Every year in Japan, some 1,800 men are arrested for groping women on trains. In a 2004 NHK survey of Tokyo women in their 20s and 30s, 64 percent said they had been groped on a train. Only 2 percent reported it to police. In 2008, the police in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama recognized 2,416 cases of groping on a train.

In a stepped-up campaign of intervention, police are apprehending suspects and putting pressure on operators of the growing number of “how to” Web sites for gropers (chikan). These sites offer advice on techniques for groping and escaping as well as online chat rooms where potential gropers can conspire to commit crimes, increasingly in organized groups.

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