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East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) said Tuesday that it has developed a smartphone app for sharing reports of train gropers that it will test on its Saikyo Line, notorious for the frequency of such incidents.

Around 25 passengers including employees of JR East will participate in the first phase of testing for the app, which will be conducted on the section between Shinjuku Station in Tokyo and Omiya Station in neighboring Saitama Prefecture from late this month to mid-March, between roughly 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. on weekdays.

In the test, the participants will report suspected groping through the smartphone app to the train conductor, who will then make in-train announcements to inform other passengers of the reports by specifying the car where the misconduct is taking place.

JR East will later conduct a survey of passengers, in part to determine whether they felt discomfort due to the announcements about gropers.

The second phase of the test will be carried out in June or later with the participation of about 100 volunteers. They will be asked to report via the app if they are groped. The reports will be announced by the train conductor.

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