Skip to comments.Tokyo's Subway Gropers fighting back [is that a salmon roll in your pocket or just happy to see me?]
Posted on 07/22/2002 8:22:52 AM PDT by 1bigdictator
Mon 22 Jul 2002
Tokyos subway gropers fighting back
Julian Ryall in Tokyo
ACCUSED of being sex pests and hauled before Japanese courts, a group of men is fighting back and has set up a self-help group in an effort to clear their names. The 13 founder members of the group are awaiting trial or have been cleared of charges of molesting women on Japans famously congested rush-hour trains.
Each claims he is innocent and the group is offering to support any man who is either mistakenly or maliciously identified as a molester.
"Chikan" - the Japanese term for men who get their kicks touching women in the crush of a railway carriage - are a genuine nuisance.
The problem has become so bad that two private rail companies in Tokyo have introduced women-only carriages late in the evenings, when trains are full of tipsy office workers and when 70 per cent of groping complaints are made.
West Japan Railways has had to introduce a morning women-only service this month, however, to protect female commuters from early-bird gropers. The service runs between 5 and 7am in and around Osaka.
"I didn't do anything wrong," says Mitsuo Okita, a company employee who was hauled off a train by rail police and arrested in September 1999 after a young woman complained he had interfered with her.
Mr Okita, 60, is the leader of the group and says the woman should have been the one who was arrested.
He claims she accused him of fondling her after he told her to stop using her mobile phone and to have some respect for other passengers.
Mr Okita was detained for 21 days before police concluded the authorities had insufficient evidence to bring any charges against him.
"I was just accused by a woman," he said. "Then I was stripped of my freedom and my human rights were infringed. I want to take the lead so that other people won't suffer similar damage."
Mr Okita is seeking compensation from the national government for unjust arrest and illegal detention. And he is not alone.
Two of the groups founder members have been found not guilty at trial while one was arrested but never indicted. One of the men is preparing to file an appeal after being found guilty, while the remaining eight are still on trial.
On average, they were detained for three weeks - but one was detained for 300 days.
One of the men at the inaugural meeting - who preferred to remain anonymous - said: "Just because I was standing beside a female victim, I was made into a criminal. A private citizen is powerless in front of the police, prosecutors and courts.
"I hope to help people in similar circumstances by uniting and fighting with them," he said.
The group says its aims are to support other men trying to clear their names and their families, demand fairer investigations by police and lobby rail companies to introduce more measures to combat molesters on trains.
In Japan, that wonderful country with zero gun deaths, there is no such thing as due process of law. TIPS will make it that way here, too.
Just follow the arrows.
This is absolutely sick - people who are ruining people's WHOLE LIVES getting away with their crimes, either because of a lack of evidence or because od using "I was tipsy" as a ridiculous excuse.
Here's some reasons why it is so bad:
IT CAUSES (in virtually all, if not ALL cases)
A horrible feeling of helplessness
Something being forced upon you that you don't want to happen
AFTER THE SEXUAL ASSAULT:
The above feelings remain
Flashbacks (extremely disturbing visual images of the event playing over in your mind, often so real that it feels as if the sexual assault is happening again)
Difficulty maintaining a relationship
Fear of even consensual sexual activity
Consensual sexual activity causing fear and flashbacks
Suicidal thoughts (and in too many cases, suicidal actions) because the pain and suffering is too large to bear, even for a person frightened of death, even for a person who considers suicide to be wrong
MONTHS AFTER THE SEXUAL ASSAULT, EVEN YEARS AFTER:
All of the above
As evidenced by the woman who has expressed her feeling of a need to take a shower every time she gets off the train.
AND IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ANY OF THIS, ask any organisation that helps, or tries to help, victims of sexual assault, such as http://www.safehaven-uk.org