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Tokyo's Shibuya sees subdued Halloween as tight security dampens mood

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"There are too many restrictions, so it's spoiled the fun,"

That's sound like piece of work from Japanese bureaucrat.

"I think they should welcome (Halloween) rather than resist it. After all, everyone is coming because they love Shibuya," Morita said.

This guy is smarter the catch public mood better from most than Japanese bureaucrat.

-16 ( +18 / -34 )

I had to commute through there last night. It was a nightmare. Many of the streets and areas were cordoned off, so pedestrians were squeezed into extremely narrow and overcrowded paths, while cops and military style security guards yelled at us through bullhorns and blew ear-piercing whistles in our faces every 3 seconds. I would have punched a few if I thought I could get away with it. All I wanted was to get the hell out.

26 ( +38 / -12 )

I love the way the Japanese media kept showing crowds of mostly Japanese people in Shibuya, but when they focused in or did interviews, they’d show foreigners just to remind the public who the real menace to society is.

-14 ( +30 / -44 )

Mamoru Morita said, “the police officers are noisy.” Yeah, irony strikes again. It’s like when you’re in the train and the announcement blasts out telling you to be quiet and keep your phone on silent. Sochira Koso!

-6 ( +27 / -33 )

Many of the streets and areas were cordoned off, so pedestrians were squeezed into extremely narrow and overcrowded paths

So party goers not the only part of the problem, authorities try to squeeze people to narrow street that they design while blowing whistles.

-5 ( +20 / -25 )

when they focused in or did interviews, they’d show foreigners just to remind the public who the real menace to society

Shift the blame to foreigners, that has been Japanese way for years. Even we know in Shibuya it was mixed foreigner and Japanese nationals.

-24 ( +19 / -43 )

"it's only Shibuya where we can do things like this."

its pretty insane in Osaka too.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Mamoru Morita, 47, who had with him two pet iguanas and a goat, said that not only were there fewer people compared to last year, "the police officers are noisy."

The nail that sticks up.... Cliche, but Mayor Hasebe's approach smacked of a hysteric over-reaction towards some "youthful", heterodox expression.

He succeeded in producing a haunted dystopic Orwellian vibe though.

while cops and military style security guards yelled at us through bullhorns and blew ear-piercing whistles in our faces every 3 seconds.

I feel you and the passive-aggressive annoyance was definitely a feature of the Halloween tax-funded display of state authority.

-6 ( +19 / -25 )

The mayor of Shibuya threw a tantrum and made himself the center of national media attention for an entire month, but was actually unable to change the hearts and minds of the people that wanted to celebrate Halloween in the most grassroots manner available to them. By erecting so many barriers around the station, he made commuting more dangerous and inconvenient. I imagine public sentiment in his ward may be turning against him soon, especially if he tries this again for New Years Eve.

Ken Hasebe, resign.

-14 ( +19 / -33 )

I have heard the crowd has increased in Shinjuku and Ikebukuro. So a shift is underway as expected

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Tokyo Shibuya Halloween 2023 - 4K HDR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0vpYUz3_hs

This is the crazy world of Ken Hasebe toxic brand of officialdom, doltish from the neck up, a mind consumed with a irrational "anxious" paranoiac retardation, congested with wide the eyed spontaneous visions of a world of drunken rude foreigners, interspersed with an equally inebriated pesky J youth culture sent to Shibuya from ta nightshift of graveyard Halloween ghosts and ghoulies.

Hasebe is a foolish man, tormented by a head full of clipboards.

Well for those who voted for this spectacle, a criminal waste of local taxpayers money, serves you right.

-9 ( +13 / -22 )

They should officially move the venue so that idiot Ken can see that there are other places than can EASILY hold a Halloween event. Saitama Shintoshin Station area comes to mind. They have a very large plaza which could easily accommodate an event of that size.

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

Thin crowds on a Tuesday night? The real party has always been on the nearest weekend to Halloween.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Hasebe is a foolish man, tormented by a head full of clipboards.

Yet you have never argued successfully against the very valid concerns that are the basis for the measures. Just claiming people are fools because they do not do what you want them to do is not exactly an argument, for that you would have first to demonstrate (not just say) that there was no concern, that the people of Shibuya were onboard the party, etc.

Without that he simply did his job.

4 ( +19 / -15 )

People will just move elsewhere. There was a time that people partied on the Yamanote Line. So they’ll just find a new area to go to and party. Or, perhaps, it might be better to encourage people to go inside and party around the Tokyo area by offering freebies to people who go into shops wearing a costume. There are just so many ways they could approach this. Instead, fear-mongering is the route they’ve chosen.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

As I predicted and foresaw---guaranteed, there were no major incidents, no deaths, as in the years before.

All those efforts to make an analogy with what happened in a different country, under different physical circumstances fell flat on its face.

There was actually a large crowd in Shibuya, and it was business as usual.

-14 ( +8 / -22 )

Somebody said:

"I think they should welcome (Halloween) rather than resist it. After all, everyone is coming because they love Shibuya,"

The above statement is stupid...government is preventing accidents, terror attacks, and people leaving the streets dirty with so much trash and garbage.

I'm glad authorities are preventing this Halloween gathering。

-3 ( +15 / -18 )

As I predicted and foresaw---guaranteed, there were no major incidents, no deaths, as in the years before.

Thanks to the measures put in place that greatly reduced the number of people going to Shibuya to manageable levels. This would prove exactly the opposite of what you predicted, that everybody would go just the same no matter what was done, the article makes it perfectly clear the measures had the intended effect and thanks to that there was minimum risk of something happening.

All those efforts to make an analogy with what happened in a different country, under different physical circumstances fell flat on its face.

That would be those that predicted huge multitudes comparable with previous years would attend. The ones (including the government of the city) that worried about a tragedy simply did what was possible to prevent one, something that was clearly enough.

There was actually a large crowd in Shibuya, and it was business as usual

Which was the objective, to have business as usual and not huge numbers of people like in previous years.

5 ( +20 / -15 )

There were still many people many with great costumes. Many foreigners and some celeb ones. One driving around the crowded streets in an open-top car with security guards running alongside.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Two iguanas and a goat.

Brilliant

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Mamoru Morita, 47, who had with him two pet iguanas and a goat

Brilliant!

You’ll never find a way to stop the Mamoru Moritas of the world.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

They should officially move the venue so that idiot Ken can see that there are other places than can EASILY hold a Halloween event. Saitama Shintoshin Station area comes to mind. They have a very large plaza which could easily accommodate an event of that size.

Sounds like a sensible idea, but one of the attractions of the Shibuya Halloween was that it was just basically a completely spontaneous thing and not some pre-organized event in the middle of nowhere. Not sure why they focused on the actual Halloween night - at it's peak a few years back, it always happened on the the Saturday night just before Halloween - the reason being that people went there to show off their costumes and then after go to some party in a club or bar somewhere - there is absolutely nothing else like that to do in Saitama Shintoshin.

I'm not sure why they became obsessed with stopping this event - I heard that there were a few public order issues in recent years, but even back when I used to go to it and there wasn't any trouble, they were trying to put a stop to it. In London, they have the Notting Hill carnival and every year there are several hundred arrests and half a dozen stabbings, but they don't stop the entire event! The overcrowding thing just doesn't wash with me because Japan organizes many events that attract far more people to similar urban environments with no issue - if they can organize over 1 million people around the tight streets of Asakusa for the fireworks, then I'm sure they can organize a crowd some 10 times smaller around Shibuya. My guess is that the real reason for wanting to stop the Halloween event is that it's part of a gentrification of the area - they want the young crowd out to be replaced by a more monied, young professional class more like Ebisu or Aoyama.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Debate, virusrex, argue?, well perhaps a scornful huff puff.

I have had many "run-ins" with UK Brighton planning & development community infrastructure levy.

I have business interests in UK

Companies invest hundreds of millions in creating jobs that provide a proven future for youth employment prospects.

I recognize the same incompetent lack of any skills or actions to problem solving in Ken Hasebe aptitude in office.

An veritable in-tray desk-jockey relic, that should have been put to pasture,

Ken Hasebe is not remotely concerned with finding any rational management for an event that could provide a much needed community stream of financial revenue from the outcome of a unpresented pandemic

To spend taxpayers money on whistle blowing, badge wearing human bollards of harassment is a criminal waste of resources.

It never for a moment occurs to the Ken Hasebes of this world, to promote and provide a local venue, with the assistance of local venders/business to stage a custom focused Halloween festival.

Ken Hasebe doesn't possess a modicum of entrepreneurial nuance. He is a slab of bureaucratic concrete.

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

It Ken Hasebe is genuinely concerned about public safety, he would have brought the Shibuya business community together months ago for a stage managed event venue, solely for the purpose of Shibuya unique Halloween party.

No, moaning minnie, Ken Hasebe unleashed a Halloween horror show on his own community it voters doorstep.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

I recognize the same incompetent lack of any skills or actions to problem solving in Ken Hasebe aptitude in office.

Yet you still refuse to bring any actual argument, just make appeals to authority from an anonymous account (which are of course without any value)

You keep trying to push for what you think should have been done, without proving it in any way. That is not arguing, is trying to excuse yourself from doing it and just expect people to believe you must be right.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Ken Hasebe's embarrassing fiasco notwithstanding:

I definitely think it is preferable for Shibuya to not be the only venue for Halloween celebration in Tokyo. Therefore, it is important for other wards of Tokyo and cities in the area to foster and support their own local Halloween events. Ikebukuro is a positive example of this, with its cosplay parade. Yokohama Chinatown also had a more family-friendly oriented event. It can be Shinjuku, Akihabara, wherever. It will ease the burden that people in Shibuya have to deal with. But don't try to shut down Halloween and don't try to paywall Halloween. Keep it grassroots. Don't create arbitrary rules like banning public drinking when you literally allow it every other day of the year.

As far as Shibuya is concerned, the messaging and enforcement of this whole thing was just way off. Are they going to do the same thing next year? Are they going to try to shut down New Years Eve in Shibuya? I don't think they understand the reason young people hang out in Shibuya to begin with. Nevertheless we've learned one thing out of this: even if they tell people their ward is not a place to celebrate Halloween... It is absolutely still a place people will celebrate Halloween. Even if they tell people not to come, people will still come. Stern old people are losing the ability to control the narrative in this country.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Simsek Tortu, 33, a Turkish resident of Tokyo who came to take photos of the Shibuya Halloween for the sixth time, said while the vibe "paled in comparison" to previous years,

but

he was grateful there were fewer people.

as a photographer, you always hope there are more subject to take photos of.

"I think (the mayor telling people not to come) is actually a good call. Because only people who are really passionate about dressing up will still come,"

said Tortu, yet he was..........

not clad in costume himself as he was organizing a photowalk for the night for his photography group.

who was this joker?

they couldn't find someone who said any less contradictions?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Now, let's all wait and see just how hypocritical all these authorities are during the annual New Year's Even festivities in the same location.

Hasebe is just playing mommy here! If he let's the festivities go on during New Year's, folks should kick him out of office for the BS.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

It Ken Hasebe is genuinely concerned about public safety, he would have brought the Shibuya business community together months ago for a stage managed event venue, solely for the purpose of Shibuya unique Halloween party.

Agree, but think about it a bit more, and there is no way he can go back on his word, ( read that as take the feet out of his mouth) and he would rather spend the money on saying "NO" than on doing something that promotes the area and event.

Tokyo would REALLY benefit by having one area, particularly a park or large venue, to host an open Halloween event. The money and publicity they could get would be enormous.

But the "oyajis" in control, well, every knows about them!

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Sabrina Harnois, 24, an American living in Tokyo who came dressed as a gothic witch, said an incident like the one in Itaewon could have happened, recalling how "horribly crowded" Shibuya was in 2019.

"It was hard to walk around, and it did feel dangerous," she said.

Felt dangerous but she still came back.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This is all because the local government couldn't find a way to monetize and take credit for the halloween party. They cannot stand to see people meeting and having fun for free. Next year they'll come back with a Shibuya Halloween Pass for 10,000 yen, force bars to buy into some sort of halloween safety system or they won't be allowed to serve alcohol on that night, install cameras everywhere to harvest biometric data, designate a food truck area with a huge rental price.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

Mine is an opinion, a comment to JT article, from a J taxpayer on how our hard earned contribution to local tax's are spent or wasted, virusrex.

Opinions are, always been, take or leave it.

Shibuya Mayor Ken Hasebe has dropped the ball here.

His media ego driven self important displays of pique, have actually/significantly aggressively aggravated the whole Halloween situation.

Local residents, I suggest. will be none to happy with the noise nuisance, tax payer funded, whistle blowing, bull horn blaring Ken Hasebe solution.

When a smart solution, revenue earning planned Shibuya inspired local venue was going begging. where was Shibuya Mayor Ken Hasebe?

Blowing whistles, shouting through a bullhorn, ill judged get outs! at imaginary drunken lay abouts.

If Shibuya Mayor Ken Hasebe had been carrying out his mandate competently we would not be having this conversation.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

This is all because the local government couldn't find a way to monetize and take credit for the halloween party.

...In a safe way and with the cooperation of the locals, which is a perfectly valid reason.

They cannot stand to see people meeting and having fun for free

Where have the local government of Shibuya expressed anything about people meeting and having fun for free anywhere else?

Mine is an opinion, a comment to JT article, from a J taxpayer on how our hard earned contribution to local tax's are spent or wasted, virusrex.

In which you claim things as fact, without demonstrating them first. Which means anybody having the opposite opinion would have exactly the same weight. That you are completely unable to support your personal opinions except by hearsay shows exactly how they lack any kind of solid ground.

His media ego driven self important displays of pique, have actually/significantly aggressively aggravated the whole Halloween situation.

Still not enough to disprove that the main concern was about safety and the opinion of the residents of Shibuya.

Local residents, I suggest. will be none to happy with the noise nuisance, tax payer funded, whistle blowing, bull horn blaring Ken Hasebe solution.

Compared with what? the repetition of previous problems during the event? the very real risk of Shibuya becoming synonymous with preventable deaths as Itaewon is now? not really.

If Shibuya Mayor Ken Hasebe had been carrying out his mandate competently we would not be having this conversation.

Since you have not yet argued how he did anything incompetently that means you are the one trying to have a conversation based only on your personal opinion, not on something that can objectively be claimed.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Oh virusrex, this is what we, as tax payers, entrust on our elected officialdom. not to pay Shibuya Mayor Ken Hasebe, only then to have to suggest how he should do his job.

I know you are fully aware of smart alternatives, all could have been presented and thought through.

None were, the result is frankly embarrassing.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

My opinions are simply opinions, never facts Learnt that moons ago virusrex.

Clears that up hopefully. I enjoy your debate.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

only then to have to suggest how he should do his job.

Based purely on personal opinion without any basis to support it? that has terribly low value. Anybody thinking it was fine automatically opposes that with an opinion of exactly the same value. As long as you can accept that what point is there trying to say this is not the case?

I know you are fully aware of smart alternatives, all could have been presented and thought through.

As commented, that yet another assumption you are making and pushing it as if it was a fact.

My opinions are simply opinions, never facts Learnt that moons ago virusrex.

Yet when someone says that your opinions are simply opinions you still feel the need to reply, as if trying to say they hold some extra value. What would be the point then?

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Yes I agree, Yubaru, lots of ifs and buts, and the congestion overcrowding is a genuine safety concern.

Shibuya is a go to venue for Halloween festivities.

So, firstly costs will need to be taken into consideration in finding a local venue, local business will need to be tapped persuaded to see the financial benefits without losing the spontaneity.

All day one.

In identifying stakeholders, vested interests early then bringing them together lies the answers

I really believe this has been missed here

I get irritated, frustrated when one can smell an opportunity, close enough to tickle it even, only to be shown or talk to the hand.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Oh virusrex, this is what we, as tax payers, entrust on our elected officialdom. not to pay Shibuya Mayor Ken Hasebe, only then to have to suggest how he should do his job. 

I know you are fully aware of smart alternatives, all could have been presented and thought through.

None were, the result is frankly embarrassing.

Right on the money.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Roy, my/the so called smart alternatives have to be costed, the presentation has to be professionally structured for the chosen audience.

Never happen just barking through the letter box.

You must have seen/handled many business pitches.

Never turn a crowd away, just entice/lead it to a destination to enjoy Halloween and spend

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I really believe this has been missed here

But for all you know it could not, and the limited benefits could easily be surpassed by the costs and risks of an event of such scale, specially after observing how other events have importantly increased amounts of people after all restriction measures were lifted.

One thing is to personally believe there could be an opportunity based on not having any data to properly judge how viable that could have been, another is to simply assume the viability was there for sure and the people in charge ignored it for no reason whatsoever.

Right on the money.

Except for the fact that there is no reason to think options were not evaluated and found lacking. Specially when no other location in Tokyo raised it hand to replace Shibuya even when the obvious opportunity was there.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Of course all the opinions alternatives could have been walked though, it is indeed an assumption to suggest otherwise.

I suspect resources could have been time limited, local authorities/council have a crowded agenda, after all a one day festival has its limitations.

So spread the festivities over a period of days. Lead the crowds away from the areas where a safety hazard is prevalent.

Also look to future calendar date extravaganzas, Christmas/New Year, Valentines day etc

Create the model to manage such events effectively.

It is not going to be a simple straightforward challenge.

These summer music festivals might hold some organizational head up.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Mamoru Morita, 47, who had with him two pet iguanas and a goat

So he had Hasebe and a couple of extra members of the local assembly in tow?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Unless you live or run a business in Shibuya ward, vote, and pay Shibuya ward tax, Hasebe doesn’t care what you think and rightfully so. Why should he? He’s the mayor of Shibuya not the mayor of Tokyo. Why should he care what a bunch of self entitled, crybabies who live outside his ward think. Sounds like he’ll be re-elected cause he’s doing what the residents and businesses want.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

I’m with itsonlyrocknroll on this. The fuss they make over a party!! Meetings about meetings. Surely the way forward is to let young people have their fun and for others to make a bit of money. Japan already is a ‘nanny’ state - my opinion - sucking the fun out of life. The more extreme parties for people to let off steam the better. Yes, let’s make a profit as well.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Don't get this: the mayor complains about too many people in a small area because it's "dangerous", yet they shepherd people across the zebra-crossing through tape pathways?? Talk about creating dense areas of people that can't move freely.......a total recipe for potential disaster.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Country with population crisis, loneliness and suicide problems - "Let's ban one of the few things we do where young people can meet each other".

By all means, arrest people for anti social behaviour but this sort of crackdown is as dumb as it is unwarranted.

Mayor Hasebe should be ashamed of himself.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

At least no one died, and while the photo looks a bit... hmm... at least the police officers don't carry machine guns. Well, people can always dress up at Harajuku station 365 days a year.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

For all the people complaining about Mayor Hasebe's reactions, you can always make your voice heard via the ballot box and vote him out come the next mayoral elections.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Stephen

What is evident in the link below could have been avoided.

Tokyo Shibuya Halloween 2023 - 4K HDR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0vpYUz3_hs

Not only could the fuss been avoided, but turned into a fully supported safe event, with a secure revenue stream to support local taxpayers.

The summer music festivals provide an organizational structure to provide every convenience, food drink, stalls, merchandise, in the scorching summer heat safely for up to 80,000 plus over a weekend.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The real reason for the clamp down is that 400,000 extra people come to Shibuya however, most bars and restaurants have lower takings than a usual weekend. Yet the costs of policing and security have to be paid.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Tried to find some kind of statistic about past events in Shibuya regarding deaths or major injuries to party-goers, and couldn't find any. I think I also read or saw somewhere that one of the concerns was due to what happened in the narrow alleys of Itaewon in Seoul and Halloween (which is a terrible comparison to make to the much more wider-spaced Shibuya). So far, the only thing I could find that provided any kind of logic to the insane police state feel of last night based on past incidents was.... an overturned car one year... and garbage all over the streets (which might not be a problem if Japan actually joined the modern world in using trash cans instead of worrying about a mostly defunct religious cult from 30 years ago wanting to put bombs in these dangerous receptacles of trash, or so the story goes)?????

I had to work in Shibuya last night and dreaded going through Hachiko Square on my way home from work. I had to go that way, no other choice. What I experienced was three things that really made me feel like Ken and his minions seriously overdid it and were totally in the wrong with this decision.

First, the cordoned off of all the walkways made it really difficult for me to walk through them. Kind of felt like a narrow alley where I could see people getting hurt. So much congestion created by Ken's desire to create non-congestion in the area. Good job Ken.

Second, the bullhorns and the whistles and the yelling at everybody and everything (I swear I saw one cop yelling at Hachiko statue. Just kidding... but I'm sure Hachiko was told to move from this post at one point) were really scary and created a weird police state feel to the place. Just crazy how much of an overkill it was.

Third, and worst for me... I had to stop and wait for somebody to reply to me on my phone while standing in Hachiko Square. I wasn't waiting longer than 30 seconds when a cop came literally running/walking towards me and harassed me to death until I started walking again. Yet, and I couldn't believe this.... a Japanese guy was standing ten feet away from me checking his phone, and that police guy after he got done harassing me walked right by the Japanese guy and let him do his thing on this phone. I wasn't in costume and I wasn't with friends. I was on my way home from work. Yet because I'm a foreigner I felt like I was the big problem yesterday, regardless of never once in my life joining a Shibuya Halloween party (and I actually found them to be annoying to me in past years due to needing to go home and not being able to get through the crowds).

Once again, as I live here in Japan, I see the absurdity of this country and its inability to install government officials in place who actually understand the people they meant to govern. Or to have common sense and a basic understanding of the world. The spirit of Shibuya was quelled last night, and the only thing that got accomplished was one politician's sad ego and really poor choice of turning Shibuya into what felt like a crime scene (Move along! Nothing to see here!) that normally felt like a great place to meet your friends, just like Hachiko did for his human servant so many years ago.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Great time again. All the worrying was for no reason--as the rational ones predicted.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Let's all BOO Shibuya Ward and the Shibuya police -- boooooooooooooooo! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! BoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo! Shame on Shibuya Ward -- if that is your idea of a solution, then you need to STEP ASIDE and MAKE WAY for people who CAN come up with a POSITIVE solution that allows LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS to continue enjoying Halloween. Shame on the Shibuya police -- you MASSIVELY OVERSTEPPED your boundaries. You have no business telling LAW-ABIDING citizens what YOU want them to do and not to do. Your duty is to PROTECT and SERVE. And get rid of that CACOPHONY of constant screeching through loudspeakers.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

Shibuya was a police state for the evening.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Great time again. All the worrying was for no reason--as the rational ones predicted.

Yes, the rational people that knew the measures would have this effect, instead of the irrational ones that predicted the same amount of people would go to Shibuya no matter what the government did to reduce their numbers.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Just so people know, here's what happened at past Halloween gatherings in Shibuya:

In 2018, people flipping a truck and that was instigated by a foreigner.

https://soranews24.com/2018/12/07/foreigner-investigated-for-truck-flipping-thought-itd-be-ok-since-japan-is-crazy-at-halloween/

Trash:

https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/11/shibuya-trashed-after-halloween-so-volunteers-clean-up/

https://kotaku.com/halloween-in-tokyo-descends-into-chaos-clean-ups-and-a-1830065078

Vandalism (they had to cover a promo train car with anti-vandalism measures):

https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2016-10-24/pom-pom-purin-wards-off-halloween-vandals-in-shibuya/.108045

Train stabbing suspect:

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14473718

Gropings, assault and thefts:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/11/01/national/tokyo-police-arrest-13-shibuya-halloween-mayhem/

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I’m glad people still went. People should be free to have harmless fun, and let’s be clear: that’s exactly what it is. Shibuya Halloween has been going on for years without anyone getting hurt.

There has always been a police presence, but turning it into a police state for an evening is a relatively recent phenomena. So no matter whether they put on this current big, noisy, expensive show of force or have a more measured police presence, the people of Tokyo have shown that they’re capable of getting together, putting on costumes and having fun (even in large numbers) largely without incident.

I’m heartened to see that most comments are along the same lines. Basically, people who like it should be able go and enjoy. People who don’t like it seem to want to see it shut down with a show of state force. There are a number of other cities in Asia that the latter group can live in, if that’s what they like.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

A TIMELINE:

Shibuya Halloween went ahead for many years without incident. People put on costumes and went along and there were basically no problems.

Then the authorities complained about litter and inconvenience. As far as litter goes, that’s a fair point, but they should have just put out trash cans. In terms of inconvenience, it’s just two nights a year! Who’s being more selfish here: young people who want to have this street party once or twice a year or people who can’t stand being put out even slightly and want to ruin it?

Anyway, the authorities had a bee in their bonnet, but tutting about trash wasn’t going to cut it. Then in 2018, a few idiots out of a crowd of thousands vandalised a truck. That gave the powers that be the ammo they needed to try to convince the public that Shibuya Halloween was dangerous and violent. After all, lots of foreigners go there.

So from 2019 to 2022 they employed heavy handed crowd control tactics. Remember that no one anywhere has died or even gotten hurt up until this point.

In 2022, a terrible tragedy unfolded in another city in a different country. That has apparently given the authorities the perfect excuse to try to shut it down completely and make out that Halloween itself is dangerous. It’s a goulish attempt to make hay out of a tragedy to further a pre-existing agenda. We all know it has nothing to do with the tragedy in Seoul (or terrorism, as one commenter histrionically wrote). It’s about shutting down an event they just don’t like, but newsflash: Japan is a free country.

I’m inclined to agree with the people interviewed for this story. If people can’t have this kind of innocent fun in Shibuya, where can they do it? Shame on those that want to spoil this magnificent, spontaneous, people-driven event and double shame for using a tragedy to do so.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Ken Hasebe's plan was far from the truth. He placed emphasis in avoiding lost of life based on last year's tragedy in South Korea and provide peace and tranquility for local residents - but instead they cordoned off most floor pathways literally forcing pedestrians to extreme narrow walk ways risking the welfare and safety of people; plus law enforcement agencies blasting whistles and loud speakers horns without end causing disturbance to public peace. Surreal!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

In 2018, people flipping a truck and that was instigated by a foreigner.

Interesting framing. Oh well, if a foreigner told them to do it, I guess the Japanese people who actually did it had no choice. Whatever their nationality, they shouldn’t have done in and as far as I’m aware, they’ve faced the consequences for their actions.

Trash.

Oh no, not trash! Someone should invent some kind of receptacle or something.

Vandalism (they had to cover a promo train car with anti-vandalism measures):

https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2016-10-24/pom-pom-purin-wards-off-halloween-vandals-in-shibuya/.108045

There’s no actual vandalism mentioned here, just the suggestion that some might possibly occur. Hardly the same thing.

Train stabbing suspect:

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14473718

That was truly awful. It didn’t occur in Shibuya though. It’s a case for having cops on trains, if that’s what you’re suggesting? It’s also not the first time a attack occurred on public transport in Japan. Far from it. This one just happened to occur at Halloween. It’s a bit gross to try to smear everyone wearing a costume on the streets of Shibuya for what this monster did/tried to do on a train.

Gropings, assault and thefts:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/11/01/national/tokyo-police-arrest-13-shibuya-halloween-mayhem/

I’m not about to defend criminals. Criminals should be arrested: that’s what laws and cops are for. But 13 people doesn’t sound like very many, especially given the crowd size. It would take more than that to reasonably conclude that Shibuya Halloween was particularly dangerous. In fact, compared with other major cities, it sounds relatively safe! At a minimum, we’d need to see the crime figures for other nights of the year in Shibuya for comparison. Even if 13 people aren’t arrrested every Saturday, it’s unlikely to be 0 people and no crime.

Basically, one can say that crimes occurred, and that may be true, but we can’t pretend that they only happen on Halloween or that they only happen in Shibuya. What we’re looking at here is a list of sensationalist excuses. The vast, overwhelming majority of revellers are just people out to have a nice time. That’s not such a compelling news story though, is it?

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Mamoru Morita, 47, who had with him two pet iguanas and a goat, said that not only were there fewer people compared to last year, "the police officers are noisy."

There should be a dedicated article about this guy…

4 ( +6 / -2 )

That's exactly the point, though. All it takes is "a few idiots out of a crowd of thousands" to do serious damage.

A vandalised truck isn’t serious damage. No one was hurt.

Remember that no one anywhere has died or even gotten hurt up until this point.

Should they have waited until it escalated from property to human life? You are basically arguing that the only valid way to justify any measures is reactionary -- the "all is fun and games until someone cries" principle?

Yes actually, that’s more or less what I’m saying. There’s a word for when no one gets hurt: “safe”.

If we’re worried about the potential for harm, we should ban all large gatherings like matsuris, music festivals, gigs, nightclubs, fireworks etc. They all have the potential for people to get hurt.

However, what I’m not saying is that nothing at all could be done. They could provide trash cans, toilets, implement a one-way system in narrower steets and crucially, not block access to public transport like they did this year.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Watching a TV report. Some violence and a small truck overturned. 150 arrests.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The problems and violence increased year with year, it was projected that the number of people attending the event would be much higher this year (which increases the risk) and the people of the location were not behind the event. That means there are plenty of reasons to justify not waiting until there was an escalation from property to human life as you argue. The whole point of measures is to avoid having loss of life instead of reacting after disaster happens, that would be a terribly irresponsible thing to do.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

A probable revenue of at least 100 million yen gross - gone!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

When there is enough evidence of an gradual increase of violence and the extra risk that comes from an important number of extra people going to the event this year in particular…

I’m yet to see any such evidence. I’d wager the opposite is true given the heavy-handed tactics the city has employed since 2019.

…saying that they should have waited to do something only after some people died is not a responsible nor desirable position to take.

That’s not exactly what I’m saying, but I don’t think trying to smear something as dangerous where no one has been hurt is a desirable position. It’s authoritarian. Also trying to ban it under the auspice of public safety when they’re already on record as saying they don’t like it because of litter is craven.

Shibuya has the legal right to do what they’re doing,of course. I’m saying they’re morally wrong.

A one-way systme would have not prevented the tragedy at itaewon, and the block was intended to make it difficult for people to attend the event. Not to increase the safety if the full projected number of people went to Shibuya.

I’m sorry, mate - you just don’t know that about Itaewon! Also, if you’re saying that the block at the station was not done in th me interest of public safety, then it’s Shibuya city who are being irresponsible, not the revellers.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Events of the nature of Shibuya Halloween festival will attract the attention from an element of society that misbehaves and takes advantage of large crowd of people for criminal purposes.

This needs to be managed/discouraged with a visible deterrent.

I contend a local open venue organized to turn the event into a supported Halloween festival, with stalls, themed elaborate settings, run over a number of days.

This will manage the crowds, limit the instants of petty criminal activity, drunkenness, the littering can be brought under control.

At present what is practically being achieved? It a disorganized chaos.

A huge costly police presence, all the bull horning/whistle blowing.

All this could be turned on its head, and revenues funneled into a destination event, similar in style to the Notting Hill Carnival.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I’m not actually that into the idea of a lengthy back and forth because regardless of what you or I think, the local government of Shibuya is going to do what it’s going to do. Us typing away changes nothing.

Basically to summarise my stance, I’m not saying that they should have waited until someone died, that’s you and other commenters putting words in my mouth. I’m saying that I don’t think anything like Itaewon will happen. In terms of evidence on my side, I’ve got every single Shibuya Halloween that has ever occurred and my own personal experience. If we’re worried about people being killed whenever large crowds gather, I don’t think “accepting responsibility” (or however you put it in an earlier comment about public safety) would really cut it anyway.

For some reason, we only appear to be worried about potential loss of life in Shibuya at Halloween and there’s no reason to think that’ll happen, especially if sensible measures - short of banning it - are taken.

Last thing though:

I’m sorry, mate - you just don’t know that about Itaewon! 

Is that your argument? because just saying other people don't understand something do not prove you are right with a claim, if anything it only proves you can't argue against what those other people are saying.

I tend not to make a hobby out of getting into dorky, tedious internet debates (because as I say, they’re pointless) so I’m not down with the vernacular, but yeah that’s my “argument”, if you like. You literally don’t know if it would have helped at Itaewon or not because it wasn’t done. It’s hypothetical.

Have a good one.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Hasebe Ken, Mayor of Shibuya

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80IY8CT1QDE

In his own words, so make up your own minds.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The problems and violence increased year with year, it was projected that the number of people attending the event would be much higher this year (which increases the risk) and the people of the location were not behind the event. That means there are plenty of reasons to justify not waiting until there was an escalation from property to human life as you argue. The whole point of measures is to avoid having loss of life instead of reacting after disaster happens, that would be a terribly irresponsible thing to do.

Complete non-sequitur but regardless, nothing occurred that was remotely close to what happened in Itaewon. Seems the only one making such irrational forecast was Hasebe, and a few sky-is-falling blind followers of such bizarre thinking,

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

 Us typing away changes nothing.

the purpose of the discussion is not to change anything.

I’m not saying that they should have waited until someone died, that’s you and other commenters putting words in my mouth

I quoted your own words literally saying that is what you say, nobody has to put anything in your mouth but what you wrote and is still here.

I’m saying that I don’t think anything like Itaewon will happen. In terms of evidence on my side, I’ve got every single Shibuya Halloween that has ever occurred

Except when it proves the problems have increased year after year, in which case you make a huge effort to ignore that evidence and pretend it does not exist, the same as the projections to the much higher number of people for this year. Ignoring that evidence is what reduces the value of your arguments since you don't refute them just by not addressing them.

If we’re worried about people being killed whenever large crowds gather, I don’t think “accepting responsibility” (or however you put it in an earlier comment about public safety) would really cut it anyway.

It is when it means doing what is necessary to safeguard the safety of the crowds, or to cancel the event when that proves to be not feasible or impossibly complicated or expensive.

I tend not to make a hobby out of getting into dorky, tedious internet debates (because as I say, they’re pointless) so I’m not down with the vernacular, but yeah that’s my “argument”

That means you accept you have no argument for the claim, conceding the criticism is not valid.

You literally don’t know if it would have helped at Itaewon or not because it wasn’t done

But if you claim it would have helped you need to provide evidence for this claim, else it can be ignored, the same as anybody suggesting any other measure.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Complete non-sequitur

When the argument logically follows the direction of the discussion (as in this case since it justify being cautious about the event) that is not a non-sequitur.

nothing occurred that was remotely close to what happened in Itaewon.

Since the measures implemented by the local government in Shibuya greatly reduced the number of participants, which is the effect they were aiming for and that you said would not happen, fortunately it did.

Seems the only one making such irrational forecast was Hasebe

The mayor never predicted for a problem to happen even if Shibuya cancelled the event, he did that precisely so nothing would happen, so the irrational forecast you mention was not made by anybody. It was either problems if the event was held with full crowds or safe with measures in place to cancel it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

View the clip, an hours worth of Shibuya very own Halloween Mr Slytherin, not a positive vibe, just moan and groan, Mr muggles YouTube broadcast giving the impression that Shibuya has uncontrollable anti-social behavioral issues.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

"There are too many restrictions, so it's spoiled the fun," said a 17-year-old schoolgirl who asked to be referred to as Yuna. Dressed as Playboy bunny with her classmate Rian, the pair agreed it was a shame since "it's only Shibuya where we can do things like this."

a comment that you'd expect from a 17-yrs old. who didn't have any painful or traumatic experience yet. but she did come dressed up like she did despite the restrictions, right?) so probably the restrictions weren't that bad.

Mamoru Morita, 47, who had with him two pet iguanas and a goat, said that not only were there fewer people compared to last year, "the police officers are noisy."

Im somewhat sceptical about Japanese police officers being that much noisy. If someone thinks Japanese police is noisy I wonder how would they like the police from the western countries :3

I think they should welcome (Halloween) rather than resist it.

if they resisted it, it wouldnt be allowed at all in the first place.

not sure if i'm a party downer/authoritarian or those unsatisfied are trouble seekers/makers :D

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

"There are too many restrictions, so it's spoiled the fun," said a 17-year-old schoolgirl who asked to be referred to as Yuna. Dressed as Playboy bunny with her classmate Rian, the pair agreed it was a shame since "it's only Shibuya where we can do things like this."

Pics, or it's not to be believed!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

In the photo, above, the crowds appear much more peaceful, . . . civilized . . . .

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

wallaceNov. 1  08:56 am JST

There were still many people many with great costumes. Many foreigners and some celeb ones.............. 'One driving around the crowded streets in an open-top car with security guards running' alongside....................................................That was the mayor...........lol!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I watched a person walk around with a camera, they uploaded the vid clip, they walked around and around and around Shibuya, what I could see was it was less crowded, but what was noticable was the stagering amount of police on every street corner, intersection, side walks, it was crazy, the police cars, they were all up side streets, in or around the junctions, police with those whistles, my question is who much did that cost the tax payer? was it worth all of the police attending?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Since the measures implemented by the local government in Shibuya greatly reduced the number of participants, which is the effect they were aiming for and that you said would not happen, fortunately it did

Actually the numbers were not reduced so much.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Actually the numbers were not reduced so much.

All articles about it describe it in a simmilar way as this one, as "subdued" or "markedly thinner". Without any evidence of the contrary these sources are simply much more trustworthy thant people just claiming the contrary without any source for it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

All articles about it describe it in a simmilar way as this one, as "subdued" 

It was subdued like every year in the past because there was limited violence and injury, as was foreseen.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It was subdued like every year in the past because there was limited violence and injury, as was foreseen.

Again no, you are contradicting yourself after it was clear the article disproved your claim (without any basis), your new contradictory claim is still disproved in the same way by this article that makes it clear the very low number of attendants is due to the measures taken THIS year to prevent people from attending.

You still provide zero sources to contradict this article.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Again no, you are contradicting yourself after it was clear the article disproved your claim (without any basis), your new contradictory claim is still disproved in the same way by this article that makes it clear the very low number of attendants is due to the measures taken THIS year to prevent people from attending. 

You still provide zero sources to contradict this article.

Again, as I predicted, there would be no major incidents at this event--and there weren't.

People who were trying to make comparisons with the Itaewon incident were making faulty reasons and were overcome with hysteria, as the past several years the event in Shibuya has been held with no major incidents, and some yers there were more, and some years less people than who attended this year.

Meaning, it was just another normal turnout.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Again, as I predicted, there would be no major incidents at this event--and there weren't.

You predicted that the measures put forward by the governemnt in Shibuya would have no effect, that is completely false as proved by this article and also what actually made the event (or better said the lack of it) safe. What you predicted to happen clearly did not happen and the measures were effective in importantly reducing the amount of people attending Shibuya on Halloween.

People who were trying to make comparisons with the Itaewon incident were making faulty reasons and were overcome with hysteria

Yet you bring absolutely no source yet to contradict this article that disprove again your claim. Very clearly you don't have any support for this accusation.

Meaning, it was just another normal turnout

Normal, instead of the much bigger numbers observed in Halloween, exactly the purpose of the measures of the government of Shibuya, something that you predicted would not happen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The mood was not subdued at all. It got a little crazy at times, but still remained safe as always.

No one was concerned about an Itaewon-like event because that would require someone to make a comparison with two different geographical conditions and two different cultures, which would be a giant fallacy, such as engaged in by the Shibuya mayor and his delusion.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The mood was not subdued at all

The article say you are wrong even on the headline, as long as you provide no evidence of this claim the site (and others) that say the even was much more subdued than in previous years is a much more trustworthy source to know what happened.

No one was concerned about an Itaewon-like event

The authorities were, enough to put measures that severely decreases the number of people attending the event. That alone disprove your point.

because that would require someone to make a comparison with two different geographical conditions and two different cultures, which would be a giant fallacy,

That is not a fallacy, valid comparisons can be made, as proved by previous tragedies that have happened already in Japan, in very different geographic locations and people from Itaewon but still fatal victims precisely for the point that was predicted to be in common, uncontrolled crowds in large numbers, something that was prevented by the measures put in place

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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