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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Men only subway carriages?

Only in Japan. One of these days I will stop doing these "only in Japan" posts, but the commuters & behaviour on the subway system there, never ceases to amaze me.

Male Passengers Fear False Molestation Charges from Japanprobe.com

Some time back I blogged about the false straphangers that were selling like hotcakes in Japan. They were designed to combat the constant allegations of female groping on the subway there, and so that men could show they had something in their hands other than a woman's arse.

false straphangers

Thanks to a regular commenter Jon, I learn that this has been taken one step further and the idea of men only carriages is being campaigned for.

Japanprobe report on an article in Mainichi Daily News "The recent arrest of an Osaka couple for trying to set up a middle-aged man by falsely accusing him of fondling a woman train traveler has large numbers of salarymen shaking in their boots at the thought of being blackmailed by crafty commuters looking for a quick buck. This has heightened calls on railroad companies to set up sanctuaries where men can travel in peace, safe in the knowledge that they won’t be accused of molestation.

Most railroad companies say they consider the issue a serious one.

'It's true we've received over 20 formal requests for the establishment of men's only carriages since the false accusation arrest (early last month). But actually, we've been receiving requests for theses carriages for a long time now. It's not something that has started recently,' a spokesman for the Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau, which runs the city's subway network, tells Weekly Playboy.

But the outlook for men’s only carriages seems dim.

'We get a lot of requests for them and take note of these, but we have no plans regarding carriages exclusively for men at this time,' a spokesman for the East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) says.

Keio Electric Railway Co., which back in 2000 became Japan's first railroad to introduce women's only carriages, also has no current arrangements in place to correct the gender imbalance on its routes
."

There's even a book on the subject of false molestation claims and its author, Masaki Ikegami told Weekly Playboy

"It's a sad situation that men have to do a banzai cheer (raise both arms skyward) while commuting (to avoid touching anyone else). Male commuters have got to look after themselves by taking such steps as avoiding standing close to carriage doors, staying well away from female commuters and never being directly behind a woman riding a train. There are loads of people out there who have been falsely accused of groping female train travellers. I have repeatedly called on train companies to set up carriages just for men so that we can offer relief to all those with worries."

It's interesting that this all comes from Weekly Playboy magazine. Wonder if the guys who read it are looking for tips on how not to get accused because they are the very guys doing the groping?


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