YOKOHAMA (TR) – A member of all-girl idol group Kamen Joshi (Masked Girls) was named as “Molester Eradication Ambassador” by Kanagawa Prefectural Police at a ceremony here on Wednesday to launch an anti-molestation campaign, Sports Hochi reports (June 1).
Anna Tachibana, 24, a member of Kamen Joshi’s Alice No. 10 group, said at the ceremony held at JR Sakuragicho Station, Yokohama, that she would promote the anti-chikan campaign “until the day molestation is no more.”
“Molestation is a dirty, unforgivable crime. Please speak out whenever you feel something is off on trains or at train stations,” Tachibana said. “Let’s eradicate perverts by putting our voices together and acting on the strength of our bonds.”
Tachibana said she was also a victim of molestation. She tried to grab the criminal’s arm, but he managed to slip away.
“I was wearing a one-piece dress, so maybe if I was wearing pants and I was prepared,” Tachibana said as her words trailed off. “If this happens again next time, I want to catch them!”
Nippon News Network (June 1) said the idol star urged the public to help flag perverts as she gave out anti-molester stickers, which she said will leave an “X” mark when pressed against the skin of perpetrators.
Tachibana suffered a bitter experience when a fan sent her death threats in 2014. The suspect was arrested.
“[The death threat was] was terrifying, but it was resolved thanks to the police,” Tachibana said. “Now I’m glad that I can do my part.”
“From the bottom of my heart, I want Japan to be a country where women can feel safe,” Tachibana said.
Tachibana told Nikkan Sports (June 1) that she was wishing for a speedy recovery for Mayu Tomita, an idol who remains hospitalized in critical condition after a male fan stalker stabbed her over 30 times in May.
“As idols, we look forward to interacting with our fans and it’s the same for them, too,” Tachibana said. “It would be a shame if [incidents like the Tomita stabbing] led to less chances to meet with fans.”