JR East says efforts to shield staff from harassment working

The head of East Japan Railway says new guidelines to protect employees from harassment and abuse by passengers are proving effective.

President and CEO, East Japan Railway Kise Yoichi said, "Many employees have told us they can concentrate on their work with a better sense of security.

JR East in April set policies to combat such acts as verbal abuse and physical intimidation by customers.

The guidelines say employees are not required to respond to passengers showing such behavior and when faced with such acts, the company reserves the right to consult with the police and lawyers.

Kise said railway operators are working together to fight harassment. This includes sharing information about specific incidents.

West Japan Railway in May also set guidelines to combat customer harassment.

The country's two biggest carriers, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, jointly announced similar policies last month.