Japan’s government and railway operators are stepping up security on trains ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
The step was prompted by a deadly hatchet attack on a Shinkansen bullet train exactly a year ago. A man killed a man and wounded two women on a moving train.
Railway companies have increased the number of patrols and put protective shields, stab-proof vests, and pepper spray on board.
In April, knives, kitchen knives, scissors, and other bladed tools that are not properly wrapped were banned on all trains. Passengers who violate the regulations could be forced to get off the train.
The transport ministry is now considering ways to check passengers’ belongings at train stations. It has tested a body scanner that detects electromagnetic waves from a person’s body and belongings, and reveals images. The system is designed to detect explosives and other items hidden beneath clothing without blocking the flow of passengers.