Japan is a very safe country. There are rarely shooting cases, and it is not so dangerous to walk around. However, in the rush-hour trains, you have to be careful about train gropers (痴漢). There are so many gropers in Japan. If you are a man, there is the danger of being mistaken for a groper.
In Japan, when it is commuting time, trains are full of people. People are packed so tightly, they cannot move at all. In those situations, gropers may appear. They touch and stroke hips or breasts of women. Sometimes they grope inside the underwear. There are also some gropers who expose themselves or put fluid on skirts.
According to a survey, more than 60 percent of women have experieced gropers. The police report that there are about 300 groper cases per year, but it is said that these reported cases represent only 10 percent of all. Most victims are junior high and high school female students. Some of them have been groped every day. For young girls living in large cities of Japan, train gropers and exhibitionists are ordinary things.
Why do they grope? Some men say that they were tempted by evil because of alcohol or they wanted to work off stress. From a book about gropers, a groper who was arrested many times said that groping is like a game and it is difficult to stop. In Japan, there are many AVs and adult entertainment shops about groping, and some men like this genre. They believe women who are groped feel good acutually, and if they grope, they can satisfy the desire for their own conquest. Most women cannot say no and there are rarely arrests, so many gropers do these things.
There are also gropers’ BBS. On the BBS, there are many messages from gropers and girls. Gropers wrote that today’s grope was so good and the girl also felt good. Girls wrote that they wanted to be groped because it was good. There are also some messages which call to get together. There was an arrest case with a gropers’ BBS. A man pretending to be a woman had written on a BBS asking to be groped, and another man groped a woman after seeing this message. The groper was arrested, and the man who had written on the BBS was also arrested.
Some women catch gropers bravely, but there are also some false accusations. Trains are full of people, and it is difficult to specify a groper. There are no evidence or eyewitness of gropings. If gropers are arrested, they will lose their families and jobs. Some men who had been arrested on suspicion of groping committed suicide, insisting they had not groped. “I Just Didn’t Do It” is a movie about false accusations of groping.
The Saikyo Line, which runs from Saitama to Shinjuku, is notorious for gropers. There are many gropers on the Saikyo Line because it is so crowded, it is long between stations, the doors mostly just open on one side, and the rumor is that it is easy to grope there. Some men ride the Saikyo Line all the way to grope, though it is not part of their commute.
There are many green banners which call to stop gropings in the stations.
The Saikyo Line introduced women-only carriages and security cameras. It is said that there are still gropers on the Saikyo Line.
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