Japan launches anti-groping device to tackle sexual crimes

In the wake to tackle frequent incidence of groping on public transport, Japan has launched an anti-groping device.

By means of the device, the victim can mark the attacker with an invisible stamp which comes in the shape of a hand. Furthermore, the device produces a black light which can help people to recognize those who have been marked.

The firm Shachihata has created the device, in order to help tackle the groping incidence on trains in the country. The device was seen as a “small step toward a world free of sexual crimes,” according to a spokesman for Shachihata. However, a sex abuse charity organization was of a different opinion and believes the tool could pose an added burden on the victims.

Shachihata had hinted on the device’s stamp in May through a video launch which showed a pair of Japanese schoolgirls chasing down a suspected groper on a train station.

Based on a record released by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, 2,620 crimes were reported in 2017 which included 1750 cases of groping. These were recorded mostly at stations and on trains. Sources suggest, 500 devices were sold within 30 minutes which retailed 2,500 yen (£19.30).

Shachihata’s launch of the anti-groping device is second such initiative, previous release was of an anti-harassment app- Digi Police. By means of the app, victims could alert fellow passengers of the danger and could thus seek help. The message on the app read: “There is a groper here. Please help.”

Moreover, the train stations in the capital city of Tokyo were installed with ‘anti-groping cameras’ in 2009 which was another attempt to deal with growing complaints about sexual harassment.

As a result, more than 600 people were arrested owning to suspicion of sexual activity or for taking unsolicited photos. Reports suggest, the #MeToo movement took a slow momentum in Japan. By far the country has been 110th out of 149 countries to measure gender equality in the World Economic Forum’s index.