Group organizes 'men-only' train car in Tokyo


A nonprofit in Japan is organizing a “men-only” train passenger car on the Tokyo Sakura Tram (Toden Arakawa Line) on Nov. 18 to address purported discrimination against men.

About the nonprofit: Established in July 2022, the Japan Weak Men's Center aims to support men in vulnerable situations, ranging from homelessness to unemployment and assistance for those falsely accused of crimes like domestic violence or molestation. A part of its ongoing advocacy is the permanent establishment of men-only train cars by major railway companies, emphasizing the absence of designated spaces for men in contrast to women-only train cars.

Women-only cars were introduced in Japan in the early 2000s to combat lewd conduct, particularly groping, in trains.

About the objective: According to the Weak Men's Center, men can also be victims of sexual crimes and false accusations. Arguing that such accusations significantly impact their personal and professional lives, the group stresses the importance of preventing such incidents. It further highlighted the lack of clear responses from major railway companies despite their attempts to engage in dialogue.

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Inclusive initiative: Women who support the cause, individuals with disabilities, their caregivers and girls below elementary school age can also board the men-only train car, a representative revealed. This inclusivity aligns with the Center's broader mission of challenging societal biases and promoting genuine gender equality.

Despite facing criticism and misunderstandings in the past, the group asserts the importance of addressing unconscious biases and reiterates the need for both women-only and men-only spaces to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers. The Saturday event marks the third installment of their initiative, which was last successfully implemented on International Men's Day in November last year.

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