. one of those hard to control crimes out there.. just the way it is

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Graffiti is something that makes my blood boil.

Then your blood must boil a lot because there are a lot more important problems in the world.

It is done in the dead of the night by mostly, uneducated, unemployed losers normaly male, 21 or under.

You judge the art by the circumstance of the painter? I am surpised you did not insert "poor" in the list just for good measure!

I would certainly much rather have lower train fares than see all this money thrown at graffiti.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Does JR really have that much spare cash to spend on this problem? I wish the company would consider using such funds to lower fares or improve service. Does anyone know how much JR spends on anti-suicide or other platform safety measures? If JR is spending more on cleaning up graffiti than platform safety improvements, then something is very, very wrong.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Does JR really have that much spare cash to spend on this problem? I wish the company would consider using such funds to lower fares or improve service. Does anyone know how much JR spends on anti-suicide or other platform safety measures? If JR is spending more on cleaning up graffiti than platform safety improvements, then something is very, very wrong.

Much cash? 80 million Yen is peanuts for JR. Lower fares? For more than a decade JR East didn't raise their fares. How much cheaper would a single ticket become if those 80 millions were actually used for that? Just a hint: The ridership of JR East is around 6.169 billion per year... Also JR seems to spent quite a lot on "platform safety improvement", recently Yamanote line also gets those additional time taking platform gates for idiots that decide to jump in front of a train instead of boarding it!

The investment for anti graffiti is very well spent. Even decrepit stations look better without graffiti. In western countries, graffiti makes them look worse. Even school projects with real art graffiti to bring some really nice pictures to those kind of places are destroyed by pure vandalism of spraying on some letters. What is the point of destroying other people's property? Time to act before it gets worse. I like not vandalised overpaths, train stations, bridges, walls, etc. No graffiti also shows that there is still respect for each other. JR, fight the problem before it gets worse, thank you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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