Shachihata Inc. has created invisible ink stamp sets to deter groping on crowded commuter trains in Japan. The product sold out within an hour of release and is seen as a significant step towards deterring unwanted advances. The stamps sold for $23 USD and the company is working on improving the product based on user feedback. Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station is the busiest railway station in the world, serving 3.6 million passengers daily.
Japan is famous for its lightning-fast trains, but even in a world where time has become increasingly important, safety always comes first. For many women, that means fending off the wandering hands of men on crowded commuter trains. Yelling doesn’t really work, and suggestions of stabbing offenders with safety pins haven’t worked, but in 2019, a company finally came to the rescue. Shachihata Inc. began by offering 500 invisible ink stamp sets that can be applied to a zipper’s hand. An hour after going to the market, they were sold out. Yayoi Matsunaga, who runs the Chikan Yokushi Katsudo Center (Grope Prevention Activity Center), called the product “very significant” but cautioned it was too early to tell how well it will help stop unwanted progress. However, he added that even as an initial effort, the stamp “should have a big impact on society, which could lead to deterrence.” In their first iteration, the stamps sold for 2,500 yen ($23 USD), but Shachihata said he is working on revamping the product based on user feedback.
On the rails in Japan:
Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station is considered the busiest railway station in the world, serving 3.6 million passengers every day.
Shikoku’s Tsushimanomiya Station is only open on August 4 and 5 each year, as part of an annual summer festival.
During rush hour, train attendants push passengers onto crowded trains to speed up commutes.