Thursday , July 7 2022

Stop it! Japan anti-groper app is becoming very popular



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digi police app

Commuters use their mobile phones when traveling on Tokyo Metro network trainer in Tokyo on 26 March 2019. AFP

TOKYO – A Tokyo police smartphone app to intimidate molesters has become very popular in Japan, where women have been very busy in the process of rapping on hurried hour trains.

Victims can skip the Digi Police app, which either explodes their voice shouting “stop” at the top, or produces a full-screen SOS message – which victims can show to other passengers – read: “ A molester. Please help. "

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The app has been downloaded more than 237,000 times, an “unusually high figure” for a public service app, said police officer Keiko Toyamine.

“Thanks to their popularity, the number is increasing around 10,000 every month,” Toyamine told AFP.

Victims are often too afraid to call for help, he said. But by using the SOS message method, “they can tell other travelers about rapping while staying quiet”.

There were nearly 900 other cover and disturbance cases on Tokyo and motorway trains in 2017, according to the latest data available from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.

“But it's ahead of the game,” said Toyamine, with victims often hesitant to come forward.

Offenders face imprisonment for up to six months or fines of up to 500,000 ($ 5,500 dollars). The possible custodial sentence increases to 10 years if violence or threats are used.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department launched the Digi Police app three years ago quietly.

His initial aim was to give information to elderly people, as well as parents and their children about scams or pickers.

But the role was added to “repel molesters” a few months after the launch.

And as a result of an online chat about the app – caused by a pop woman who was attacked late last year – there was a sudden popularity.

Yui Kimura, who is a 27-year-old beer shop on the northern island of Hokkaido, says that she is always worried about rapping whenever she visits the capital city. “I tend to be vigilant on Tokyo trains as suspicious men can happen from my front at any time,” says Kimura.

Reina Oishi, a 21-year-old university student in Tokyo, said: “I want to download the app as I have been touched so often.”

Experts agree that the app could be a boost to “silent” victims.

“Molesters tend to target those who seem shy and reluctant to make a complaint from the police,” said Akiyoshi Saito, a certified social worker who supported around 800 ex-diplomats during rehabilitation program.

Overlap on trains can occur in any country where trains are often overcrowded, Saito told AFP.

“But the idea that men are better than women, the traditional trend of Japan, can help to maintain“ sexual harassment on trains in the country, he added.

Awareness of the issue has arisen in Japan in recent years, with women exchanging suggestions on how to avoid the unnecessary attention online.

The East Japan Railway runs women only vehicles during busy hours and has set up safety cameras on some lines famous for a high rate of gritting.

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