JapanEven souvenir knives are not spared.

Japan to ban passengers carrying knives onto trains

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Japan is stepping up its security ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.
Japan is stepping up its security ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020. Photo Credit: SmokedSalmon/GettyImages

Last week, Japan’s Transport Ministry said that passengers will be prohibited from carrying unpacked knives onto trains as part of new security measures, as the Bangkok Post reported. If found in possession of unpacked knives, station staff and conductors will be able to forcibly evict passengers on all types of trains. 

Of all the souvenirs that tourists take home from Japan, knives are surprisingly popular. After all, if it is good enough for Japanese sushi chefs, it is good enough for a homemaker back home, right? That may be the case, but it will soon grow more difficult to carry a purchased knife around, even if it is for keepsake. 

Last week, Japan’s Transport Ministry said that passengers will be prohibited from carrying unpacked knives onto trains as part of new security measures, as the Bangkok Post reported. If found in possession of unpacked knives, station staff and conductors will be able to forcibly evict passengers on all types of trains. 

These measures have been put in place following a spate of stabbing incidents on Japanese bullet trains. In July 2018, for example, a man in his 20s went on a rampage aboard a shinkansen train bound for Osaka from Tokyo, killing a 38-year-old man and injuring two women in their 20s. Going back to 2017, an elderly man was also involved in self-immolation and the murder of a fellow passenger. These incidents revived debates on how to balance passenger convenience with safety. 

"We will implement measures to enhance (security) ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020,” Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii told a press conference.

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