Japanese company Shachihata has rolled out its first 500 portable UV stamps designed to counter groping in public areas. Within 30 minutes from its release, all 500 units of the item were sold out. This highlights non-consensual touching as a widely known problem in crowded areas of Japan.
Shachihata described the item as a “This is a stamp intended to deter nuisance.” It allows victims of harassment to mark their assailants so anyone who sees the mark can identify if someone is a pervert.
While the stamp company didn’t directly mention groping, the stamp will most likely be used on chikan or gropers. Non-consensual touching is a widespread issue that women in packed public transport during rush hour in the country.
Japan has made a few attempts to combat the problem, including the introduction of gender-segregated cars two decades back. Some public transport lines are also guarded with surveillance cameras. Recently, app developers in the country came up with DigiPolice which allows harassment victims to deter perverts by broadcasting a loud “Stop it!”
Shachihata’s sold out “anti-nuisance stamp” lets users imprint a 9-millimeter mark depicting an open hand using special ink that can only be seen under fluorescent lighting. The portable stamp can be attached to bags or pockets as comes in a yellow casing with a reel cord.
The item costs ¥2,700 (about AU $38), but it instantly sold out within the first half-hour of its limited release.
A police department in Metro Tokyo released a report that showed 1,750 recorded cases of groping or molestation in public areas according to CNET.