national

Shin-Koiwa Station going all out to prevent human injury and death

20 Comments
By KK Miller, RocketNews24

Delays on a train are annoying but inevitable, since with such a massive transit system in Japan, not everything is going to work 100% of the time. No one wants to see the words “train delay” on the information screen at the station, but even more so, no one wants to see the reason for the delays attributed to “human accidents,” the catch-all term Japan uses when people are found on the tracks while the trains are running.

An unfortunately common station for such accidents is implementing a number of changes in order to curb the rise of these incidents. It’s not just barriers and fences, prevention can start with you.

Located in the Katsushika Ward of Tokyo, Shin-Koiwa Station has been having problems with accidents involving people and suicides for a few years now. As of May 20, there have already been four incidents this year. Most people would agree that is four too many and something should be done about it, but a request for platform doors back in July 2012 still hasn’t been fulfilled. With the most recent incident occurring on May 6, the station has made a few changes to the decor in order to help prevent the accidents.

Already in place are sections of the platform illuminated by blue lighting. There are even skylight covers tinted blue so that the sun shining through has a calming color. Research has shown that these blue lights can help reduce suicide rates, but the reason why is not conclusive. Some believe the odd lighting makes people think twice about doing something illegal as that area might be under more scrutiny. It also might help that the color associated with the police is blue. This trick has been implemented before in other stations, but unfortunately, it isn’t enough at Shin-Koiwa.

The platform also plays music in an attempt to calm potential jumpers. This strategy has been in place since at least 2011.

Recently, large video screens have been installed at the station which display scenes of magnificent animals and beautiful nature.

Large posters have also been put up which explain what happens when someone pushes the emergency stop button and ask commuters to practice pushing a replica of one. When someone is on the tracks, even a single second can make a huge difference.

These changes might seem like a little much, but with so many incidents occurring recently, it seems like Shin-Koiwa Station is willing to give any proposed solution a try.

Thankfully, platform doors are finally coming soon to Shin-Koiwa Station. On March 24 of this year, JR East announced plans to install the devices, making Shin-Koiwa the first station on the Sobu Line to have these preventative measures in place. Hopefully when these doors are implemented, the number of incidents will drop. In the meantime, any preventative measures are worth it if it will save even one life.

Source: Naver Matome

Read more stories from RocketNews24 -- This new convenience store isn’t so convenient for the blind -- Two men die in apparently separate suicides after jumping in front of the same train -- Employee injured as suicidal man leaps in front of train, bursts into cabin

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


20 Comments
Login to comment

@Knox Harrington

Japan in a nutshell. Do not deal with the root cause of the problem

So how would you like JR East to deal with the root cause of the problem? Pass some laws? Start a nation-wide awareness campaign? Increase penalties on companies force employees to work unpaid over-time and thwart vacations?

Perhaps you would like JR East to launch a coup on the government as a first step in fixing Japan?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

This article is a little vague and doesn't give any facts. There has been 18 people jump off the platform at this station in the last five years. The prime target is the Narita Express that rattles through the station at a 100kph. There was one women two years ago that bounced off the front of the train and into the platform kiosk putting five other people in hospital and badly damaging the kiosk. Putting up all these calming signs and TV screens, changing the ambient lighting and sounds are only treating the symptoms and not addressing the problem of why so many people are suffering depression and anxiety, which forces them to jump in front the trainsin the first place.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Who is running the station? Do they really have the responsibility of finding the root cause of depression among the Japanese public?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Already in place are sections of the platform illuminated by blue lighting.

The platform also plays music in an attempt to calm potential jumpers. This strategy has been in place since at least 2011.

...large video screens have been installed at the station...

Japan in a nutshell. Do not deal with the root cause of the problem, instead try to use technology (ie employ domestic companies who benefit from this financially) to make people stop jumping in front of trains.

Japan is one cold and unforgiving place. I am sure some human touch and somewhere for people to express their feelings and fears would go a long way to reducing these suicides and attempted ones. Not posters, blue lighting and big-ass tv screens with scenes of nature on it.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

not addressing the problem of why so many people are suffering depression and anxiety

Yes, but it is a national issue and one that also affects many other countries. It's not something that the rail companies can do anything about.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Typical, do a bunch of vague silly things with little likely affect, and that music.......terrible!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Research has shown that these blue lights can help reduce suicide rates, but the reason why is not conclusive.

... the research IS conclusive, and has been confirmed in numerous studies. All this shows is that this reporter isn't qualified to write about the topic.

The reason that EXTENDED exposure to blue light helps to reduce suicide is that serotonin production is regulated by exposure to sunlight. Sunlight is not white, but rather tinted blue, therefore certain tints of blue light trick the brain into producing serotonin. This is especially useful during winter month or for office workers who spend large portions of their day working under white fluorescent lights that do not properly stimulate the optic nerve to trigger the brain into producing serotonin.

This trick has been implemented before in other stations, but unfortunately, it isn’t enough at Shin-Koiwa.

And the reason this "trick" doesn't work is because 10 minutes of exposure to blue light (probably the wrong shade) is not going to IMMEDIATELY flood the brain with serotonin and magically make a suicidal person reconsider.

Whoever implemented this policy (like the reporter) clearly doesn't understand that it takes lengthy exposure, and that the brain doesn't immediately produce serotonin like turning on the water in your bathroom.

This sort of article frustrates me because there is real science here, and the research is conclusive, but the research has been taken by the idiotic and ill-informed and abused, and then they turn around and say, "Oh, so it doesn't work!!"...

The only think not working here is the brains of the reporter and the brains of the staff at JR. They really should have consulted someone qualified in the area of suicide prevention.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Suicide happens. If not jr stations or nyc subways there are buses bridges poison and burning charcoal in closed room. Install safety home doors. Worldwide people gonna suicide. Prevent collateral damage yes!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I agree with other posters that money is better spent improving mental health care in Japan and trying to remove the stigma of seeking help for mental illness.

I really feel for the others that are traumatized by witnessing such acts. This poor driver tries to remain calm after a jumper jumps in front of his train. I'm sure he was mentally scarred and hopefully recovered.

https://youtu.be/-5c6OaDBnDE

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To ensure zero falling from platforms the only solution is installing home doors. From time to time we might have to "endure" the occasional delay because the train has to go back to the exact spot to safely open its doors, but it's all for everybody's good. I remember when last summer year a young expecting mother passed out on a platform with no home doors. From the video footage we could see that she clearly fainted and her body was on the platform while her head was just hanging towards the tracks. Home doors would have saved her life. Let's stop the selfish comments and get these home doors installed, please.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

what? no mascot?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Do people jump because of the annoying music and silly electronic bird noises? Just listening to the video for 12 seconds had my blood boiling. I will make sure I never get off at Shin Koiwa. It must be a dreadful place.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As much a sign of sickness as that of the suicides themselves is the fact that they aren't dealing with the problem of suicides and what causes them, they are just trying to influence where they DON'T happen. Who on earth really believes that these doors or barriers will prevent suicides? Nor will any 'distractions' like the blue lights or windows or pictures of puppies. What they CAN do and where they are still welcome, in my mind, is in preventing accidental deaths like people falling on the tracks after enkais, or people being pushed.

I don't think the doors are a waste of money as, like I said, they can prevent deaths from occurring (via accidents), but I also don't think the doors by ANY means do anything to address the massive problem that suicide is in this nation. I hope they're also donating money towards awareness, help for those with mental problems, and in reducing the stigma associated with depression and other mental problems. THAT would be a start towards reducing the cause of the problems.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Something needs to be done but not these wishy washy tactics. If someone is determined enough then disco lights and pictures of dogs ain't gonna stop them. And this practice of making the family pay out fines is obscene and should be ended.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ok I wish I hadn't seen that video , now I feel queasy .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Headquarters of the company that can't afford to put platform screen doors on its platforms, on google maps satellite view: http://tinyurl.com/l5nh78t

Can't quite make out those areas on top. Is that a private lake, beach, and forest on top of the roof, in the south garden?

And a similar garden just to the north on the same rooftop, next to the helipad, but more sand, maybe a Zen garden with a nice arrangement of stones: http://tinyurl.com/km7vuwx

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hopefully these preventative measures for would-be jumpers and such will work out in any way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry. wrong link. This is correct:

https://youtu.be/fPXSg3PvANg

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

To ensure zero falling from platforms the only solution is installing home doors.

Like those fully encased platforms at select stations along the Namboku and Chiyoda Lines, and all underground stations in Hong Kong and Singapore? Aren't those expensive, which is why post-property bubble Tokyo hasn't installed them at all subway stations?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As with many things in Japan, places get 'popular' if they receive enough publicity. It may be that Shin-Koiwa has just become such a place for jumpers. It says that no other Sobu Lines have platforms gates and the Narita Express goes through many stations at speed so any station would do. There was (is?) an on-line site where suiciders could get together as a group and cases were reported. There is also that forest near Fuji. Maybe these sad, lonely people at Shin-Koiwa are of the same mindset.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites