By Barrier Free Japan
October 6th 2019
TOKYO– Since October began, two blind people have died at a railway stations in Japan.
The first person, a woman, reportedly in her sixties and using a white cane, fell on to the tracks at Tateishi Station in Tokyo. As The Mainichi Shimbun reported:
“A woman apparently carrying a white cane was hit by a train and killed at Tateishi Station on the Keisei Oshiage Line on the morning of Oct. 1.”
The Mainichi Shimbun went on to describe say that:
“According to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)’s Katsushika Police Station, the woman thought to be in her 60s was captured on security video going through the ticket gate at the station in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward. She was then seen tottering on the No. 2 platform before falling on the tracks. She appears to have been hit by a train entering the station just as she was attempting to get back up onto the platform.”
The woman had a certificate – sometimes called a booklet – indicating that she was visually impaired. The station, which is operated by Keisei Electric Railway Co, has no ‘platform doors’ sometimes called ‘safety barriers.’
On October 4th, The Mainichi Shimbun reported that a man who was “seen descending onto the tracks and lying down”, in front of a train comprising of eleven carriages on the Yamanote Line at Shinjuku Station, at approximately 7:15pm on October 2nd was Hiroyuki Ishii. Ishii was fatally injured and was aged 47. He was a former vice president of the “Japan Blind Football Association” and lost his eyesight when he was 28. Ishii had been quite vocal in campaigning for better safety measures for the visually impaired at railway stations.