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tokyo

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Tokyo station employee tells passengers to use rear train cars if they ‘do not want to be groped’

train announcement
  • A Tokyo train station worker has drawn criticism for an announcement he made telling passengers to take the rear train cars if they do not want to be groped.
  • The employee’s choice of words drew heavy criticism from online users.
  • Gropers, known as “chikan” in Japanese, are more likely to be encountered on crowded cars whereas the rear cars are less crowded.
  • A spokesperson for JR East issued an apology on Thursday.

A Tokyo train station employee is facing backlash for an announcement he made instructing passengers to take the rear train cars if they “do not want to be groped.”

In a video taken on Aug. 30 at Shinjuku Station in downtown Tokyo, a station worker is seen making an announcement via the P.A. system, stating: “We have many security cameras installed, but there are many chikan. Passengers who do not want to be groped, please make  use of the rear carriages.”

‘Maybe he realized how stupid it was halfway in’: Hit-and-run driver in Japan paints his vehicle orange to avoid arrest

  • Tomoyuki Saito, 33, allegedly struck a 54-year-old man in a hit-and-run accident while driving in Tokyo on Aug. 12.
  • Saito had been drinking prior to the incident and did not have a driver’s license, according to reports.
  • By the time police found him, his vehicle had been partially painted to the color orange.
  • Police are investigating the incident with the assumption that Saito tried to avoid detection by repainting his car.
  • News of the incident has gone viral, with many netizens commenting on Saito’s partially painted vehicle.

The drunk driver of a truck involved in a hit-and-run incident in Japan seemingly attempted to elude law enforcement by painting his white truck another color.

Tomoyuki Saito, a 33-year-old car mechanic, was driving down the rainy streets of Tokyo at around 9 p.m. on Aug. 12 when he allegedly hit a 54-year-old man from behind.

15-year-old girl in Japan arrested for stabbing 2 women as ‘practice’ for killing her mother

  • A Japanese teenager was arrested in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward on Saturday for stabbing two people.
  • The 15-year-old reportedly stated that she "wanted to get the death penalty" and “wanted to practice” killing her mother.
  • She has been accused of using a kitchen knife to stab a 53-year-old woman and her 19-year-old daughter at around 7:20 p.m.
  • Both victims suffered severe injuries that will require at least three months to recover from, according to reports.
  • The teenager reportedly planned on killing her mother and younger brother.

Police in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward have arrested a 15-year-old girl for stabbing a mother and daughter as “practice” before killing her own mother and younger brother.

At around 7:20 p.m. on Saturday, the girl reportedly stabbed a 53-year-old woman and her 19-year-old daughter from behind on a street in Maruyama-cho near Shibuya Station.

Hanae Mori, designer known for butterfly motifs and empress’ wedding gown, dies at 96

  • Japanese designer Hanae Mori died at her Tokyo home on Aug. 11 at the age of 96.
  • According to the Hanae Mori Office, Mori developed a mild fever a few days before her death, although a specific cause of death was not given.
  • Known for her butterfly designs and film costumes, Mori also designed uniforms for Japan Airlines flight attendants, bank employees and high school students.
  • The late designer also created hundreds of costumes for Japanese films.
  • She is survived by two sons, a daughter, seven grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

Hanae Mori, a Japanese designer known for her butterfly motifs, film costumes and the wedding gown of Japan’s empress, died at the age of 96 on Aug. 11.

The Hanae Mori Office stated that Mori had developed a mild fever a few days before her death, although a cause of death has not yet been revealed. A private funeral was held with family, and a public memorial service may be held. 

69-year-old man arrested in Tokyo discovered to have been driving for 50 years without a license

  • A 69-year-old man in Tokyo was arrested for driving without a license for 50 years.
  • On May 15, the man struck a car in front of him but sped off before police arrived.
  • The man was pulled over on July 2 after being spotted by a police officer in Kiyose, Tokyo; however, he attempted to run away by speeding into a narrow path.
  • After getting caught, the man explained that he had been driving without a license since the late 1980s after failing to pass the written test six times.

Police in Kiyose, Tokyo, arrested a 69-year-old man who had been driving motorcycles for 50 years without a license after failing the written exam six times. 

On May 15, Tatsuo Matsumoto struck a vehicle in front of him while driving in Higashimurayama, Tokyo, with his Harley Davidson three-wheeled motorcycle. Before police could arrive, Tatsuo sped off; the dent he left cost the owners 400,000 yen (approximately $2,913) to fix. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police launched an investigation and were able to identify the 69-year-old’s motorcycle through footage captured by the victim’s dash cam. 

Japanese woman wins Tokyo mayorship while living 5,800 miles away in Belgium

  • Satoko Kishimoto, 47, has been elected mayor of Tokyo’s Suginami district despite being a resident of Leuven, Belgium, roughly 5,800 miles away.
  • Kishimoto won by a narrow 200 votes, defeating conservative opponent and incumbent mayor Ryo Tanaka.
  • Kishimoto was able to rely on online campaigning with the timing of the COVID-19 pandemic, participating in online public debates to gain prominence.
  • Kishimoto’s background in environmental activism appeared to win voters over despite opponents’ constant jabs at her residency status.
  • She ran on a campaign stressing less privatization and more citizen participation.

Satoko Kishimoto, 47, has been elected mayor of Tokyo’s Suginami district despite being a resident of Leuven, Belgium, roughly 5,800 miles away.

Kishimoto won by a narrow 200 votes, defeating conservative opponent and incumbent mayor Ryo Tanaka. 

Potterheads will get to sip on ‘Herbivicus’ cocktails at official Harry Potter cafe opening in Tokyo

  • An official “Harry Potter” cafe is opening in Tokyo, and it will be offering fans a plethora of themed food menus, beverages and Hogwarts-inspired decor.
  • Menu items will include sandwiches, fruit-flavored drinks and desserts with the choice of Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw themes.
  • The cafe is expected to have its soft opening from June 17 to July 7, and is located on the first floor of the Akasaka Biz Tower.

To celebrate the success of the Harry Potter IP in the Japanese market, an official Harry Potter cafe is opening in Tokyo featuring wizard-themed food menus and souvenirs. 

Located on the first floor of the Akasaka Biz Tower, the cafe will be holding its soft opening from June 17 to July 7. The cafe’s website recommends that patrons arrive with advanced reservations to obtain priority entry.

Tokyo set to recognize same-sex partnerships starting November

  • On Tuesday, the Tokyo metropolitan government revealed its draft of a new registration system that would recognize same-sex partnerships.
  • Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike had already promised at the end of last year that the capital would start a system that allowed same-sex couples access to many of the benefits under marriage, including hospital visitation rights and the ability to rent apartments together, but excludes tax breaks and benefits. 
  • With the enactment of the policy, due to take effect in November, Tokyo joins the eight other prefectures that have already introduced some form of same-sex partnership system.
  • The released draft describes the purpose of the new system as a way “to promote understanding among Tokyo residents about sexual diversity and to reduce inconveniences in daily lives surrounding sexual minorities in order to create more pleasant living conditions for them.”
  • Advocates for sexual equality strongly pushed for same-sex marriage legislation at the time Tokyo was scheduled to host the Summer 2020 Olympics; however, the conservative Liberal Democratic Party shot down the bill.
  • In a landmark ruling last year, Japan’s Sapporo District Court also ruled that banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional; however, it did not produce any form of concrete legal rights for Japan’s LGBTQ-plus population.

On Tuesday, the Tokyo metropolitan government revealed its draft of a new registration system that would recognize same-sex partnerships.

The news comes after Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s promise at the end of last year that the capital’s government would start a system that allowed same-sex couples access to many of the benefits under marriage, including hospital visitation rights and the ability to rent apartments together. 

Used masks stained with lipstick and sweat are being sold online in Japan

  • Some Japanese women are selling their used masks with lipstick stains online.
  • A woman in her 30s who lives in Tokyo began selling her used masks in August last year and, within 24 hours, received several inquiries, according to a report from The Mainichi.
  • During the first month, she sold four masks for 500 yen ($4) and now makes 3,000 yen ($23) a month selling her used masks as well as underwear and tights for 1,500 yen ($11) and 400 to 500 yen ($3) each, respectively.
  • Although the woman has received requests that she reveal her face, she has yet to agree.
  • After a third-year junior high school student, inspired by a friend, also began selling used masks in February, former police bureacrat and lawyer Yasuo Sawai has expressed concerns that school students who participate in this trend may be in danger of sexual violence or coercion to sell nude photos.

As the use of facemasks continues to be widespread in Japan, some women are selling their used masks with lipstick stains online. 

A woman in her 30s, who works as a company employee in Tokyo, has been selling her used masks, as well as underwear and tights, online since last year after she saw a tweet about another woman selling used facemasks. Since she had already been selling her clothes and accessories online through a second-hand marketplace app, she decided to sell used masks as well, reported The Mainichi.

China, South Korea condemn honoring of war dead at WWII shrine by Japan PM and over 100 lawmakers

Yasukuni Shrine
  • Over 100 lawmakers paid their respects this week at the Yasukuni Shrine, honoring millions of war dead, while Prime Minister Kishida sent a ritual offering.
  • The shrine is seen by China and South Korea as a representation of Japan’s brutal occupation, and both countries were quick to condemn the offering from Kishida and the visit from lawmakers.
  • South Korea’s foreign ministry expressed “deep disappointment and regret” over the respect for the shrine, while a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Japan had an “incorrect attitude towards its own history of aggression.”
  • Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that visiting the shrine at this time is even more important because of the war in Ukraine.

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sent an offering on Thursday to Tokyo’s Shinto Yasukuni Shrine for the war dead, while a group of over 100 lawmakers visited the shrine on Friday.

The shrine is seen by China and South Korea as a symbol of Japan’s brutal history of occupation.

Statue of comfort girl in hanbok scheduled to reappear in Tokyo despite previous backlash

Comfort woman statu FI
  • The “After ‘freedom of expression?’” exhibition, which seeks to address Japan’s history of censorship, will restage the same comfort woman statue that was taken down from “Aichi Tirennale” in 2019 following threats the festival received for displaying it.
  • Comfort women, of whom there were hundreds of thousands – majority Korean — were subjected by the Japanese government to sex slavery for its soldiers during World War II.
  • The statue features a young, barefoot girl sitting in her hanbok, the traditional Korean dress, looking ahead with a calm and quiet gaze, not smiling.
  • Statues depicting these comfort women have been a heated point of controversy between Japan and South Korea.
  • When South Korea erected a comfort women statue outside the Japanese consulate in Busan in 2017, Japan recalled two of its ambassadors to South Korea in protest.

Despite protest and outrage, a previously removed statue commemorating World War II’s comfort women will be back up in April at a gallery in Tokyo.

An exhibition titled “After ‘Freedom of Expression?’,” which seeks to address Japan’s history of censorship, will restage the same comfort woman statue originally featured at the 2019 Aichi Tirennale festival.

Tokyo schools to drop controversial dress code rules regulating hair and underwear color

Tokyo dress code rules
  • Tokyo’s Board of Education announced it would scrap its controversial dress code rules, including those dictating hairstyles and underwear color and pattern, for the new academic year beginning April 1.
  • Over 200 schools and educational institutions run by the Tokyo metropolitan government will implement these five changes to its rules.
  • “Japanese people have been taught to believe that it is a virtue to simply abide by the rules,” Kaori Yamaguchi, a member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education, said. “I hope this will be an opportunity for people to discuss what we should do to create a society where rules are observed in a way that’s acceptable to everyone.”
  • The changes came after the Board surveyed 240 schools in the city last year, asking parents and children about their views of the policies.

Tokyo school officials announced they are dropping controversial dress code policies for high school students, including those regulating hairstyles and underwear color and patterns.

Around 200 schools run by the Tokyo metropolitan government will implement five changes to the rules at the start of the new academic year beginning on April 1, according to a Mainichi Shimbun report.