Police crackdown -- Tokyo train gropers beware!
As reported in a BBC article, Tokyo police have begun a week-long operation aimed at cracking down on pervy gropers, who for decades have terrorized female train riders in Tokyo. According to the article, last year 6,000 people were arrested on suspicion of groping or taking unsolicited photographs.
The phenomenon is hardly new. My aunt lived in Tokyo back in the late-1960s and she became so fed up with other grabby passengers that she began carrying a safety pin to give them a prick.
Not much has changed since then, and even designating some cars "women only" has been insufficient to halt wandering hands. Making matters worse, places like Train Cafe (opened in 2006, minutes from Tokyo’s Ikebukuro station) still pop up, playing to clients' fetishized fantasies of groping women on trains by simulating the experience.
CNNGo contributor Julian Ryall wrote for the Telegraph, "Groping has long been a problem on Japan's trains, but there has been a steady increase in recent years, according to police. Some 1,800 arrests (with 6,000 in 2008) are made each year, although the number of incidents is believed to be far higher, with many victims often being too embarrassed to come forward."
Because the problem has been so widespread, there have been instances in which enterprising women have screamed bloody murder, one even blackmailing a man unwilling to face the shame of being accused. In 2003, Hideki Kato gained notoriety for his public battle against false accusations and formation of a support group for men falsely accused of groping.
Maybe this week's crackdown will help turn the tide. Or maybe some of these creeps should invest in Kanomi's Love Plus, get a virtual girlfriend, and save themselves the risk of seven years in prison.