January 13 2023
TOKYO – Over a period of more than three months, a male JR station attendant in Tokyo repeatedly made sexual comments such as “Are your breasts heavy?” to a visually impaired woman who asked him to guide her. JR East is considering disciplinary action against the station staff member.
The woman asked the JR East station for guidance, and he was put in charge of taking care of her on several occasions beginning in March 2022, but he began making sexually suggestive and other inappropriate comments in October, they said.
According to the JR East Metropolitan Area Headquarters, between around October last year and January this year, a male station staff member asked a visually impaired woman using the station, “I’d give you a piggy-back ride” and “Isn’t your chest heavy? Do you want me to carry you?” and other comments. After asking the woman what time she would be home, he invited her out to dinner and said he would go to her house.
“What time are you coming home today? Let’s go to a new ramen restaurant,” the employee also told her on one occasion, according to the company.
The harassment came to light after the passenger reported it to the station on Wednesday, and JR East launched an investigation.
The employee was quoted as saying he thought he was being “friendly” because he often comes in contact with the women, but now regrets his actions.
The employee has already been removed from customer service duties and will be dealt with strictly, JR East said.
“We sincerely apologize to the customer who was offended. We will ensure that all employees are thoroughly instructed to prevent similar incidents from occurring,” a company spokesperson said. JR Eaast also stated that has stated that “there was inappropriate behaviour in dealing with the customer. We sincerely apologize to the customers who were made to feel uncomfortable. We will provide thorough guidance and education to prevent similar incidents from happening again”.