TOKYO (TR) – JR East warned one of its train drivers last month for taking off his shoes and sitting cross-legged on the job because his foot was “itchy,” a company official told the Sankei Shimbun on Wednesday (September 14).
East Japan Railway Company, one of Japan’s major railway operators known as JR East, verbally warned the 32-year-old driver not to sit cross-legged and operate trains after a passenger complained he was doing so multiple times on an Uchibo Line/Keiyo Line train bound for Tokyo from Chiba Prefecture at around 6:40 a.m. on August 17.
“Because the arch of my foot had been bitten by a mosquito it felt itchy,” the driver is quoted, according to Nippon News Network (Sept. 14).
A JR East official said the driver was “able to quickly put his feet down at any time, so there weren’t any issues in terms of safety.”
“But it was inappropriate for making passengers feel unsafe,” the JR East official said.
JR East trains are operated with hand controls, including those to apply emergency brakes. Feet are typically only needed to push a foot pedal that sounds the train horn, a company official told the Asahi Shimbun.