Posters encourage women to “be high-rank girls by immediately reporting gropers.”
While Japan’s public transportation network is famously clean and punctual, there’s also an infamous aspect to Japanese trains, in the form of chikan, men who grope female passengers. Almost every major rail operator in Japan puts up public awareness posters inside its stations and/or train cars bearing sternly worded reminders that “Groping is a crime.”
Most would argue that’s a common-sense conclusion, and that the posters aren’t likely to spark an epiphany that causes would-be chikan to resist or renounce their immoral urges. So instead of directing its message to the chikan, a new poster from the Aichi Prefectural Police Department is asking upstanding young women for their help.
みこっと★ふれんず (@RinaK10) May 31, 2017
The posters, as photographed by Japanese Twitter user @RinaK10, feature a fashionable anime-style girl and started going up in the city of Nagoya earlier this month. The large-print text boldly announces her as one of the “Girls Who Report Chikan as Soon as They See Them,” and provides illustrated examples of the girls’ three defining behaviors, which are:
1. Establish verbal contact with the victim
2. Ask nearby people and the station staff for help
3. Call 110 [the phone number for emergency police assistance] right away
At the very bottom, the poster implores the reader to “Be a high-rank girl by immediately reporting chikan.” This particular phrase has elicited a few worried remarks from online commenters in Japan that the posters might lead to overzealous scrutiny and false accusations. Given that chikan often operate in crowded rail carriages that are difficult, if not impossible, for train conductors or the police to thoroughly monitor, appealing to passengers’ sense of decency and encouraging them to watch out for and help one another is likely a necessity.