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2008年7月 7日 (月)


2008/7/7 --The Asahi Shimbun, July 5(IHT/Asahi: July 7,2008)

EDITORIAL: Protect women on trains


Yet more horrible, heinous crimes have taken place. It came to light that two women were attacked aboard running trains in separate cases that occurred in March and April.


The victims were crew members working on local train lines operated by East Japan Railway Co. (JR East).


Many tasks are performed aboard trains in addition to driving them--checking tickets, ensuring passenger safety, selling food and beverages and other chores. The train crews include women. These appalling incidents occurred under these circumstances.


(Chore=雑用) (appalling=恐ろしい、ぞっとするような)

The two female crew members, attacked while on duty, were dragged into a toilet near a first-class "green car." They were allegedly throttled, threatened, and one of the victims raped.


Both assaults occurred in the very early morning. The perpetrator chose a time with few passengers around so that he could commit the crime without being detected. Surely, all women using trains must have had the chills upon hearing of the incidents.



If a person can be attacked aboard public transport, how can we feel safe getting on a train, not to mention working on one?


These latest crimes remind us of a similar rape case two years ago on West Japan Railway Co.'s express "Thunderbird" train. Then the victim was a female passenger.


It was a shocking case. It is highly regrettable that the lessons from the incident were not effectively put to use.


Of course, the culprit bears the most blame. But at the same time, we must continue to do everything possible in our own workplaces to eliminate the risks of falling victim to an attack.



The perpetrator of the two assaults on the JR East trains is believed to be the same man. He was arrested and charged with rape and attempted rape that resulted in serious injuries. Yet, similar attacks may recur in the future. Safety measures to prevent any recurrences have to be taken without delay.


perpetrator=加害者、犯人、下手人) (recur=再発する、繰り返される) (recurrence=再発、繰り返し)

JR East has begun installing security cameras on their local green cars. The company has also started to have their crews work in pairs in the early hours of the morning and on late night shifts. It is also increasing the number of security guards patrolling the train cars.


As a company, it is naturally responsible for ensuring the safety of its workplace. Such safety steps will also lead to increased safety of not only their female crew, but also of their male colleagues and passengers.

We hope JR East will push ahead with these safety precautions.


(push ahead with=前に進める) (precaution=予防措置、事前対策)

Surely, trains are not the only place where workers are vulnerable to possible attacks.



In the past two decades or so, women have been assigned to work in more and more places. But some women feel uneasy while working because they are forced to work alone at night. Others are frightened because security equipment at their workplaces is inadequate.


There are also occupations where workers may be constantly worried about crime, such as taxi drivers who are in close proximity with passengers in small, closed spaces. These operators have to take elaborate safety measures to ensure safety, regardless of the sex of drivers.



Companies should take the most stringent safety measures possible, in correlation with the nature of the jobs and the way people work.



It is for the benefit of all workers to secure a working environment where they can work without being worried about their safety. We must not shut out women from work for fear of crimes like these.


--The Asahi Shimbun, July 5(IHT/Asahi: July 7,2008)

朝日新聞 7月05日号 (英語版 2008年7月07日発行)


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