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Police step up presence at Tokyo stations to prevent trouble during 'bonenkai' season

26 Comments

Police in Tokyo have stepped up their presence at 12 of the city's busiest train stations to prevent fights and accidents involving drunken commuters during the "bonenkai" (end-of-year party) season.

Police said that in recent years, there has been an escalation in violence and accidents at stations such as Shinjuku, Tokyo, Shibuya, Roppongi, Ikebukuro and Ueno.

According to police, around 920 acts of violence against station staff and other commuters by binge drinkers were reported in 2014, most occurring between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.

As a result, rail companies are cooperating with police officers to raise awareness of the issue during the festive season. Posters have been put up asking commuters to observe manners.

Police are also conducting a campaign against drunk driving, Fuji TV reported that 12 drivers have been found to have been over the legal limit for drinking and driving by officers who stationed at 113 locations (mainly entrances to expressways) in the metropolitan area so far this month.

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26 Comments
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good. give the cops something else to do besides harassing us for our foreign cards.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Two nights ago as I waited for at train at Nishifunabashi which was delayed due to an incident up the line a guy to my right walked straight off the platform and fell six feet onto the track smashing his head on the rail. I was fozen in disbelief for a second but checked for the train which was approaching but still 200 meters out. I jumped down grabbed the guy and pulled him off to the other side. Someone hit the emergency button and red flashing lights and a sirens went off everywhere. Two young Japanese guys jumped down too and got his legs and we upped him onto the platform. He was out cold and bleeding heavily from his mouth. A JR. guy appeared but said nothing to me. I got track grease and blood on the clothes.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Posters have been put up asking commuters to observe manners.

Posters have always been an effective deterrent. Drunks always stop to read them.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

That drunk guy you see throwing up on the train or platform is probably the office show-off in any given bonenkai.

You see them all the time…the loudest, sweatiest and most arrogant of the lot.

Was out the other night with my girlfriend and the bar owner (master….*sigh) had to tell one of them to tone it down.

I suppose 364 days of subservient behavior entitles one to "let go" just for a day? :)

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@lwandabaka, I cant' imagine why someone gave you a thumbs-down on that comment. So I fixed it (at least for now). I'd have done the same thing. Sh*t on that person who crapped on you.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Good on you, Iwandabaka. Glad it turned out well - but it would have been absolutely tragic had you or the young guys been injured or killed in helping this (probably) drunken and anti-social man.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I may get blind drunk but I am always polite and never refuse a drink, that would rude, I mean really rude.

Also, I always take the last train car and pack a barf bag just in case I can't make it to the next station's porcelain throne (flying does have its perks). If I must puke and I'm on the train platform, I always aim for the tracks (got a thumbs up from the JR conductor about six years ago for perfect spray pattern and landing it on the tracks just as I stepped off the train and went to the end of the platform). You do what you gotta do. The next day at work was way harder with that massive hang over though. Happily, I didn't make a fool of myself there at least.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posters have been put up asking commuters to observe manners.

Oh, well that's the problem solved, then. I got rat-arsed on Saturday night and was just about to punch someone in the mouth, but then I saw the poster and remembered to conduct myself appropriately.

Works every time.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Companies must realises that they are the reason behind this behaviour. I myself will not go to these " Bonenkai if alcohol is severed. I try to explain that the company is responsible for it workers until they arrive home or were they are staying. If he fall of the platform and get hit by a train after attending a Bonenkai, The Company is at fault and will have to pay compensation. I say have your Bonenkai,s but don,t sever alcohol.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

Nothing good about alcohol.

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

Yup! The police need to make sure to stop all that trouble like the two incidents during Halloween at Shibuya? Was it?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think some of you need to understand something about the posters. Its the seeing them for days and weeks in the mornings and evenings on your commute while sober that is the point. They tend to stick in your head after that process, including the last sober ride into town for your bonnenkai. Then you may ask yourself how you are going to behave on the ride back, and that question may see you drinking less and toning it down.

For all the times it doesn't work, I bet it does work a hundred times or more. Imagine what Japan would be like without these poster campaigns. Being a cynical negative nancy and pointing out they don't arrest the attention of current drunks does not mean the posters are ineffective. I bet those who still misbehave tend toward 1) the type that never read posters at any time 2) the illiterate and 3) those who don't use the trains regularly.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Heroic of you, Iwandabaka, but next time I would press the emergency stop button before jumping onto the tracks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Posters have been put up asking commuters to observe manners."

Yeah, because posters are going to deter the dead drunk from bad behaviour as they head home and stop by the convenience store for even more alcohol before passing out on a bench.

Cut the problem off at the source -- stop the lunacy of the bonenkai. And the police aren't there to prevent problems; they are there for damage control after the fact. If bonenkais MUST go on, and we know they will because this nation is addicted, have police stop into the establishments that hold them, just on patrol, and make sure that there are people that are not too drunk and still being served. Likewise, make restaurant owners partially responsible for anything that occurs after a bonenkai if they have served someone who is already very drunk, encouraging -- not with posters, but with laws -- that establishments stop serving people who are clearly drunk.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

At least the cops have something to do. Gets them off our backs.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Companies must realises that they are the reason behind this behaviour. I myself will not go to these " Bonenkai if alcohol is severed. I try to explain that the company is responsible for it workers until they arrive home or were they are staying. If he fall of the platform and get hit by a train after attending a Bonenkai, The Company is at fault and will have to pay compensation. I say have your Bonenkai,s but don,t sever alcohol

Wow, self-righteous one aren't you? People make choices, and the cops increasing patrols is necessary, so they are doing (hopefully) their jobs.

You fail to realize too that there is no one forcing you to drink. If someone does try and you choose to drink, just means you are the weak one. I know too many people that make their choice not to drink and there is never a problem. You are attempting to force your morals and beliefs on to others by not participating.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

hydropower: "I bet those who still misbehave tend toward 1) the type that never read posters at any time 2) the illiterate and 3) those who don't use the trains regularly."

So, then what's the point of them? You yourself admit that the people who are unlikely to misbehave are the ones who would notice the posters, so they have no meaning. The people who are complaining about the posters are doing so because companies use these posters and "safety campaigns" and the like to avoid doing anything that would actually be constructive and prevent things. Having more police on hand, for example, is unlikely to prevent drunk people from falling on the tracks. Having more police go check bars and restaurants and make sure people who are extremely drunk are not still being served WOULD. Having police go to restaurants and bars and reiterating to the owners that they cannot serve alcohol to people who are already drunk or they will face penalties when incidents occur WOULD have an effect. But no, they'd rather just put up posters and feel like they are making a difference when they are not.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

when i first came to japan, the thought of a year-end party seemed fun (i was right out of uni). i really wanted to interact with me colleagues in a relaxed setting after seeing how wooden and formal they were at work. we were thirty minutes into the party when all the speeches ended, and then it seemed like they turned into animals. the guy next to me couldn't stop asking me inane questions about being a foreigner (Why can you use chopsticks? Does America have four seasons? etc) and the chick next to me started hitting on me. There were tons of ikki-ikki and then i was forced to endure karaoke for two hours, and they requested I sing old songs (simon and garfunkle, i hate you!). suffice it to say, the proceeding years, i was alway on a "flight home" for the bonenkai.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

According to police, around 920 acts of violence against station staff and other commuters by binge drinkers were reported in 2014, most occurring between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.

And they made a fuss about Halloween?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Iwandabaka, and the guy should be very thankful for you and the others who saved his skin. But definitely hit the button first!

Some people have drinking problems and some have problems drinking, and some have both.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Frederick, it actually never even dawned on me to hit the emergency button, though I have seen them a million times. I was kind of panicked myself but had the presence of mind to look both ways carefully before I jumped down. The moment I hit the tracks the alarms and lights went off and I actually thought I had triggered them somehow. I scooped up the guy who was unconscious and got him to the far side before two guys helped me pick him completely up. Without them it would have been a different outcome perhaps. I needed several beers when I got home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

yubaru: I meant free alcohol but I have never know a Company Bonenkai not having free alcohol. If they did not then no one would drink in access. If be self-righteous save a father of three children from being hit by a train because he drank way to much free alcohol at the Companies Bonenkai is a bad fault you have weird values . I mention not one word about the police. I also did not mention for people not to drink. Your just bias toward people how don,t drink.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Know better

Oh your line, 'I may get blind drunk but I am always polite......' is such a classic. If you are blind drunk I doubt you'd have any idea as to whether you are polite or not! But kudos to you for your expertise when chucking!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I meant free alcohol but I have never know a Company Bonenkai not having free alcohol. If they did not then no one would drink in access. If be self-righteous save a father of three children from being hit by a train because he drank way to much free alcohol at the Companies Bonenkai is a bad fault you have weird values . I mention not one word about the police. I also did not mention for people not to drink. Your just bias toward people how don,t drink.

Few companies pay for the bonenkai these days, the bubble is long over and it's the staff that pay at least a portion of the cost. "Free drinking" has gone by the wayside a very long time ago.

Yet that being said you sure sounded very clear here when you wrote;

I myself will not go to these " Bonenkai if alcohol is severed.

So what you are saying is that if it is a free meal and drinks you wont go, but if you have to pay you will attend.

I also did not mention for people not to drink.

No you did not, but since alcohol is served you wont attend, safe to assume them that if there is no alcohol you would attend. Pretty clear there, hence the self-righteous remark.

Contrary to what you say the company is not responsible for some drunk hurting themselves or worse on a train platform. You fail to realize that what you are suggesting here is that let's say I wasnt drinking and I fell off the platform and got killed the company is responsible for my well being till I get home, hence they should be paying compensation. But that's ludicrous you will say, and I will tell you...welcome to Japan, you cant have it one way without the other.

Drink responsibly, if you cant, dont drink. It isnt on the company, its on the individual.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Iwandabaka To put yourself in harm's way and help out like that is to be applauded. Thank you!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kurisu: you would've done the same thing if it happened right in front of you. If there is next time I'll not forget to push the emergency button. This was a learning experience for me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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