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Japan Times 1919: Special rail cars introduced for female students to prevent improper conduct on long train journeys

by Elliott Samuels

Staff Writer

100 YEARS AGO
Saturday, July 5 1919

Special cars introduced for female students

THE JAPAN TIMES
THE JAPAN TIMES

The Railway Board has adopted a plan suggested by Mrs. Takahashi, Tokyo Station master, to connect special cars to the Shimonoseki express train that leaves Tokyo at 4 p.m. daily, exclusively for the use of female students who are going home for the summer vacation. These special cars will be operated from July 11.

Mrs. Takahashi says that the idea is to put a stop to the prevailing improper conduct among young men and women students on long train journeys. No male passengers will be admitted to the cars.


75 YEARS AGO
Saturday, July 29, 1944

Sale of cigarettes in packets will end

THE JAPAN TIMES
THE JAPAN TIMES

For the purpose of saving the paper and labor used for the manufacture of cigarette packets, cigarettes will not be sold in packets hereafter.

The new plan will be the first adopted for sales of “Kinshi,” a popular brand of cigarettes to industrial workers and soldiers and will later be adopted on a larger-scale.

The Tobacco Monopoly Retail Bureau will distribute cigarettes to retail stores in boxes of 600. Ten cigarettes without mouthpieces can be bought by one person, while the number of cigarettes with mouthpieces that can be bought by one person is 20. Present prices will not be changed. In the case of Kinshi, however, four of these cigarettes will be sold for nine sen, or eight for 18 sen.


50 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, July 2, 1969

Court invalidates female retirement rule

THE JAPAN TIMES
THE JAPAN TIMES

The Tokyo District Court Tuesday ruled that the labor agreement of a company that sets women’s workers’ mandatory retirement age at 30 is invalid. The court said such discriminatory action against women workers violates the Civil Code that provides for public order and good manners. It is the first court ruling on women’s retirement age.

In a similar ruling on a discriminatory labor practice against women, the Tokyo District Court ruled it unconstitutional in December 1966, to discharge a woman worker on her marriage.

In Tuesday’s action, the court accepted a plea for the injunction against her former employer, filed by a 38-year-old woman of Kita Ward who was fired in 1967 by a company.

Miss Suiko Shiga was discharged one year after a labor agreement setting women worker’s retirement age at 30 was signed between management and labor at Tokyu Kitan Co. of Yaguchi, Ota Ward, an auto engine parts maker. The women’s early retirement age was decided on as a policy to streamline the company management. Shiga said she could not effectively fight the agreement because there were only 28 women against 450 male workers

In accepting the woman’s plea, the court said any discriminatory labor practice because of sex cannot be condoned unless accompanied by a rational reason.


25 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, July 5, 1994

Manufacturer to halt sales of ‘killer’ toy gun

THE JAPAN TIMES
THE JAPAN TIMES

The National Police Agency instructed all prefectural police headquarters Monday to ask the toy industry to suspend sales of the M40A1 air gun and to recall those already sold.

The air gun, technically considered a toy, is capable of killing if the cartridge used in it is modified and metal bullets are used, NPA sources said.

The air gun was manufactured by Asahi Firearms Co., of Ota Ward, Tokyo, which went bankrupt in April. The company manufactured about 3,000 of the guns from July through December 1992, the sources said. It was after the model went on sale that some people first said it could function as a real gun if it were modified.

Because of those complaints, the NPA’s National Research Institute of Police Science examined the M40A1 in August 1992 but concluded there was no problem, officials said.

The gun is designed to shoot plastic bullets. These are fired by compressed air, which is released when a metal cartridge is struck by the firing pin.

The gun went on sale after it was found to comply with the standards set forth by the Japan Toy Gun Industry Cooperative, which concluded at that time that the M40A1 could not fire metal bullets and that the modifications would be difficult.

When the Metropolitan Police Department raided the home of a company employee in Chiba Prefecture in June 1993 in connection with suspected violations of the Explosives Control Law, officers seized a remodeled cartridge for the air gun that was stuffed with gunpowder.

The police research institute then test-fired the M40A1 using metal bullets and determined it is capable of killing, the sources said.

In this feature, we delve into The Japan Times’ 122-year archive to present a selection of stories from the past. This month’s edition was collated with the assistance of Christopher Kunody. The Japan Times’ archive is now available in digital format. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de.