• Kyodo

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Over 20 percent of train delays caused by objects falling onto tracks were attributable to dropped smartphones, according to a recent survey of East Japan Railway Co.

With JR East continuing to receive a number of complaints about people using smartphones in stations, it plans to step up its campaign Monday to urge passengers not to use the devices when getting on or off of trains.

Of 229 train delays caused by objects falling onto tracks in Tokyo and six prefectures in eastern Japan in April and May, 54, or 23 percent, were caused by passengers dropping their smartphones.

Other falling objects that led to delays included umbrellas, hats and shoes, the company said.

People often drop their smartphones when boarding or getting off trains or while walking on train platforms. Although station staff members retrieve any fallen objects with a hand-held grab, the company has to halt services if the next train is approaching the station, JR East officials said.

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