Apathy and Tokyo Metro

I posted this on my personal Facebook a few days ago and it still gets me angry.

If you live in Tokyo you’ve probably heard that there have been recent campaigns and promotions to stop groping and other abuse on trains. Keep that in mind.

Just now as I was entering the train stations guy walking behind a girl bent over and stuck his head practically up his skirt. As we were heading toward the ticket hate I raise my voice and call at the station staff to stop the guy. That he was doing bad things. That he was looking up a a girl’s skirt. (Of course, that not being language I use everyday it was a direct translation.)

What was the station attendants response? To dumbly stare at me and not even get out of their little booth for about 30 seconds and instead of going towards the guy I’ve been pointing at and describing they come up to me going, “huh?” This allows the pervert in question to hop on the next train and disappear.

Tokyo can have all the demonstrations and posters they want. Until the staff actually start taking such claims seriously and moving with purpose change will be hard to come by.

I have lived in Japan since graduating college. Near that in mind with my next few claims. Also, notice how I am not going to say “only Japan” or accuse it of being the only place this attitude is prevalent. Still:

This seems to be a recurring theme to life in Japan. Lots of head nodding and lip service denouncing things that are wrong. Posters and signs will be posted.

But so little actual action gets taken to follow through that wrong actions instead seem to be tacitly condoned.

It is possible that I am taking this incident too far. Perhaps these were just two crap attendants rather an indication of something entrenched.

All I can say is that throughout all the levels I have experienced I have seen more passive tolerance of bad behavior by those tasked with controlling I than I have seen active enforcement of the rules.

Tokyo, and Tokyo Metro, I’m ashamed of you.

For what it is worth the events happened on the 18th. That campaign I mentioned? Ended on the 17th.

machida5There is also a comment to make about having cheerleaders against perverts and groping. It could be a good comment. However, the jaded part of me thinks that this is another time were Japan prefers everything paired with short skirts.


2 thoughts on “Apathy and Tokyo Metro

  1. Oh my you and I are on the same page with regards to this matter. Especially critical is your last paragraph. I would really like you to read my page titled “child Exploitation.” This is with regard to young girls in Japan. Also my page called “Bonsai Life” explains the history of youth idolization in Japan from my experience as a Japanese wife. I desperately want everyone to understand the old boys club in Japan. Oh I should mention I have a link to the recent UN report on Japan’s lack of systems (and will) to address these issues.

    1. I will give those pages a look! I don’t go too much into my thoughts on Japan here although it does trickle out. It’s only been the last year that I’ve included more personal/life posts instead of just my writings and reviews.

      There are a few pieces here, as well as a short story that is basically a metaphor for the wrongs of the idol group system.

      Most of my Japan commentary ends up on the podcast I co-host: Living Japan.

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