A growing number of railway station workers and train conductors are falling victim to violence perpetrated by drunken passengers on the Yamanote Line and other main lines in the Tokyo metropolitan area, according to East Japan Railway Co.

JR East said 83 such cases have been reported during the April-September period, compared with 63 in the same period last year.

The workers are often beaten by passengers after they gave warnings or tried to intervene in altercations, the carrier said.

In April, a worker at Kamata Station on the Keihin-Tohoku Line suffered broken ribs after he was beaten by two men whom he had warned for jumping onto the tracks.

In August, a worker at Ikebukuro Station was hit by a man who had been sleeping on the platform just as he was about to close the station for the night.

Passenger drunkenness is cited as the most frequent reason for the incidents, and JR East plans to launch a campaign to stop such violence ahead of the yearend party season.

According to the carrier, Shinjuku Station is the site of most of the violence, with 20 cases, followed by Ikebukuro Station and Shinagawa Station. Most incidents took place between 8 p.m. and the departure of the night’s last train.

About half of the troublesome passengers are in their 40s and 50s, including executives at major companies and women, the carrier said.

JR East has mobilized security guards at main stations and also equipped the workers with walkie-talkies for emergency communications. It also plans to file lawsuits in serious cases.

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