The followings are two audio clips that I recorded with my own voice and the scripts that I wrote as a newscast assignment for the Writing for Journalism class.
[NEWS] Women-only Trains in Japan
Newscast 1: Women-only Trains in Japan by Shinichiro
A recent police request sparks a debate over women-only trains in Japan. According to Kobe Newspaper, Hyogo-Prefecture Police requested JR West in October 2010 to expand the women-only train system to their express trains. Police say about 90-percent of reported groping in the trains was done in the express trains that haven’t yet introduced the women-only train system. The company says it’s difficult to meet the police’s request.
This police announcement triggered the debate over the women-only train again in Japan. Groping in trains has been a social problem in Japan for a long time. Although one can be imprisoned for up to seven years or fined up to 485 dollars, four-thousand cases a year are reported nationwide. Roughly half of them occurred in Tokyo, as the Atlantic Cities magazine reported. According to ABC News, nearly 64-percent of Japanese women in their twenties and thirties said they have experienced being groped in the train.
To reduce the groping acts, which is called “chikan” in Japanese, the present women-only train system was introduced first in 2000. Male passengers are basically not allowed to get on the passenger-car except for elementary school students or younger, handicapped, and their caretakers. These trains now run in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyushu, and Hokkaido during the rush hours in the morning, in the evening, or both. After the first system started in 2000 in the Keio lines in Tokyo, it spread to almost every train line in Tokyo and Osaka by 2005 with a strong push by the Government and police.
According to a survey done by a train company, 80-to-90-percent of women and 60-percent of men support the system, while 20-to-30-percent of people do not support it for various reasons. Many women who support the system agree mainly because it’s less crowded and more seats are available in the carriage. Other women prefer the trains because there are no annoying smells or looks from male passengers and much less drunk passengers there, as one of the female passengers told the reporter in the Atlantic Cities’ article. “To feel safer” doesn’t come as the top reason for many women who actually use the system.
For the opponents, there are a plenty of reasons to abolish this system immediately. They said that, as a result, the other cars -- especially the one next to the women-only car -- become more crowded. They say that the system hasn’t yet proven its effectiveness. It’s not a final solution to reduce groping acts, either. And most of all, it is sexual discrimination against men simply because the train companies discriminate against the passengers based on their gender. There are several opposition groups to the women-only trains. According to them, under this system, all the men are seen as possible sex offenders, and this makes some men feel uncomfortable.
Groping has also become a problem in other big cities such as New York, London, or Paris. But, posters in the train in these cities just say “Groping is a crime. Report it to police or station staff immediately.” They haven’t yet introduced a system like Japan’s. According to the Atlantic Cities, there are few countries in the world that introduce women-only trains. For example, India, Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, Dubai, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, and, South Korea have the similar system. But many of them were introduced due to religious reasons.
Some people suggest other measures to crack down on the sexual molestation. There seem to be many measures that train companies can take to reduce the crowdedness besides introducing women-only trains. For example, they can make the lines double-tracked or introduce off-peak tickets so that numbers of the passengers in the train would get less in rush hours. As the leader of the anti-women-only-train group suggested, security cameras can be introduced in each car to discourage gropers. In fact, they were installed in all the carriages in JR Saikyo Line and the groping cases reported dropped less than half of that in the previous year. One can easily think of other ideas such as setting more station staff or security guards on the platforms or letting them patrol in carriages. For passengers, setting emergency bells in each carriage would be good.
Even with these alternatives suggested above, so far no train company seems to change the present system.
[AD] Café and Restaurant Minami Azabu
Newscast 1: Ad (30 sec. Edition) by Shinichiro
Need a cup of coffee before you go to class? Or want a cozy space for your reading and studying? Why not drop by at our Café and Restaurant Minami Azabu on the first floor of TUJ building? By showing your Temple ID card, you can have a 100-yen discount. A variety of cakes, breads, and pastries are also available. You can have obento and bagel sandwiches, too. You can have a morning and lunch sets at the café. A cake set is also available. At night, we serve a special course dinner. Beer and wine are also available. So why don’t you come? We open from eight-thirty until ten at night only on weekdays.