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New anti-chikan cell phone stickers let you mark train gropers with sign of shame

42 Comments
By Scott Wilson, RocketNews24

As you probably know, Japan is infamous for "chikan" – men who grope women in crowded trains.

Anti-chikan stickers for cell phones have been put out by the Saitama Prefecture Police department. And these aren’t just stickers you’re supposed to use to keep potential chikan away; these are stickers you’re meant to use offensively.

Just in case that doesn’t make any sense at all, here’s how to use these “anti-chikan stickers”

Step 1: If someone touches you inappropriately, first show them the sticker and warn them to stop. Step 2: If they don’t stop, peel off the top layer of the anti-chikan sticker. Step 3: Press the bottom part of the sticker that’s still on your phone firmly against the chikan’s hand. Step 4: The sticker will leave an X mark and act as proof of their groping.

So you might have some questions after reading that, like: isn’t that an awful lot of work for pretty much nothing? Or, does that X actually mean anything legally? Or, where did that woman get that bird-police cell phone charm?

Don’t worry. The bird-police explain everything in the poster below.

“Please keep in mind that this sticker is intended to be used as a deterrent to potential chikan only. While stamping someone with the X mark may be strong proof that they committed a crime, it alone will most likely not be used to charge them as a criminal.”

So wait a minute. First you have to actually put the sticker on your phone, then in the heat of the moment you have to remember to use all the correct steps if you encounter a chikan, and even then, if everything goes according to plan, the X mark still doesn’t actually mean anything?

The idea behind the anti-chikan stickers, to protect people from unwanted groping, is of course good-intentioned. We can imagine that it might scare some potential chikan away, or make catching them easier perhaps. But still, the implementation seems a little off to say the least.

While the bird-police posters emphasize that the X mark alone cannot be used against somebody, Japanese netizens raised fears that these stickers may cause an increase in the number of false chikan accusations, which though rare have happened before.

“So can you just stamp an X on somebody you don’t like and get them in trouble?” “This looks easy to abuse.” “Men! We all need to stamp ourselves to protect our brethren from false charges!” “Would this even really stop a chikan?” “(In response to above) Yeah, they’d probably be proud like ‘I got three Xs today!'” “Isn’t having women-only trains enough?” “We need men-only trains to feel safe at this point.” “Or just completely segregate the sexes and be done with it.”

What do you think? Would having a sticker like this on your cellphone make you feel safer riding the train? Or is it just a silly gimmick? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Kinisoku

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- “Women who attract chikan, and women who don’t”: The illustrated guide that’s provoking debate -- Don’t like drinking with the boss? No Promotion For You -- You’re probably not as genki as this old lady

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42 Comments
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Why go through all this trouble? If somebody gropes you, start screaming and pointing him out.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Step 1: If someone touches you inappropriately, grab his wrist and scream so that everybody can hear.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@sensei258=please stop approaching this issue with an americanize viewpoint or more to the point--not understanding the cultural bias of behavior that is so ingrained which causes them to NOT scream or otherwise draw attention/be the nail that sticks out

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

If this isn't the epitome of the passive-agressive side of the Japanese culture, I don't know what is. I get that they don't want to draw too much attention to themselves, but an X on the perps hands? How passive can you get?! All the guy has to do is put his hands in his pockets and voila! At least put it on the guy's forehead or something.... that'll be more of a deterrent.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

That's exactly the point I'm trying to make. Change the paradigm. The reason chikans keep doing this is because there is almost no chance of reprisal or consequence. You can just imagine a groper thinking "She has that X sticker, but hasn't peeled it back yet. I bet I can get in one more squeeze."

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@jackgirabaldi - maybe it is time for Japan to see women as human beings instead of that "Americanized viewpoint." Maybe there should be more self defense moves taught in school to prevent this. It is heinous that you think protecting yourself as a human being is cultural bias.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

@ jackgirabaldi - "more to the point--not understanding the cultural bias of behavior that is so ingrained..." I've lived in Japan for many years, and have Japanese kids and grandkids. So I'm pretty sure I have this covered.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Step 1: If someone touches you inappropriately, first show them the sticker and warn them to stop.

Warn them to stop?????? So they can do it a second time?

NO! Touch once and you're out! Not sticker style.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If someone inappropriately touches you, grab their thumb and twist it toward their forearm, their arm behind their back. Only takes a small amount of pressure. Then get the police.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As it was explained to me a long time ago here in Japan: we want to make things better but not change anything.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I'm sorry but I think this is just stupid. Absolutely a total waste of taxpayers money. Saitama would rather make stickers instead of paying officers to ride the train in the morning.

On these crowded trains there's no way to tell if contact is intentional or not.

Anyway, you are inviting trouble but making any form of retaliation. There's no such thing as citizens arrest here.

Hope you guys haven't forgotten that convenience store clerk who tried to be a hero.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Like there's room to do all that on the most crowded trains. Best solution is a big sharp safety pin in either hand. Stab it in deep and rip hard.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

As usual here, everything has to be done in a more complicated fashion than necessary, also avoiding to deal with the problem at hand in favor of ridiculous, childish 'solutions'.

Chikan is an attitude problem. Teach people to respect each other and evetually, chikan will decrease. Put friggin stickers over the problem and scream 'KAWAAAAAIIIII' at anything and everything and nothing will change.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"As it was explained to me a long time ago here in Japan: we want to make things better but not change anything." My favorite post of 2015!

"As usual here, everything has to be done in a more complicated fashion than necessary, also avoiding to deal with the problem at hand in favor of ridiculous, childish 'solutions'." A very close second!

Why not just have one car on every train set aside for women only? It would likely solve the problem.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

And this sticker is also a potential tool to BLACKMAIL someone too....

I agree with the posts above, why not just encourage the victims to grab the hand and scream or have the train announcers announce over and over in every stations the punishment and conviction possibilites if one is caught of groping.

This announcement makes more sense than asking everyone to put the backpack in front to avoid hassles.

Plus maybe making sensationalization of sexual harrasment and rape themed Adult Videos Illegal can also help lessen the groping case.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This article brings up a larger point in Japanese culture - Accusation.

If someone is accused of something, they are guilty until proven innocent. There aren't public lynchings like in the Southern US after the Civil War. At least... Not physically. But sometimes, people have an issue classifying what's intentional, and what's not intentional (as JWithers pointed out). And other times, sometimes people accuse others just because they're having a bad day or stressed out with home or work life.

There is a discernable difference between simply bumping and squeezing between someone, and actually groping or grabbing. And I really hope women (and sometimes men) understand the difference, because who knows what's going on in anyone's mind before they turn around and accuse someone of being a chikan.

It reminds me of a film called "I Just Didn't Do It" by Masayuki Suo.

Men, if you're ever in a crowded train in Japan, don't risk being accused. If possible grab the overhead bars and rings with both hands.

Sorry guys (and gals), I just don't like false accusations.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

...Is it bad a want this..? It's so cute! Plus I love the idea of stamping random people >:3 (Of course nobody would care about it here in the states, so nothing wrong with that ^_^) Are they just being given out at stations or do you have to buy them? If so where can you buy them?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For the innocent men who wants to be protected from being victimized from a false chikan sticker, go out with applying oil/grease on hand. Sticker wont stick to it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ridiculous as usual, and rife with potential for abuse. First, if someone gropes you once, why on earth would you take the time and make the effort to calmly warn them and show them your cell phone -- and I doubt they would know anything about the sticker -- instead of just confronting them flat out as chikan? Second, what is putting this sticker on them going to accomplish? Will the ladies just be proud of themselves? Will they then go to the station staff and tell them about the chikan -- something they could and should do regardless of being able to point to a sticker if the guy hasn't run off?

Just stupid. If someone gropes you, or if you see it happening to others, call the guy out, plain and simple. No warnings. No taking the time to peel off the top of a sticker and ask for the hand so you can apply it. Just point and shout.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why not just have one car on every train set aside for women only? It would likely solve the problem.

There are already women only cars on morning trains. They need men only cars as well.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This article brings up a larger point in Japanese culture - Accusation.

Not many countries do I hear about criminals calling police to admit they just committed a crime like in Japan. In the U.S., a majority of criminals maintain their innocence or accuse someone else all the way through their last court appearance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are already women only cars on morning trains. They need men only cars as well.

That's fair enough.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What do you think? Stickers? Way too creepy, the whole issue.

Never touch anyone with intent to grope or harm. Japanese really must address this for themselves. Note: some cultures have a nasty habit of pinching the derrière of ladies. What is even the point of this Japanese assault?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well.... At least they have some idea. Really there is nothing you can do... People will do wrong things, I think the punishment should be higher for sexual assault. Also I think women and men could maybe have free self defense lessons at the local school on Sundays or something. To seriously clean up this crime is to imprison, and "teach" them not to do it again. Yes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Totally ridiculous. Are they spending tax money for this hare-brained scheme??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If this isn't the epitome of the passive-aggressive side of the Japanese culture, I don't know what is.

@Tahoochi.

Well said. And I just love that this "pervert deterrence tool" (チカン抑止ツール) comes with a very lengthy set of detailed instructions using every word processor formatting technique in the book.

Somebody put a lot of time and energy into drawing that up. Every base covered, no stone left unturned. How could it possibly flop?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I want one on my left cheek, then call me Kenshin Himura a.k.a Samurai-X

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A young japanese friend of mine (well, I guess we were both young 30 years ago) was very fed up with being groped on the trains. She was very Japanese, and would never consider crying out on the train when she was assaulted. She did, however, start carrying a hat-pin. Male gropers also try very hard not to cry out, it turns out. She did say they quickly withdrew their hands. I'm going to hazard a guess even more quickly than had they been identified with a scarlet letter X.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How ridiculous. A sticker? Japanese girls and women should all carry very sharp hat pins to HURT these sad lowlife chikan jerkoffs.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Just knee him in the 'nads... then again that might turn one of these pervs on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Full of potential abuse.. Bring in men only cars. Having a women only carriage is sexist anyway.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Bring in men only cars. Having a women only carriage is sexist anyway.

Do Japanese women tend to grope men on trains?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thunderbird:

" Do Japanese women tend to grope men on trains? "

That is called chijou (obviously). It hasn´t happened to me yet, but (handsome) friend of mine claims he has had the experience several times.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@WilliB

friend of mine claims he has had the experience several times.

I also had the same experience when I was young getting molested by a middle-aged woman. Hahah.

Switching gears: Japanese people, especially women are tend more toward having difficulity refusing point-blank. So this time around,the police have presumably ended up inventing the gimmick like this one as a last-ditch measure. I'm just guessing. Overseas women would probably sneer at it because they tend more toward stating their intentions explicitly. Yes, they can turn it down firmly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Step 1: If someone touches you inappropriately, first show them the sticker and warn them to stop. Step 2: If they don’t stop, peel off the top layer of the anti-chikan sticker. Step 3: Press the bottom part of the sticker that’s still on your phone firmly against the chikan’s hand. Step 4: The sticker will leave an X mark and act as proof of their groping.

Getting to step one at all assumes you can catch the chikan perpetrator red-handed so to speak. Until Japan does something to limit the number of people riding trains at rush hour, or increases the number of women only cars - this situation won't change

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just another gimmicky and ridiculous idea in a long line of idiotic ideas from the J-cops.

The solution to chikan is ridiculously simple, stop overcrowding trains.

Of course to do that you'd need to convince Japanese businesses to adopt modern ideas like staggered opening times, telecommuting and other ideas that belong in the 21st century, and the geriatrics running most Japanese companies are horrendously resistant to change.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Thought the mentality is to grin and bear it

0 ( +0 / -0 )

… and chikans will start wearing peel off surgical gloves (if they don't already). I wonder how many meetings this brilliant idea took, and it surely must have been from a guy. Look, just put up another snazzy poster in the station - they always work. Or maybe distribute very small tasers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People are saying this is passive, but a woman still has to be confrontational with the sticker: warn them verbally to stop, then kind of touch them to stamp the X on.

I have talked to a few Japanese girls about chikan, and the overwhelming response was: "Yeah it happens all the time, everyone experiences it once in a while" a shou ga nai attitude. They don't speak up or go to the police not because they are shy or reserved, but because they don't see chikan as problem to be fixed, just one of those things in life to be borne with.

If chikan are just seen as a "normal" negative experience you have to put up with once a while, like being honked at in a crosswalk or something, nothing will change. Women will not become more confrontational if they don't feel outraged. They don't feel outraged because "it's such a common thing that happens to everybody"

You have to educate people to realize that no, this should not be normal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the states, a girl would (most likely) cause some commotion & there would be a public reaction to the girl in distress. In some cases, the chikan might even get dealt with, by the victim by herself, in the form of a "beat down".

Teach Japanese women to strike back.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Where can I purchase these stickers? It would be so much fun to just abuse the system and randomly stick them on other people... especially those who can't read Japanese! Tell them the stick means "I am a foreigner"... when it actually says "I am a pervert'! This is a great idea!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess you all ignore the most obvious solution, make the trains less unGhoshly crowded!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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