An anti-groping stamp that lets victims mark people who try to touch them has sold out in less than an hour.
Japanese developer Shachihata Inc released a limited amount of the products that use a special ink yesterday at 1pm.
It is hoped that the chikan (groper) stamps, which cost ¥2,500 (£19), will help to tackle the problem of groping on crowded trains, reports the Japan Times.
An anti-groping stamp which leaves a mark only visible under ultraviolet light, pictured, has sold out in Japan in less than one hour of going on sale
When used the stamp leaves the mark of an open palm which can only be seen under ultraviolet light.
The mark is not visible under sunlight, making it very discreet in public, and is quick to use as there is no lid.
A light which is included with the stamp can be used to reveal the 9-millimeter stamp and the mark can be washed off.
The product is easy to use as it doesn’t have a lid. The mark can be washed off
Buyers of the product also get a strap which can be attached to bags and show to others that they have the stamp on them.
Shachihata Inc only released 500 of the stamps yesterday, but told customers on Twitter they would post on their website if any more were made.
A spokesman for the company told the Japan Times that after the trial sale, the company plans to adapt the product based on feedback.
In a series of posts made on the company’s Twitter account Shachihata said the stamp was just a ‘small step.’
They said: ‘The most ideal would be a world free of sexual crimes. This is a small step. We will continue to think of ways to contribute to society.’
Yayoi Matsunaga, head of the Osaka-based Chikan Yokushi Katsudo Center (Groping Prevention Activities Center), said the move was ‘very meaningful.’
The release of an anti-groping product ‘should have a big impact on society, which could lead to deterrence,’ she added.
Shachihata was inspired to develop the product in May after seeing a tweet from a woman who ‘was advised to jab a groper with a safety pin,’ reports Ashai Shimbun.
It is hoped the product will help tackle the problem of groping on crowded trains. Pictured are people queuing on the platform at JR Station in Nagoya, Japan
Japanese developer Shachihata Inc only released 500 of the stamps which come with a clip and light, pictured, and changes will be made after customers give feedback
Hundreds of people responded with some saying this was too extreme and could lead to criminal action against her but others said it would be a strong deterrent to deal with Japan’s groping problem.
In May this year a video appeared of a pair of Japanese schoolgirls chasing down a suspected groper on a station platform.
Video taken from the platform of Akabane Station in Tokyo showed the man dodging commuters as he made an attempt to flee before another man trips him up.
A 2001 survey found two thirds of female high school students in Tokyo had been groped on trains.