back to article Japan gets to grips with train-grope websites

Japanese police are planning to "put pressure" on websites which offer pervs top tips on how to grope women on trains without getting cuffed, and the best packed commuter lines on which to fondle victims. Earlier this year, a 23-year-old man who was arrested in Tokyo for molesting a high-school student told police he'd "chosen …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yay Bitchslap...

    Let's have at it... ohhh wait... I have no such comments. Never really have.

    They should just make male only and female only trains problem solved.

    Though the end result I think would be bloody murder on both.

    Hmm sounds like a good way of population control.

    Anon just because I can

  2. David Webb

    Women only

    There are women only trains? How does a man get onto one of these wonderful inventions?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Is anyone else...

    eagerly awaiting the appearance of websites where the ladies discuss the best commuter lines to grope the blokes on?

    I predict commuter numbers skyrocketing when this information gets out. Of course, most of the newcomers will be male.

    Mine's the one with the tube map in the pocket.

  4. John Macintyre

    12.53 service to Bitchslap.

    Sounds like fine, but I think I missed it, when's the next service along? or is cancelled due to lack of staff or the wrong kind of weather?

    Bit sad that the whole thing's so popular, but I guess their culture is a lot different to ours. Still, bloody weirdo's.

    Getting my coat or I'll miss the rescheduled service....

  5. dreadful scathe
    Thumb Up


    well, i wasnt going to comment at all, but loved the moderatrix footnote.

    Several of my collegues should be on that train :)

  6. David Hicks
    IT Angle

    Miss Moderatrix...

    I wouldn't say that female-only carriages were sexist. I would say the fact they are needed is sad, and that their existence can only further spur the attitude that male is a potential groper.

    It's just a shame there's no easy way to identify and remove the perverts, because otherwise I would have said that being all crushed up on a train was a great way to break the ice and meet people in an otherwise cold and impersonal metroplex.

    Well, it works in London anyway.

  7. V 3

    Male only carriages

    There is some small pressure in Japan for male only carriages - motions at shareholder's meetings and the like - due to the the difficulty of defending oneself against such an allegation.

    I have lived in Japan for 17 years : many Japanese men I have spoken to are ready to acknowledge that there is a problem - the existence of such websites rather speaks to it - but also believe that false allegations occur and innocent people are jailed.

    Japan is not noted for the competence of its police force or the sophistication of its detection methods. The standard method of securing a conviction is to hold someone (for up to 23 days) and interrogate them intensively and remorselessly in a closed room without any video or audio record.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    And away we go,...

    Cue rants from feminists who cry "rape" when a man looks at them sideways,..

    Cue sniggers from pervs who look at women sideways,..

    Cue sociology dissertations from Guardian readers who have never seen a woman naked,...

    Cue cries of "eeeuuuuw" from middle-class women who you wouldn't touch with a barge pole,...

    All the old cliches, and all the best ones.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Glasgow Underground

    Glasgow Underground needs women only carriages with video cameras. They'd have to ban male staff from them otherwise it wouldn't stop the cleaner who likes to feel up young women. This guy is a repeat offender but because he only strikes when there are no witnesses and it comes down to victim's word against his SPT and the police refuse to do anything about it.

  10. Ragarath

    What are they trying to convey?

    "more women-only carriages for the busiest times of the day"

    That lesbisn groping is ok?

    Okay so it is probably mostly men that do it but who would know if a woman accidentally did it? Would another woman automatically think it was an attempt to grope or would they think it was an accident and thus not report it?

  11. Mike 61


    Because we all know there is no such thing as women on women groping....

  12. Dazed and Confused

    Women only carriages

    How will "Woman only carriages" eliminate the problem with groping?

    I've been groped on a crowed train by a woman.

  13. mmiied

    12.53 service to Bitchslap

    dose that stop at oxford cos it is likley to be more relible and comftubale that first grate westen

  14. Winkypop Silver badge

    Women only carriages eh?

    Does anyone have the URL ?

    Oh, sorry, I misread the story...

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Female only carriages

    ANYTHING that gets them off the bloody road is a good thing...

  16. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: What are they trying to convey?

    Ahhh, brilliant, you found a way to get around it. First rate. "WHAT ABOUT THE LESBIANS INDEED? WOMEN ARE NOT SAINTLY HOW DARE YOU SUGGEST IT, YOU MISANDRIST!"

    I would think the huge-numbers-of-men-groping-women-on-the-subway thing is cultural, as in peculiar to that society as an issue. Women groping women has not emerged as a serious or widespread problem which needs to be addressed in this way, otherwise they surely would. Not that women never do it, nor that this doesn't happen elsewhere in the world, but it's a specific problem which...

    Oh, I give up. Just grope amongst yourselves, or whatever.

  17. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: And away we go,...

    "Cue rants from feminists who cry "rape" when a man looks at them sideways,..

    Cue sniggers from pervs who look at women sideways,..

    Cue sociology dissertations from Guardian readers who have never seen a woman naked,...

    Cue cries of "eeeuuuuw" from middle-class women who you wouldn't touch with a barge pole,...

    All the old cliches, and all the best ones."

    Rants from feminists?

    Barge poles?

    What have they put in your trough today?

  18. Frank Bough

    I'm all for women only carriages...

    ...because that means all the pushchairs would end up in there too. Really, is someone fondling your arse the worst thing that ever happened? When I was a waiter back in my uni days, I'd often get groped by mob-handed hen parties - not always to my taste but hardly the end of the world.

    As usual, the moderatrix claims special rights for womenkind, perhaps because she has special needs herself.

    Incidentally, is train-groping a particularly oriental pass time? I worked with a Chinese girl who was afraid to take the London Underground in case she got goosed. I tried to reassure her that it was pretty unlikely but to no avail.

  19. Tam Lin


    Armed this time with the type of 'knowledge' that the internet seems to convey best, 'ingrained' is my overriding observation as I reread the thousand-year-old, noblewoman-penned Japanese classic novel "The Tale of Genji" (Royall Tyler's 2001 translation).

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I heard that it was a problem on the underground in London.

    But yeah more Female carriages would help, but seriously the rush hour tokyo metro is a thing to behold, and lads be sure to keep your hands up high lol, preferably emailing on your phone, watching tv, or reading a daily. Fortunatly as a tourist you can often avoid it up until you need to make the return trip home... Shinjuku station with luggage in the morning T_T not the one.

  21. Dr. Mouse


    women-only carriages is an outrageously sexist concept!

    Now where does the 12.53 service to Bitchslap depart from? :P

  22. John Square

    There is a part of me...

    ... that thinks El Reg's editorial team dreams these articles up to give the Moderatrix somewhere to vent.

    Either that or as reward for moderating all the Apple vs. Windows vs Linux comment threads.

    <- As you'll probably need one by 5:30 today.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Whats in my trough? (fm AC McTroll)

    A large dollop of rejection

    Several tablespoons of enforced religion

    3 ozs of "Fight Club" (sifted)

    10 cups of alcohol (any sort)

    Sprinkled with a healthy dose of alienation

    And to think after all that, they trust me with your personal financial data. Mwah aah aaah!

  24. AndyG_IOM

    @ Dazed and Confused

    Which one ... tell me ... i fel im missing out on valuble research here

    more imortantly- hottie or nottie ??

  25. Tom 35

    Women gropers

    Yes there are women who grope men on Japanese trains. Little old ladies who like to pinch bottoms of young men. And they often travel in groups.

    I wonder if it's revenge for all the men that groped them when they were young?

  26. Dapprman

    Woman Only Carriages

    All the Tokyo lines have these, or more accurately have specific carriages on each train that during specific hours (main rush period morning and afternoon) are women only.

    If work would let me get through to Webshots I could post a link to a pictures of the signs.

  27. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: I'm all for women only carriages...

    Do you people actually think about what you're saying? Ever? Don't you realise what it sounds like? Would you say it out loud to anyone, or is it a special internet-only type deal?

    I don't think the right not to be assaulted is a 'special right for womankind', but if that's what you've decided then I'm not going to attempt to enlighten you. What 'special needs' are you suggesting I might have?

    Here's a nice little story for you, stop me if you've heard this one before, etc. I had my arse grabbed in the street by some little idiot last year, in the early evening, when I was on my way out with my flatmate. I shouted at him. He shrugged and said he was "just askin'". There was a stalemate for a few moments - he didn't go away, and I didn't want to continue walking as he seemed to be going in the same direction. I started to feel frightened as I couldn't figure out what was best to do and whether or not he would try and do anything else. Eventually, he defiantly grabbed me again, and then swaggered off back the way he had come (to be greeted by his cheering mates).

    We went the other way, me shaking with rage. As luck would have it, we passed some police officers who had pulled over a car. But I didn't report it, thinking that they wouldn't think it was worth reporting, and they wouldn't be able to identify him anyway, and even if they did they couldn't do anything to deter him from doing it again, and besides all of that well really look at the way I'm dressed I could have expected it.

    I will always regret not reporting it, as a matter of principle, but moreover I am always going to feel ashamed of myself that I felt even for a second that it was my own fault, and that I figured it wasn't worth reporting.

    It was an upsetting experience - however, I'm not traumatised, not a bit, and it hasn't affected my behaviour or how I feel about men in any way at all, so no, it's not the end of the world, Frank. But no civilised society should tolerate it, and nobody should be afraid to use public transport for fear of being sexually assaulted in any way.

    Anyone else got something hilarious and bravely non-PC to say? Can't wait.

  28. The Indomitable Gall

    Ok, let's get this straight.

    This is a moderated comments page.

    The moderator accepts comments.

    Then slags them off.

    Wouldn't it all be a lot easier if all the usual pointless cr@p was modded out, leaving us only with interesting or thought-provoking stuff?

    Alternatively, the moderator can just sit reading trashy novels all day and clicking "accept". Sounds like a great gig -- let me know when you're moving on so I can apply for the position of your replacement....

  29. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: There is a part of me...

    They do it to torture me, John. I'm convinced.

    Stick a shot of vodka in that pint and then we're in business.

  30. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Ok, let's get this straight.

    >>Wouldn't it all be a lot easier if all the usual pointless cr@p was modded out, leaving us only with interesting or thought-provoking stuff?

    It would. There's just one small problem.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ By Ian Bonham

    Best post of the day

  32. Anonymous Coward

    @ Measures to stop gropers

    Surely this will just drive it underground?

  33. John H Woods Silver badge

    Elephant in room...

    ... in other news, trains are too crowded.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Women only parking areas in Germany

    They already have women only parking areas in Germany. Unfortunately, they still let them park in the rest of the car park without some sort of "parking license", so you're not completely safe from being reversed into.

    On a serious note, it does mean less walking round the dark end of dodgy carparks late at night when wierdos are about.

    Back on the Japanese problem :

    Surely there's a market here for a outward pointing taser device? That would stop most gropers after a few jolts. An insulating layer on the inside of course and taser on the out.

    Of course, it might make accidental contact a bit of a problem. Train stops suddenly and everyone crashes together like dominoes and the shock goes all the way down the carriage... Hmm, needs more thought.

  35. Dapprman

    The groping is not just arse slapping ....

    I'm not condoning just arse slapping/pinching, but I believe a major part of the problem is a lot of the gropers try to get their hands inside their target's underwear.

  36. Smallbrainfield

    Mate in Japan has lived there for years...

    ... has mentioned on more than one occasion Japanese blokes can be a creepy bunch. They have a very very odd atitude to sex and an almost prehistoric* view of women's role in society.

    Some bitingly clever and erudite comments on this page helping to put across the face of the modern IT man. Cheers lads. Lets smash those preconceptions.

    *I would wager fair odds there is probably a manga about dragging women around by their hair and hitting them with clubs.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Purposely Avoid It

    I ride the bus from time to time, and I make sure to sit next to another guy, even if there is a few open seats on the bach "couch". Whenever I ride the elevator, if a female is on it or one gets on, I move to the farthest corner and direct my eyes at my shoes. Can't get in trouble if you make sure you can't.

    I myself became the object at an ill-advised party. Right after the divorce I was invited to a party at the exes house (longer story about that one). The one and only time I got drunk I ended up passing out. I woke up the next morning and found out I was the latest target of "Jabba the Slut". My divorce therapist told me I did not ask for it, even though I did go to the party with no one holding a gun to my head.

    I know my place as a man in my home; my neck slightly flattened under my wife's heel.

  38. Number6

    Elbow in the gut

    It probably needs more women to be prepared to retaliate, although I can see that there are legal problems with this approach. "Sorry m'Lud, I slipped and my knee made contact with the plaintiff's nuts". I suspect a pair of stiletto heels would do a good job, you could accidentally step on the groper's foot, but once again there are the logistics of safely negotiating the public transport system wearing such awful footwear.

    Oh, and @John Macintyre, you missed the obvious reason for cancellation, although as it occurs regularly I guess they could timetable for it.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ dapprman

    "I'm not condoning just arse slapping/pinching, but I believe a major part of the problem is a lot of the gropers try to get their hands inside their target's underwear."

    when I was young and foolish I rember seeing some p0rn movies about this that looked quite scary and "graphic"

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Personal surveilance

    All it needs is a fish eye camera mounted on the back of the blouse or a shoulder strap. That'll give the evidence for court.

    Honestly ... being Japan, I'd have thought that someone would have thought of that already. Something easily fitted to the shoulder strap of the handbag would do the trick.

  41. Sabine Miehlbradt

    The Italians do it, too

    They call it mano morta - dead hand. A woman's chair interface gets groped by a hand in the bus but that hand belongs to no one, it's a dead hand.

    Groping is not purely a Japanese habit, definitely

    As to the women only parking areas. I know it says "Women parking" but all I ever see parked there are cars. Not like the "Men parking" areas they have in some clothing/shoe shops where you can park your hubby in front of a TV while you spend his money along with yours.

  42. V 3


    One thing that would help greatly would be if women who have been groped, or who believe they have been groped (and, according to my Japanese wife, who I turn to for practical experience in such matters, it sometimes really isn't clear, given the intensity of the overcrowding) said so immediately, in front of the whole carriage.

    In a "her word against his" situation, witnesses are important. If the women/girl waits until the next station and reports the incident to the police, any witnesses will have gone.

    I don't doubt that it takes a certain amount of courage to do that - although with the exception of the groping, Japanese trains are extremely safe places with physical violence almost unheard of - but the fact that many women don't - and instead make allegations after the fact, is, on a practical level, not helpful.

    Lest anyone get the wrong idea about Japan, my wife tells me she would be quite happy to travel on almost any Japanese train, at almost any hour of the night. They are pretty safe. "Chikan" - gropers - are an occasionally distressing nuisance - and there is no reason why women should have to put up with them - but they tend to operate alone, in crowded carriages, are usually easily frightened off and rarely seem to pose any more extreme sexual threat.

    Incidentally - many men have told me that they prefer to stand on trains, with both hands on the overhead straps, as it is safer. Any allegation, of any kind, and they may well lose their jobs and their reputations - regardless of the outcome of any court case.

  43. Ronn1e
    Thumb Up


    Having been to Tokyo recently i was chatting with a friend their and he was telling me how his Japanese girl friend had similar problems when she was younger (10 -13 ) and that it went on for a number of years before she went to tell a police officer about it. As she approached him the man who was molestering her offered her a wad of cash which she accepted instead of trying to get a conviction.

    Another incident that I noticed was that I was in the technology district and was going down the side streets when I noticed a few japanese biker types walking behind a girl there making grunting noises and laughing and joking in japanese. The girl was obviously scared and walked into a bar to avoid them but its unbelievable that people just allow this sort of thing to occur on the streets. Being in a group of English and Scottish lads (around 6 of us) we stopped to make sure she was okay but the bikers didn't seem to care that they we're being watched at all.

    On the surface all seems good but I think that Japan's seedy side is growing and is all very well hidden away, oh coupled with the civilized racism (such as japanese only bars) what seems to be a great country on the surface has some skeletons in the closet!

    Have to say I still loved the country as whole and would love to live and work there if possible, this shouldn't detract from the positives!

  44. Rob

    RE: Re: I'm all for women only carriages...

    I remember when I was younger going down an escalator with my Mum to catch a Tube and some bloke gropped her, it was late at night and there was no one else around, my Mum did similiar and let loose with a load of verbal. I've always thought that situation could have gone the wrong way, I was far too young to do anything about it, scary.

    You have my sympathies and yes in future report even if the fuzz are completely useless at least you'd feel a lot better for doing the right thing, it's always the next person who they've got it in store for you have to worry about as well.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Women only parking - My tuppenceworth

    Rather than a taser, how about a mechanical hand that points down over the head of the groper and goes "Kwaaark" loudly?

    Seriously, I don't know how people can get off on groping a stranger, by definition without consent. I have the same problem understanding rape though. I can't see how the idea of trying to have sex with someone who is fighting you off is a turn on. I guess some people are wired differently. That said, those people should not be free to menace others (women or men, hetero, gay or transgendered, before anyone starts!).

    As usual we seem to be focussing on the wrong problem, when perhaps more frequent or longer trains might resolve the issue. I'd imagine it's a bit tricky to grope when you are both seated.

    But then, as longer or more frequent trains are unlikely to be made available I guess all we have are options like women/men only carriages. Sadly, this plays to the view that "all men are predators and not to be trusted" mentality that seems to behind a lot of policy making these days.

    Re Sarah's experience, the jerk needs stopping, but I can completely understand why you wouldn't want to go through the palava of reporting it, ruining your night out further etc. The ensuing drawn out proceedings would have a worse effect than the original crime.

    I don't know what can be done here though to make it easier to report such events, without opening the door to potential malicious accusation.

    There is a point at which not wanting to ruin your night/not wanting to make it official etc is outweighed by the perceived seriousness of the crime. That point is probably different for individuals, and possibly different at different times for the same individual. There must be a median somewhere between "all men are predators and should be locked up" and "all women cry rape falsely". I'm not convinced we currently have it in the right place but I don't know either how we can protect both sets of "rights" simultaneously and to the same degree.

  46. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Women only parking - My tuppenceworth

    There are always going to be malicious accusations, but men shouldn't live in fear of them - you still have to be incredibly unfortunate, and getting paranoid about it and making a big deal of staying away from women to avoid accusations is ridiculous. In fact, just as ridiculous as the assumption that all men are potential molestors - but I honestly don't know any women who feel that way. It's all paranoia about other people's paranoia.

    I don't think it could have been easier for me to report it, the police were right there. I just didn't for various reasons, all of which were wrong. Like I said, it's the principle of the thing, and I think I owed it to other women to report it even if it meant I was a bit late going out. Hey ho.

    The bloke was just a kid, egged on by his mates, didn't see an issue with it. I don't think you can educate that out of people once they've decided that's their worldview. But you have to hammer the message that it is just not acceptable, and that it shames you, etc... shame of course used to be a very powerful motivator, and as all the oldies lament (quite correctly for the most part) it isn't so much any more, but I think you can still make it work.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was it Black Rain...?

    ...or some other film with Michael Douglas in Japan with a particular scene that highlighted this issue...?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah Bee: Re: I'm all for women only carriages... #

    You should have kicked/kneed/punched him in the jimmy.

    Women (at least in most societies), have the disadvantage of being objectified by men (and women). This can lead to being groped int he street and feeling helpless about it.

    Men (no matter the society) have the disadvantage of having external genitalia. This can lead to great pain.

    I believe these are meant to compensate for each other. In fact I feel it is one of the few appropriate times to take advantage of this physical frailty.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    A reversal of the sexes

    (WARNING: the content herein may contradict puerile expectations of smuttiness, or jokes about sex most people lost interest in roundabout the age of 14. Proceed with caution.)

    Shame? I can't say I felt it. When working as at IT support person at a large hospital a decade ago, a time when I could drink at the weekend and still keep trim - I experienced what some might call sexual harassment.

    During my spell in an environment stuffed to the gills with female nurses, female secretaries, toxologists, oncologists, urologists (you name it) - I'd been wolf-whistled, brushed against in a sexualised way, and received several of the ubiquitous arse-grabs.

    Thing is, not once did I feel threatened; but I most certainly felt annoyed.

    Is a matter of control? Not once did I feel I could not talk my way out of a situation, nor physically incapable of dealing with it. But I suspect if you'd replaced my 6-foot, 210-pound toned ( the time!) frame with something smaller, I may have felt differently.

    Regardless, it was a tiny crack showing through to how women may feel when this happens to them; a good deal more vulnerable, I would think. Consequently, talk of this sort of thing makes me certain I'd intervene, should I see it happen.

  50. MinionZero

    Ok, I'll bite, here goes ...

    @Sarah Bee and everyone: I don't know if it'll help you to understand why they behave the way they do, but as they say, knowledge is power. (Just don't say it to their faces, but maybe it'll help you to just smile knowingly to yourself after they are gone).

    "Eventually, he defiantly grabbed me again, and then swaggered off back the way he had come (to be greeted by his cheering mates)."

    Some guys show this lack of empathy but not all guys. The ones who arrogantly behave like this are showing strong signs of a Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and the irony of that is they are actually insecure fearful characters on the inside, but that's the last thing they will ever show. Its why their act is an overcompensation of normality. All their bluff and bravado they try to show is all part of their act, as is them performing in front of their cheering mates as they often want to be the centre of attention as well. (NPDs are 1 of 4 so called cluster B personality disorders, and when you find one, you often find aspects of the other 3 as well, in the case of attention, its Histrionic personality disorder, combined with narcissism).

    This last part about the act of performing like this is something most guys are subjected to by the narcissists, who want everyone to behave like they do and they often repeatedly condemn any guy who chooses not to behave like them or follow them. Which is why many but not all guys perform this ritualistic bravado style joking behaviour. It gets an ingrained behaviour as they often feel they need to perform like that otherwise they risk being labelled weak or even at times gay. The irony is its the narcissists who are really troubled by such thoughts. So behind the act, the narcissist is actually a weak and pathetic person, its just they cover it with a very vocal arrogant act. They also lack empathy towards others. That's because they are too busy focused on what they want, plus they are often preoccupied by distracting troubling thoughts about themselves which they attempt to suppress with their bravado act (and when that fails to work, they resort to heavy drinking and drugs to suppress their troubling thoughts).

    All these gropers with their total self interest and complete lack of empathy are narcissists, but thankfully they are a minority of society. All cluster B disorders are a problem to every society (statistically the worst are less than a 10th of the population, but sadly they are a very vocal and hostile10th that forces its views on to the majority of the human race). Sadly most people don't learn enough about cluster B disorders to learn which people to avoid in life. If all cluster B disorders were finally isolated in the world, we would finally no longer have so many of the problems we have today and around the world.

    But sadly these narcissist, revolting, arrogant and often attention seeking scum bags so often fight to get into high places just so they can continue to laugh and put down all around them. Yet in their words and their needy behaviours, they show they are still just as troubled and as tiny and as weak and as pathetic as they have always been and they know this more than anyone. (They need professional help but few seek it and even fewer tell the truth even when they do seek help). Lies are also all part of their game to win over and manipulate everyone around them for their own gain. (Its hard to give summaries of all 4 behaviours in such a small space, but I would say, once people see through their pathetic acts, it really changes peoples view of celebrities and politicians. It also explains why they are so troubled even when they appear to have everything. They are not role models although they want everyone to believe they are and people like them hold them up as role models).

    The briefest summary I can give is as follows:

    NPD – shows greedy self interest, takes what they want, needs control, power, fears showing weakness – Caused by never wanting to suffer being controlled the way they were unfairly controlled as a kid. Extreme cases were treated violently.

    HPD – Often relentless need for attention, caused by lack of parental attention, in extreme cases parental neglect.

    Borderline – unresolved sexual orientation in conflict with themselves, (key word is unresolved), they are often information control freaks fearing leaking their true thoughts and fears. Then they extend this control to all parts of their life. They also attempt to suppress others showing signs of what they fear. They also all try hard to show the opposite of what they fear they are. (These have multiple causes, some naturally that way inclined (But some of the most extreme behaviour are from the result of abuse and so are very troubled and mixed up).

    Antisocial – The most extreme. Often showing signs of combinations of other 3 disorders and characterised by hostile attitude to all around. Short fuses. They are at war with the world. More likely to be the result of abuse.

    The more extreme the suffering (as a child), the most likely they are combinations of these disorders. While its possible to feel sorry for them, once they cross the line of abusing others they need to be kept at a distance and not at all trusted. Plus the most extreme rarely fully change. But none of them are role models yet they fight to be the highest up in society and so is it any wonder we have so many problems in society and why the people in power fail to see their own attitudes are part of the root cause of so many problems in society.

    The only advice I've found that works, is don't judge anyone by what they say, only judge them by how they treat other people.

  51. Stevie


    Women only carriages? But what about the Lesbian Menace? And what of the poor Male passengers, forced into close proximity with women-starved gropers? How is this a solution at all?

    No, the only solution is that each passenger, regardless of sex, should be packaged in a self-contained "transit tube" at the station of embarkation. Claustrophobic passengers would be gassed into insensibility at this point. The tubes would be loaded onto flatcars that would replace the old carriages, with everyone properly isolated from their fellow perverts. Tubes would be offloaded and the passengers decanted by an automated system at the destination station.

    All this loading and unloading would be done using robot mechanics and large articulated manipulator arms developed from the space station tech. Destinations would be encoded to be read from an RFID.

    Only in this glorious transit utopia can everyone travel free from the worry that their bum is going to be tweaked or their pockets picked.

    Cue: Rule Britannia.

  52. northern monkey

    RE: Sarah Bee RE: I'm all for women only carriages...

    That sounds like quite a horrible thing to happen, though I'm glad it hasn't traumatised you. What a pathetic little man to think that assaulting a woman would impress his mates (and what pathetic mates to be impressed by it!). Those are the sorts of men who should spend an evening courtesy of Her Majesty in a cell with several men larger than themselves and see if they find it so funny the next morning when they're doing a very passable impression of John Wayne.

    On the women only carriage thing I do feel there is some need for that here, as well as carriages for those who feel vulnerable in general - as a gay man, and one who is visibly gay (not waving rainbow flags or anything, you can just tell - somehow), public transport late at night can sometimes be far from a pleasurable experience and I've been quite frightened at times - if it was one on one I know I could handle it but there's no way I could take a group on. Unfortunately it's just a sad indictment on society that some idiots really do get their jollies by scaring and upsetting others.

  53. Bounty

    I have the solution

    Bobby traps.

    Perhaps they could be like mouse traps, or perhaps finger cuffs. Then when you call the police, they have to find the perp with throbbing or fingercuffed fingers.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's pretty narrow minded to focus on this as a Japanese problem as a number are doing, it's always been quite a well talked about element of Japanese society and most people either directly know of stories or have read about things indirectly (I've come across both), however I'm not sure it's any less so here in the UK. As Sarah herself has experienced.

    At an event here a month back here in the UK two girls I know were groped quite blatantly and they didn't tell anyone until sometime after the event. I also remember a woman commenting on it on a topic some time ago here on The Register.

    And I think it has allot to do with a general lack of shame and a consistent social reinforcement of misbehaviour from across the board, mates egging each other on, a lack of willingness to report, a lack of action when reported. People aren't embarrassed getting an earful from the filth any more as nobody has any real respect for them and they're viewed little better then tax collectors with more power. Infact often an earful from the old bill makes you look all the better in your mates eyes (if you hang out in those kinds of groups.)

    I've said it before but something got broken sometime back when police stopped looking like they upheld the law and become perverse agenda driven puppets of different political factions, and people stopped being civil. Lol and as the Lenny Henry sketch showed when he was young if he did something wrong the lady down the street would beat him then take him to his mother who would beat him for causing the other lady trouble. I remember getting a proper battering for telling my mum to f--- off when I was a kid. Course that left me a deranged and scarred monster (if we're to believe the hype.)

    Course its' not all bad, lots of grand people and good times, but I think our way of "those filthy Japanese men" is shirking an issue that is all too common here too. Plus we get to do a bit of racist sneering. Oh onn a side note man Japan is racist lol, so racist. Although technically they can't have Japanese only bars any more, but when you don't get served for 10 minutes you get the idea lol. The only place you can chill out is with other social outcasts wota/otaku/drunk business men.

    And I doubt many people would get involved if a woman was getting hassle here in the UK most people want to keep their heads down and keep out of trouble, sad but true.

    Anyway time to get back to playing cross channel, I've got a bit of a headache T_T.

  55. Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah - Groping = Assault

    Sorry, but in my estimation (and I wasn't there), groping, grabbing, patting, etc., are all a form of sexual assault and intimidation and are not acceptable. The fact that this was a "kid" is no less of a problem in that he didn't have the cajones to NOT do this. I know I'm just a neanderthal, but were it my other half or one of my daughters my first inclination would be flattening the creep and then his buddies. Sorry.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Japan gets to grips with train-grope websites

    Sarah bee - Anonymous Coward here,

    I disagree on some of these points. I think you did exactly the right thing in your case. It's important to remember that the law almost always reacts in a manner disproportionate to the crime these days. Had you reported it, the not-so-gent in your example would likely have spent, at the very least, a night in jail and been slapped with a nasty fine purely for being an ass. Said arse caused you a few minutes of intense discomfort and that is exactly what he deserved in return. I wish more women would take it upon themselves to respond appropriately to issues such as this. If some guy gropes you and it makes you uncomfortable, a knee to the groin or an elbow to the face is worth 10 to 30 minutes of intense discomfort. If you are in a public place, a loud outcry can quite effectively resolve the issue.

    The point I want to make is that you should only get the law involved if the miscreant in question fails to back down. If he doesn't have the sense to vanish after the first warning then he deserves a bit of an extended reflection behind iron constraints with a 7 foot tall dude named Bubbah. Woman need to take the responsibility to stand up for themselves. The law is not their personal beet-stick.

    - Anonymous Coward steps off his box and skulks away.

  57. Law

    the solution is this...

    .... rather than men-only/women-only carriages, how about grope-friendly/grope-prohibited carriages... that way the handsie lesbians and straight-men alike (apparently only these exist according to the commentards) get to know where and when they can do such things.... sigh

    Incidentally, if any freak in a carriage tried to so much as breathe heavily down my wifes neck I would be making sure he/she gets all the physical contact he/she desires and more... just not the way he/she imagined. My wife once had a shock once when she caught a perv man staring at her under the cubicle of a toilet (women-only btw) - it freaked her out for weeks and she couldn't use public toilets without a bit of a panic attack for years after. I really do feel sorry for any girls/women/boys who get abused on an otherwise-normal commute - to some it will really affect them for a long time... at least my wife could handle herself in a fight once she got over the initial shock (kick-boxer! ;) )

  58. Jeffrey Nonken

    Bear traps.

    'Nuff said.

  59. Anonymous Coward

    Best response ever

    may be an urban myth, but funny all the same. Apparently the woman grabbed the offending hand, held it up and announced very loudly, "Excuse me. Has anyone lost one of these ? I found it on my boobs"

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE:Re: I'm all for women only carriages...

    First off. Nothing can justify groping anyone at any point for any reason. That said it does seem like you were mad at the guy for a few minutes but mad at your self for many years. Maybe just maybe its not the groping that was the problem?

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What happens in the subway

  62. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah - Groping = Assault

    What do you mean 'sorry'? I didn't say it wasn't assault. I wasn't aware I was excusing it - I was saying I felt bad, and still feel bad, for not reporting it because of erroneous thoughts that it wasn't worth reporting.

  63. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: RE:Re: I'm all for women only carriages...

    'Maybe just maybe', eh? What exactly are you implying here? Could you explain it to me like I'm, say, a silly girl?

    Honestly, what a bunch you are.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @the solution is this...

    You may jest but I do believe they trialed that at one point on some lines (getting AV stars to staff it an all) no idea how it went though lol.

    As an aside train monglers arn't stupid - they wouldn't harrass someone who is with anyone else and they wouldn't harrass someone who looks the sort to make a fuss. I do so love the "if it was my wife/kid/friend" lines, if it happens you wont be there and you probably wont happen until sometime afterwards.

    @Japan gets to grips with train-grope websites

    The guy seemed like he couldn't have given a damn what most people think as he did it twice, a swift kick to the groin seems like a good idea but seen as you never know what you're dealing with could be a dangerous action and lead to getting punched/stabbed/dragged down an ally way and dealt with/stalked/etc.

    He did deserve the police giving him a hard time, sadly police have lost their reputation to be upholders of justice and are more a rabble thugs. "What can you do?" Is a very good question, a night in the cells wont fix a guys attitude, a prison sentance likely wont, trying to show him up in front of the public likely wont, and although a knee to the groin may work it can lead to a nasty escalation.

    Whilst worrying about terrorists, immigrants, peadophiles, cancer, house prices, and global warming we seem to have forgotten a critical component of society that as a whole people should look out for each other and be civil, sadly even the law can be against you if you help someone out and it escalates.

  65. DZ-Jay


    The Japanese are so wierd. And I don't mean that in a xenophobic, racist kind of way. I mean, they have some very strange customs and hang ups over there.


  66. The Indomitable Gall

    Re: Re: Ok, let's get this straight.

    You know what causes that "one small problem"? The low signal-noise ratio on comment threads is self-sustaining.

    When you can't find sensible comments, you start to get the feeling that the comment page only exists to list inane mindless witterings.

    Furthermore, the speed at which these pages fill puts an urgency on the writer, and even if you intend to write something sensible, you end up in such a rush that you end up sounding like a moron.

  67. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Re: Ok, let's get this straight.

    Well, there's a very simple solution to that.

    Seriously, if I moderated out a load more stuff than I do, I'd spend half my day moderating out the irate/crestfallen/paranoid "why have you censored my comment" comments.

  68. Daniel Hutty


    Point of order - of course it's a sexist concept, by definition - although not "outrageously" sexist, so I guess i can't disagree with your comment.

    It's sexist because it discriminates against one gender - one gender is excluded from those carriages reserved for the other gender, without (as far as I understand it) having single-sex carriages of their own. Imagine the uproar if toilets came only in "Ladies" and "Unisex" varieties...

    Don't get me wrong - women (or men for that matter) should not have to feel at risk of such undesired attentions, and single-sex carriages are a good start to this. But the system as it stands seems to mean that one gender has access to more carriages of a train than another - meaning that the latter may have to contend with even more crowded conditions (on an already crowded system).

    Solution - Male-only, Female-only and Mixed-occupancy carriages on all trains. That way, those (of either gender) who feel threatened by the presence of the other in such crowded quarters, have the option to avoid it. (This doesn't solve the problem of same-gender assault - which is where the cameras etc. come in I guess!)

  69. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

    @the moderatrix and all my fellow commenttards

    First off: go Sarah! Kick some ass, and take some names. The rest of you sorry lot: play nice. Remember, what actually gets posted here is the filtered bit. There is without question the odd comment that Sarah gets that is absolutely unpalatable, probably qualifying under "disgrace to all mankind." If your job was reading comments all day long, how many of those would you have to get in a week to be not only upset, but possibly on the verge of losing all hope for (internet connected) mankind. Any commenttards that can’t bear that in mind deserve, (in my not so humble opinion,) a right good kicking.

    And now: my completely unsolicited $0.02 about the topic at hand. I can't speak for any of my fellow commenttards, but I was raised to believe that all people, regardless of gender, ethnic origin, age, weight, attractiveness etc. were to be treated the same. Sadly, the vast majority of the world has huge problems with this concept, and so it is in practice never truly implemented. There is always someone willing to discriminate against someone else. Each and every one of us has prejudices of some variety. Some of those prejudices are politically correct in the confines of the society in which we live, and some are not.

    From the perspective of my own upbringing, the fact that this groping occurs with such frequency on Japanese commuter trains is appalling. The fact the response is segregation along gender lines is equally so. I appreciate that this segregation is an attempt to remedy a nearly unpolicable social issue that is unacceptable on almost every level, but the segregation will only serve to reinforce the differences between the genders. Men who can’t get a spot in the cars they are privileged enough to be permitted to use will grow to resent the women. (Who will be allowed to use all cars, but have special ones reserved solely for their use.) Women will by the sheer nature of this be subtly encouraged to thing of all men as potential gropers/potential sexual assaulters.

    I am assuming that all of us here read the same articles on El Reg…where we talk endlessly about the threats posed by government databases, corporate and political corruption, and how there must be limits imposed, checks and balanced placed to ensure that the individual is not lost in the noise. That in mind, remember women are not remotely immune to cravings for power, control and a desire to use intimidation to achieve their aims. I understand Sarah’s view that such events are currently infrequent, however there does exist serious potential here for abuse by women who seek power over others.

    I don’t suggest that I have a better solution, however I believe that what is being proposed here will only exacerbate gender issues in this society, not help solve them. I don’t know enough about Japanese culture to be considered any authority, and my opinions of course bear the caveat that this is based solely on my personal life experiences and limited research into the subject. Whether or not the fear of unwarranted litigation is proportionate to the threat or not, I honestly believe the subject is as important a social issue as incidents like these asinine gropings. No gender (or other social grouping) should have cause to fear the other, and if we are to advance as a society, we must address all such issues. (Not just the ones that are currently "politically correct" to try to fix.)

  70. seanj


    All I can add is - if you think our Moderatrix is tough to get by, go post on the BBC Have Your Say. At least here I've got a better than average chance of seeing my post appear!

    I wish you luck!

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Women only carriages are scary things...

    Whilst this is certainly a disgraceful aspect of the Japanese society it is quite unique insomuch as it is constrained to the Tokyo metro. A young lady in Tokyo can walk just about any street late at night and feel safe in the knowledge she won't be molested or raped, (except for some places in the pong or Shinjuku), and crime is extremely low.

    When I was in Tokyo a few weeks back there was a story about a guy who groped the wrong lass on a train as she was a popular pop singer in Japan and after being groped for 10 stops (yes you read that correctly) she dragged him to the coppers for arresting. His story was "I started touching her butt and couldn't stop!", laughable if it wasn't so sad...

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