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Can Japan prevent crimes from happening on trains?

Trains are a part of everyday life in Japan, accessed by a multitude of people in a rush to get to wherever they need to go. While largely a safe and convenient mode of transportation, crimes committed on trains have recently been making headlines, raising concerns about how to prevent such incidents from occurring.

On Sunday, a 37-year-old man attacked three people with a knife on a train in Osaka prefecture bound for Kansai Airport. A train conductor in his 20s was left with cuts to the face and two passengers had minor injuries.

Other incidents still in recent memory include the 2021 Odakyu Line train attack and its copycat ‘Joker’ attack that occurred on the Keio Line just two months later, as well as the 2018 knife attack inside a shinkansen and the 2015 self-immolation of a 71-year-old man — also on a bullet train — which left a bystander dead.