Honestly, I am currently studying abroad here in Toyko, and was told Japan is a safe country. But in the 2 months I've been here, I have had 1 man come at me from behind and grab me to try and take me somewhere as well as 2 incidents on the train involving men masturbating within close proximity.
The first was one of the masturbating ones, where he had his hands under his pants and you could clearly see what it was that he was doing. He then tried to cover his lap with his bag to try and hide what he was doing. No one did anything.
The second of the masturbating incidents was a bit more intense and actually made me feel extremely unsafe as well as uncomfortable and violated. I was again on the train. A bunch of people got off at one stop leaving many seats open and the train car relatively empty (about 20 people in the car, which is not a lot). So I sit down and this guy sits down directly across from me, after about 2 minutes he then gets up and moves to the door (which was right next to his seat). I thought that was a bit weird considering there were a bunch of empty seats and this was the express train. Then after texting a friend I looked up from my phone to notice he had his penis out, in his hands masturbating right in front of me, staring right at me. Again, people saw this, and did nothing. I thought that perhaps making eye contact and giving him a disgusted look would get him to stop, it didn't. So I got up and tried to move, his eyes following me the whole time. I decided to get off at the next stop (which was still far from my stop), making sure he wasn't following me and decided to just wait for the next train.
To me, I'm honestly just disgusted at the fact no one tried to help. I even dress modestly during my stay in Japan so I don't attract unwanted attention(though what I wear shouldn't be permission for such actions), but I am a blonde Gaijin, of course I'm going to get attention as much as I don't want it. After these incidents though, whenever a Japanese man looks at me I just get scared. Perhaps I just seem to be one of the "unlucky" girls who happens to experience these things by fluke, but 3 incidents in 2 months would say otherwise. And I only say 3 because I'm not counting the multiple times men have tried to get me and my friends to go home with them, who seem to get a bit aggressive when you say "No".
So from my experiences, I personally don't think Japan, or at least Tokyo, is a safe place for foreign women. And if you plan on going, try and make sure you have a male friend who is with you, and try not to go anywhere alone. Again, these are my personal experiences, I still plan on living here for the remained of my study abroad program(thankfully only 2 more months), and I'm hoping these incidents were just bad luck.
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