Women's Safety and Harassment in Japan

Is Japan safe for women? Is there harassment in Japan? The Japanese have a reputation for being perverted, some reports also generate a negative reputation regarding the safety of women. In this article, we are going to talk a little about this subject.

Do women face harassment in Japan?

Regarding serious crimes such as rape and murder, Japan can be considered an extremely safe country with low crime rates. However, with regard to minor offenses such as sexual harassment, groping and other acts of molestation, the odds are slightly higher.

For example, many women claim to have been groped at one time or another in Japan, probably inside crowded trains. There are many reports of old men trying to spy on, grope and undress some women and even young college students.

Some men and young men blatantly ask women to go to a hotel with them offering money to have sex, even though these women are not with any provocative clothing or implying that they do this type of service.

Not even men escape, I remember I was in an onsen in the city of Tokyo and a man started to come up to me and put his hand on my leg, of course I left and walked away at the same time. If this happens to men, imagine women?

Some men intentionally crouch on trains in order to see under their skirts or simply bump into women in order to feel their bodies. Some even stalk and follow women or masturbate looking at them.

It may seem strange, but luckily this is the limit that many perverted Japanese are. They don't usually go for assault or rape because they know about the country's tough and strict laws. At most they will steal a panty from the clothesline.

Is japan safe for women?

Why are many women harassed in Japan?

What are the reasons for such frequent crimes to happen in Japan? This often happens in Japan due to the heavy use of public transport, while in the West we heavily use private means of transport such as cars.

Generally the Japanese are extremely pacifist and do not like any kind of conflict. Because of this cultural nature, it may be easier for women to endure harassment than to draw negative attention to themselves when confronting the abuser.

This shyness and culture ends up encouraging aggressors who, over time, increase the frequency and intensity of their crimes. Despite these petty offenses, there is no need to worry too much about harassment in Japan.

It is worth mentioning that foreign women are not usually so targeted by perverted japanese, both because of the notion that they are more aggressive and don't let anything pass, as well as because of the personal taste of the Japanese.

A woman commented on Quora that despite such events, fortunately women are not usually called hot, busty and other brazen compliments as in Brazil. At least we have one positive point!

Is japan safe for women?

Statistics for women to feel safe

Statistically, when comparing rape numbers annually around the world, South Africa is estimated to have 500,000 rapes, Egypt 200,000, China 32,000, Brazil 65,000 and the US approximately 85,000 (that's just the reported ones).

In Japan, the annual average of rapes is around 1,200 cases. This means that if you are in the US or Brazil your chance of being raped is up to 30x higher than in Japan. That means you don't have to be afraid to travel to the country.

It is also important to mention that the rate of rape crimes has been steadily decreasing each year, equal to suicide rate. It's amazing how Japan manages to decrease while the rest of the world increases the numbers.

However, these statistics cannot be completely reliable as they only consider cases reported by the police. It is very likely that many victims will not speak out due to fear of their perpetrator or of ruining their reputation. Especially in Japan where shyness and reputation are important.

Below I will share another list showing the average number of rapes per 100,000 inhabitants of some countries:

  1. Australia 91
  2. Sweden 58
  3. United States 28
  4. Brazil 27
  5. Belgium 26
  6. Northern Ireland 23
  7. Israel 17
  8. France 16
  9. Chile 13
  10. Finland 12
  11. Austria 9.3
  12. Germany 8
  13. Switzerland 8
  14. Italy 7
  15. Czech Republic 4.6
  16. Poland 4.0
  17. Portugal 3
  18. Hungary 2
  19. Turkey 1.5
  20. Japan 1.1
Is japan safe for women?

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How can women avoid harassment in Japan?

Most railway companies in Japan offer a female-only carriage at peak times, try to use them to avoid harassment on trains. Even if you don't have these cars, we recommend the first or last car to be close to the conductor.

When boarding public transport, always try to have your back to a wall or flat surface so that no one can get behind you. If you don't have walls available, try to stand in front of other women.

If you believe you are being harassed or see someone else being a victim, shout out CHIKAN so that other people know what happened and for the aggressor to scare and stop. You can call 110 and say “chikan” for police to move to the scene.

If you are walking down the street and you think you are being followed by a suspicious man, just look for a koban [交番] a kind of police station that is spread through the neighborhoods of Japan. Look for a spot with red lights.

Be smart with escalators, the unavoidable possibility of running into the bottom of a skirt just looking up in buildings with multiple floors of escalators. Try wearing shorts or getting into a position that blocks your vision.

Is japan safe for women?

Japan's Efforts to Improve Women's Safety

Women-only train cars are some of Japanese society's means of protecting women from perverts. Another example of this is in cell phones that are programmed to make an audible sound on the camera, even on silent.

These means prevent men from groping women on trains or from taking secret pictures under women's skirts. Thanks to the efforts of feminist movement in japan, the country has undergone several changes that collaborate with the safety of women.

There are hotels and places that are exclusively for women, this can help to avoid the problems of some capsule hotels, internet cafe or unisex hostel. At least look for a floor of the hotel that is exclusively for women, also avoid mixed onsen by herself.

Some apartments recommend the ground and first floors for women in order to ease any problems with elevators, stairs or when arriving home. Stay tuned for cultural issues in order to avoid any embarrassing situations.

Is japan safe for women?

Beware of Japanese invitations

If someone you're working with or met says you're welcome to spend the night at their house and you say yes or it's fine or thank you. He may interpret this to mean that you agree to have sex with him.

If you go to his house and say no, you didn't agree, he can force you. Since you agreed to go to the man's residence, you effectively agreed to have sex, in accordance with cultural expectations. This is the reality.

No amount of argument will convince the police or the jury that you've been "tricked". This is an interesting fact even in other cultures. Regardless of whether you are in Japan or Brazil, be smart with the invitations you receive from men.

Is japan safe for women?

The Dangers Are in Big Cities

Japan is one of the safest countries in the world to travel to, for anyone. The most notable events take place in large cities like Tokyo, with a lot of drunks in the areas of night fun, club scams and bars and deserted alleys.

It is worth mentioning that Japan also performs poorly on gender equality indicators, but this does not extend to the country's security. Japan is a safe place for women, so just be careful as anywhere in the world.

Men aren't the only perverts, I've been attacked by women, some opened their skirts on trains to show their panties and were giggling. Other women pretend to be attacked to extort some innocent men.

In fact, Japan is safer than almost anywhere in the world. As with anywhere, of course, stay in well-lit, populated areas and behave normally. Be polite, respectful and non-intrusive.

Is japan safe for women?

Videos about Safe Japan for Women

Below I will leave some videos on the subject, but be careful not to generalize:

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