Train services in the Tokyo area were suspended and 50,000 Japanese police guarded railway tracks on Wednesday (25 April) after thousands of commuters, angry at a rail union go-slow, ran riot at 33 stations on Tuesday night (24 April).
GV PAN Passengers at Shinjuku Station.
SV Riot police running into station.
GV Akabans Stations flames in office. (2 shots)
Ueno Station GV passengers. (2 shots)
CU Smashed map of rail lines.
SCU TD Smashed window in station.
SV PAN Wrecked machines.
CU PAN Wrecked furniture.
SCU Tickets scattered over floor.
GV PAN Station to smashed windows on train.
LV Wrecked train.
Initials JK/VS 0.57 JK/VS 1.15
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Background: Train services in the Tokyo area were suspended and 50,000 Japanese police guarded railway tracks on Wednesday (25 April) after thousands of commuters, angry at a rail union go-slow, ran riot at 33 stations on Tuesday night (24 April).
The trouble began at Akabane Station, Tokyo's northern rail terminal, when some of the 3,000 passengers stranded there by the go-slow started walking along the railway lines, bringing all services on the route to a halt. Other passengers stormed ticket offices, grabbing money and scattering tickets. The windows of stationary trains were smashed and rail staff beaten up.
About 18,000 riot police were mobilised to deal with the trouble and, when order was restored, 123 people were under arrest and more than 30 in hospital. The railway unions called off their go-slow action, but decided to go ahead with plans for a national transport strike on Friday and Saturday (27 & 28 April).
The Japanese national railway authorities estimated that Wednesday night's commuter riots had left 67 trains stranded another 90 damaged, and had affected 6,500,000 travellers, scores of whom had to spend the night on station platform.
SYNOPSIS: Japanese commuters, who made world headlines in March when they rioted over industrial action by railway workers, have done it again. This time, 18,000 riot police were needed to restore order.
The trouble began on Tuesday night at Akabane Station, Tokyo's northern rail terminal. About 3,000 commuters, stranded by a union go-slow, lost their patience. The result was smashed railway offices. The trouble spread until some 20,000 travellers at 33 railway stations were involved in the rioting. The commuters smashed windows and beat up station staff. Others began walking home along the railway tracks -- bringing all services on the network to a halt.
The angry commuters wrecked ticket machines and stole the money in them. Railway staff were attacked. More than 30 people were injured and 123 arrested before order was restored. The rioting led to the railway unions calling off their go-slow action, but they are still taking part in a national transport strike on Friday and Saturday.
Japanese railway authorities said Tuesday's rioting had left 67 trains stranded and another 90 damaged. All rail services in the Tokyo area were suspended on Wednesday and 50,000 police were guarding tracks and stations. The railway unions had started their go-slow action in support of demands for higher wages and job guarantees.