Cell phone user delays 70,000 train passengers in Japan

Cell phone user delays 70,000 train passengers in Japan
A simple cell phone call resulted in a 20-minute delay for over 70,000 train commuters in Japan. If you know anything about Japanese trains, you know that a 20-minute delay might as well be an eternity.

The problem occurred when one passenger encouraged two others to disembark in order to complete their respective phone calls. It's a generally accepted courtesy that you not make voice calls while riding the train, but it's not a law. The two phone-using passengers refused to disembark or hang up, resulting in a near-violent encounter.

A concerned passenger pulled the emergency alarm when they arrived at the Ichikawa station, summoning the police. The accuser then allegedly grabbed one of the men by the wrist, prompting the phone-user to accuse them of assault.

JR, the Japan Rail service, reports that 47 services were affected, delaying over 70,000 morning commuters. The accuser and alleged assault victim were taken to the police station for questioning, but both were later released without charges. What do you think? Can't we all just get along (or at least text)?

source: Japan Today via Textually

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17 Comments

17. CAL unregistered

Why do some people feel they don't have to be courteous UNLESS there is a law ? Most people speak louder than normal when they are on the phone. Where does it stop when people can do whatever they want just because they're not braking the law?

13. stephanie unregistered

If someone were talking in a loud voice and using profane language then I might object to their behavior but if you are simply having a phone conversation I don't see what the big deal is. It isn't like they were in a movie theater or in a church doing this. It was a train!!! The whole thing was ridiculous.

16. DaBill unregistered

Stephanie, get a clue, buy one if you have to or borrow one from a friend IF you have a friend that has one to spare that is.

12. Respect unregistered

I think people need to respect other,no matter where you are, I don't agree with delaying the trains when you can find another way to solve the problem. Put both passenger off at the next stop, so they can finish their disruptive conversation or fight. I think there should be a band on cell phone on buses, trains, etc. just like when you are flying you are not allowed to use your phone.

11. m unregistered

I think they should have a device to disable the cell phones as soon as you board a Plane, Bus, and a Train. Problem solved.

15. they do unregistered

japanese phones have a courtesy button! as an american, i say we could learn a lot from the japanese

9. abused unregistered

wow. if you dont understand a culture, way of living, you should all stop judging. in japan people work almost 24/7 and 20 min train delay could mean the job itself for some. however nobody is supposed to bear withyou talking on the phone in the train/ bus/ tram/ subway or what the hell you're supposed to travel by to your office/ work place. People have more important things to think about than your phone convo, so of course they react.. get some respect for others (no matter the country you're from) and then you will also be respected..

8. dandirk unregistered

cellphone use is pretty obscene these days. Sure they can do it, but its idiocy. I go to work at 6am... I see tons of people on their phones driving, walking from the ramp to work etc. WHO are you talking to at 6am????? Your wife? Didn't you just see her 20 minutes ago when you left home? Is it THAT important or are you just "bored". I watch as the first thing a person does when leaving work is jump on their phone? Constantly, like walking is a complete waste of time... you have to do something else or your life just isn't complete. The above are just annoying, I don't really consider it rude or wrong. I just think it says something about cell phone culture in the states. What IS rude is talking on your phone while in line at the store, while paying for your purchase etc. Give the cashier a little respect, they are a person not some ATM/coin op machine. They shouldn't have it sit their and service people ignoring them completely, treating them like they aren't important enough to intrude on the customers lives for 5 min. Personally I ignore people on phones, don't open the door for them, don't ask them which floor they want on the elevator etc. I will even step in front of them in line if they are to engrossed in a phone conversation to notice the line has moved. If they feel their phone conversation is that important, I certainly don't want to take them away from it to help them.

10. Daryle unregistered

Bingo, dandirk. I don't answer my phone while I'm with customers, appreciate the same courtesy. Honestly, I'm happy for every minute I don't have to be on the phone.

5. Junior

Posts: 52; Member since: Jun 09, 2010

That's cool that they don't converse in the train out of respect for others. Personally, I don't even talk on the phone in my own car when I have friends or family in there. Not really out of respect, lol, I just think it's awkward. However, I do think the guy took it a little too far. I'm willing to bet the 70,000 commuters affected would have rathered he didn't pull the emergency switch. That's a little too much and to go as far as grabbing the guys wrist. Come on, guy. You're not my mother nor are you any sort of enforcer on this train. Just let it go and hate the guy all you want. No need to take it to extreme lengths.

4. write4food

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

If you never lived in Japan, then it would be easy to see why someone would call them a "moron". But it is one of the great things about the country, why should other people have to listen to your conversation in a closed off area? Normally when you do see a "moron" yaking on the phone with total disregard for others, it's normally Americans, who got this perverse sense of entitlement to do so. Glad to see people are taking action to keep their culture intact.

6. Joe unregistered

I love how people seem to think their is a difference between a phone conversation and a conversation between 2 people directly in front of you. Either way I am speaking out loud carrying on a conversation, just because you can't hear the other half doesn't mean jack sheeeet. What if I put it on speaker phone so you can hear them talk too? How's that? It's the same thing as talking to someone else in front of me. So deal with it.

3. RainCaster

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

This says a lot about the overall level of politeness in Japan when it is so rare that someone talks on their cell in a train. I am impressed.

2. Rawrzellers

Posts: 224; Member since: Aug 22, 2010

Wow so some moron pulls the emergency alarm instead of just letting it go? I say someone needs to stop being such an uptight twat and just let people do what they are going to do. It's not against the law so he should have no reason to try and enforce a courtesy. The whole point of people doing things of courtesy is that it's up them to make that choice.

7. pingpong

Posts: 145; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

I totally agree with you. Why make such a big deal of it? Not like someone was riding the train naked or something (which in Japan probably isn't even that crazy of an occurance)

14. DaBill unregistered

I work with Japanese people and they are polite in the extreme. Let me translate this into terms more readily understandable for you. This is roughly synonymous with you pulling your battery boyfriend out of your purse and indulging in a little auto-eroticism during your morning commute. To further explain, it would be considered a very bad thing to do in public. "since you're quite obviously NOT part of the solution........"

1. daniel_bargs

Posts: 325; Member since: Nov 27, 2010

that is reality.. japan is really dependent on their railway system... it is the backbone of their lives.... an hour interuption will kill them haha

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