A NY Times story this weekend discusses what the writers say is “commonplace” sexual abuse throughout Japan. While I have no idea of the accuracy of the article, the anecedote from a Parliment speaker certainly doesn’t help convince me otherwise.
Speaking at a public symposium, a member of Parliament, Seiichi Ota, recently made light of reports of gang rapes at a Tokyo university. “Boys who commit group rape are in good shape,” Mr. Ota said. “I think they are rather normal. Whoops, I shouldn’t have said that.” (The legislator’s comments were carried in many Japanese newspapers.)
I have heard many tales of public fondling of women by strangers, particularly on crowded trains. This was, in fact, included in the secton on Women Travelers in my Lonely Planet guide. I did also read an article some time ago about there being “Women Only” train cars on certain lines, and that there are many instances of men using their mini-cameras and camera phones for voyeuristic purposes.
I still love visiting, but this behavior comes off as childish…