Women-only coaches were introduced Monday on notorious JR Saikyo Line trains during the morning rush hour to protect women from molesters, East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) said.

Until now, only one carriage on each train on the Saikyo Line between Saitama Prefecture and central Tokyo had been designated as a women-only car and this was available only late at night.

From Monday, however, the very first carriage on every one of 35 Tokyo area-bound trains operating during the morning rush hour has been set aside exclusively for women.

Only several women were standing on the woman-only car of the train that arrived at Ikebukuro Station at 7:30 a.m. while the other carriages were packed.

Passengers generally welcomed the introduction of women-only coaches during the morning rush hour, while some pointed to the necessity to ease congestion of other vehicles.

“I had been worried only because men are in the same carriages in the morning,” Tomoyo Okamoto, 27, an office worker from Warabi, Saitama Prefecture, said. “I’m relieved now.”

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