“Pervert Radar” Developers Seek to Protect Exam Takers

“Pervert Radar” Developers Seek to Protect Exam Takers

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Woman stopping pervert on train
Graphs / PIXTA(ピクスタ)
Online abusers are encouraging assault against young women on a critical day in their lives in Japan. A pair of women app developers want to shut them down.

Every year in mid-January, thousands of students travel to test centers all over the country to take the National Center Test for University Admissions ( 大学入試センター試験 ; daigaku nyuushiki senta- shiken; colloquially known as センター試験). After studying and preparing for months, the last thing any student wants to worry about is being sexually harassed. Unfortunately, it’s on days like these when cases of molestation are said to increase.

One company is hoping to put a stop to that. Katayama Remon ( 片山玲文 ) and QCCCA Inc. CEO Unari-san ( 禹ナリ ), the developers of the app “Chikan Radar” ( 痴漢レーダー; Pervert Radar), are rolling out a new feature specifically to help these test-takers. Users can send out an SOS signal with their location, as well as describe the nature of the harassment and the description of the harasser.

The motivation for this project came about from seeing online posts about targeting people to molest on exam entrance days. Some Internet users encourage this behavior on exam days on the theory that victims will be too worried about the performance in these crucial exams to file a police report. While some experts insist that sexual assault report numbers don’t bear out an increase in assault on exam day, the online chatter was too loud for the app’s developers to ignore. (And as we’ve discussed before, women in Japan often don’t report sexual assault because the police don’t take them seriously.)

Radarz【公式】 on Twitter: “通年を通してなくしたい痴漢問題。毎年センター試験付近に痴漢をしやすいという言説がネット掲示板などに出現し、それが受験生を不安にさせています。こうした不安を少しでも払拭し、守る人たちがいるという運動を広げたい!「#withyellow」https://t.co/uPCut80Hvf pic.twitter.com/Gh7VGsW1aO / Twitter”

通年を通してなくしたい痴漢問題。毎年センター試験付近に痴漢をしやすいという言説がネット掲示板などに出現し、それが受験生を不安にさせています。こうした不安を少しでも払拭し、守る人たちがいるという運動を広げたい!「#withyellow」https://t.co/uPCut80Hvf pic.twitter.com/Gh7VGsW1aO

#withyellow: Challenging the Bystander Effect

The Chikan Radar app website[1] is encouraging people to wear yellow and express their solidarity with sexual assault victims on social media with the hashtag #withyellow. Chikan Radar will be publishing its new feature on January 18 and 19, the dates of this year’s test[2].

The goal is to spread awareness about chikan incidents on high-traffic days, as well as encourage people to help someone facing sexual harassment. Users who have the app installed can be notified if someone sends out an SOS nearby them. Katayama is hoping this will force people to act, rather than fall victim to the bystander effect:


“Instead of asking test-takers to protect themselves, I want to communicate that it’s important for third parties to get involved. The purpose of this project is to raise public awareness on preventing molestation and creating a device that helps others during an emergency.”

The company is also hosting an event in Shibuya on January 18th and requesting participants to wear anything and everything yellow. Details can be found on their website[1].

While it’s impossible to prevent any molestation, this is a step in the right direction. Turning a blind eye to someone in a compromised situation shouldn’t be the norm. Students already stressed about exams especially shouldn’t have their sense of equilibrium upset by unwanted sexual harassment. We can only hope that people will take advantage of the SOS feature and not suffer in silence.


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[1] Radar’z. https://www.voiceaction.net/

[2] センター試験日に痴漢が増えるってホント?受験生のSOSがスマホに届く画期的サービスも. https://www.businessinsider.jp/post-205530

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Alyssa Pearl Fusek

Alyssa Pearl Fusek is a freelance writer currently haunting the Pacific Northwest. She holds a B.A. in Japanese Studies from Willamette University. When she's not writing for Unseen Japan, she's either reading about Japan, writing poetry and fiction, or drinking copious amounts of jasmine green tea. Find her on Bluesky at @apearlwrites.

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