“Stalking” has become a buzzword this year in Japan, as the number of crimes involving stalkers has invariably increased. And because of the intense publicity that stalking crimes have had during this year, companies with various new services and goods have taken advantage of the hype, targeting their products women who naturally fear that they might be attacked by stalkers.
Tokyo Safe Guard, a school that holds self-defense classes – combining martial arts with combat sports – in the Akihabara district has seen an increase in women who are enrolling in their classes. When the school opened seven years ago, most of the students were male, but over time, the ratio of female students has gone up, instructor Maho Yoshino said. “There is an increasing number of women who feel worried about their safety in daily life, as many stalking crimes have been reported lately,” she said.
Retail sellers of tear gas and other products that help people defend themselves from attackers are also experiencing a boom. Online retailer Yahoo! Shopping says that monthly sales of these protective products jumped as much as 40 percent compared with the same months last year. Rakuten, Japan’s biggest online retail website, said that they are also seeing an increase in demand for self-defense goods on its site.
Sohgo Security Services Co., better known as Alsok, has also started to offer devices that will help women defend themselves from stalkers. They are selling a special mobile device that can be used to alert the company when the owner feels she is in danger. The company has security guards standing by at thousands of locations all over Japan who can then track the device’s coordinates and rush to the scene. An Alsok official said that it is offering this service for a monthly fee of 5,250 yen, considerably lower than charges for mainstay home security personnel.
[via Japan Times]