“Heartless” Tokyo Masses Block Ambulance


A video of Tokyo pedestrians ignoring an ambulance even as it begs them to make way and stop using a scramble crossing for long enough to let it pass has lately been causing much outrage online, with many leaping to condemn the heartless folk of the capital.

The video:

Online there is outrage and much condemnation of Tokyo residents – notwithstanding the fact that many of the commenters are likely to be from Tokyo – as well as the sort of defensiveness which might be expected of a people who wait at crossing lights for 5 minutes in front of an empty road:

“This is horrible!”

“What is wrong with these people?”

“I am shocked at how ill-behaved these people are.”

“I had no idea Tokyo was this bad a place.”

“This is worse than I imagined. Mass psychology is scary stuff!”

“I can’t believe this is Japan.”

“These are not Japanese, they are Tokyoites.”

“What scum!”

“And I thought Chiba was bad – this is atrocious.”

“Pedestrians are nasty. They used to scatter when the ambulances shouted at them…”

“Well, if you just stopped, the people behind you would just go nuts.”

“It looks like the Shibuya scramble crossing. At a place like that, stopping would be the harder option.”

“This couldn’t really be helped, due to the design of the crossing. It wouldn’t happen on other types of crossing.”

“Stop making excuses about being pushed along or there being too many people to stop. Don’t you have any common sense? Didn’t your parents and teachers teach you anything?”

“Stopping a big crossing like that might actually be the more dangerous option.”

“I can’t believe these people are even human. They have lost their souls!”

“Tokyo inhabitants are rotten to the core. I’m ashamed to be from the same country as them. Don’t they know about ambulances? Did they study so hard they forgot to learn any morals?”

“I can imagine there being one or two idiots, but what the hell is with this?”

“I cannot believe it, but there it is in the video. And to think the world praised Japan for its morals in response to the quake.”

“What would you expect from Shibuya!”

“Getting home is so much more important than some stranger’s life.”

“Tokyo people think they’re so cool, so well mannered, but on the inside they are scum!”

“It makes me sick to think these people are the same species as me!”

“This is the bad side of the Japanese character. Behave according to group psychology, everything is someone else’s problem. Someone collapses on the train, or gets sexually harassed – someone else will deal with it.”

“Hopefully an earthquake under Tokyo will wipe out half of Shibuya!”

“Ishihara was saying the earthquake was divine punishment for the greedy and corrupt Japanese. Seeing this, Tokyo deserves it!”

“What do you expect, Tokyo attracts all the country bumpkins!”

“All the people bashing Tokyo and Shibuya residents – less than a quarter of the population there actually comes from Tokyo.”

“Japan has no morals. I can’t believe this would happen in Europe or America.”

“Imagine what you’d feel if a member of your family was a patient on that ambulance. This is no different to those Chinese people pretending not to see someone in need.”

“It’s because Tokyo has lots of foreigners. They probably aren’t Japanese.”

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    Comment by Anonymous
    11:45 20/03/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Wow, zero blame on Koreans, and only one against foreigners in general.

    That's a new record. That's gotta count for something.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:34 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    All those folks are no different than those folks who in china who neglected that little chinese girl when she got ran over.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:40 22/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just goes to show assholes are everywhere not just in China

    Avatar of nope
    Comment by nope
    22:40 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    watching the above video clip and just taking a brief look it doesn't look like there's many "foreigners" in the crowd so I'm guessing it's still blind disdain for any non-japenese types.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:32 21/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sometimes, have a bull bar covered with rusty nail, fixed on your car is a good thing.

    In France, people are more respectful of firemen (or SAMU's ambulance), even in Paris, capital of individualism.

    Avatar of Cheese-kun
    Comment by Cheese-kun
    10:40 20/03/2012 # ! Quality (+0.9)

    In america this is illegal. Your putting someones life at stake.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:44 20/03/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I was gonna say that. You never see any of that in Canada.

    Avatar of Sunhawk
    Comment by Sunhawk
    13:14 20/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Infact I'v seen a traffic jammed 2 lane bridge split into 3 lanes just for the ambulance in Canada.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:35 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    The word hitoGOMI (crowd, but gomi can double as meaning human trash) applies so perfectly to this crowd.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:18 21/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    That's standard practice here in Eastern Europe as well. You see ambulance on the sirens, you GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY, even if that means driving into the pavement or even roadworks.

    Of course, Ambulance with sirens on still has right of way over pedestrians on the crossing and generally pedestrians aren't dumb enough to force it otherwise.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:55 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    This happen a lot in China.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:45 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)


    Comment by Anonymous
    19:10 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Japan's full of overpasses..at least in their highways if not within city limits

    The important question is whether if the patient inside the ambulance is safe or treated.

    Avatar of Diemeow23
    Comment by Diemeow23
    14:24 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The F**k! I re watched the vid and the people looked it was just normal, I mean sure not to make such a ruckus when an ambulance goes by put these people looked liked there wasn't even anything going on

    On a side note I hope the ambulance arrived just in time though >.>

    Avatar of Assassinister
    Comment by Assassinister
    16:58 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Just build a overpass.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:09 21/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    are there enough people in canada to crowd a crossing?

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    07:36 26/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Only when hockey teams win or lose. then we come out of the woodwork.

    Avatar of DragooNick
    Comment by DragooNick
    00:58 21/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Also illegal in Germany :/ This really is shocking, they walk by as if there were just 2 normal cars standing ... outch this hurts, I hope nothing big did happen!

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:35 21/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Agreed. Here in germany we go like "HOLY SHIT AMBULANCE!! MOVE LOS LOS BEWEGUNG!" when we see an ambulance coming our way.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:45 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    In Quebec, we suffer from potholes...

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:26 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous

    in africa children-makers bet who can make the child with the longest longevity. i think its 5 years without aid from the parents?

    Comment by Anonymous

    Stupid Japs

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:44 20/03/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    The difference usually the ambulances only switch their alarm on when its urgent. In Japan they do it for all kinds of reason. For instance when someone has just a cold or headache they sometimes decide its cheaper and more convenient to call an ambulance instead of a cab or going by the subway. And then they switch their alarm on. Which they also do when they want to drive to their station in time without anyone inside at all. So of course people don't give a damn anymore after a while when 90% of all ambulances are empty or carrying a cheap bum. I live near a hospital in Tokyo and I've seen them plenty of times myself driving with their alarm on then just switch it off and the driver comes out and just walks casually away.

    Avatar of Nindotaku
    Comment by Nindotaku
    16:18 20/03/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    So this is essentially a 'boy who cried wolf' type of scenario for society where we are so numbed by false alarms that we tend to ignore them. here in singapore, whenever we here a fire alarm. we usually just ignore it or wait for it to stop since it is nearly always a false alarm/drill too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:51 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Did you mean those fire drills they always have? or the pranks by students in school?

    I get what you're trying to say since I myself is already numb from these fire alarm but I still think that scenarios like this would most likely not occur here in Singapore. That is what I believe.

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    07:40 26/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    And the cops spend their time chasing down men who walked beside a girl rather than the pranksters.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:35 21/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    When there's a fire alarm, I run when I see fire.

    Avatar of Satonaka
    Comment by Satonaka
    15:16 20/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I see a lot of this as well, police especially taking advantage of their cheap ass sirens just to cross a red light so they wouldn't have to wait, only for them to turn it off as soon as they cross.

    And before anyone tells me "well they turn it on and off afterward since they're trying to get to an important call somewhere, but not important enough to keep the lights/siren blaring full-time and/or they're trying to reach an area without attracting too much attention if necessary."

    Yeah? Watch this and tell me if you would normally be able to tell the difference:


    Lights weren't on in this case, but you know, abuse of power and all that, which is what we're talking about here.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:14 20/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    well, I've seen ambulance did that, but if i hear the siren, I'll still give the way for the ambulance. i don't want to gamble with people's life.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:02 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    As you said, lights weren't on so it has fuck all to do with this. Your demonstration video shows ‘just’ an ordinary accident.
    And since we aren't able to tell if the sirens are switched on with good cause, we also can't say ‘well most of the time there's no one in there, or just someone with a cold’ either. In other words, it's just a lame excuse for putting your own 5 minutes before someone else's life.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    17:57 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    There are several reasons that they may not use their alarms. I don't know if it's just the way it is in Japan to use the alarms during any time there's a passenger in medical need of any type, sort of like a cab light going on when there's a passenger, but I know that there are several instances where police and ambulances aren't totally in need of blasting sirens, noise laws included, at all times. Getting through an intersection that way is a bit strange, but if they are in fact trying to get somewhere to back up another officer, they can do that without causing havoc in traffic.

    This is speculation of course in the described instances, considering there are also plenty of corrupt police officers, just like any other profession containing its share of incompetents and assholes.

    Avatar of Satonaka
    Comment by Satonaka
    16:00 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    O_o... noise laws?

    "There's too many laws to learn man!"

    "Your Honor this is bullshit!"

    lol, MyWay Juggernaut Bitch 3 parody XD
    VERY First thing that came to mind :P

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:33 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    fire engines do that too but thats cause noise laws prevent them using the audio part of their sirens in populated areas without an obvious need, such as crossing an intersection

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:54 21/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    >>"So of course people don't give a damn anymore after a while when 90% of all ambulances are empty or carrying a cheap bum"

    Cheap Bum? Are you talking about people who call out an ambulance for a cold, or implying worthlessness of a homeless person?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:54 21/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    So what you're saying is "dont get out the way it's just a false alarm"

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:18 21/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @14:44 20/03 anon

    I'm truly surprised. I thought this kind of thing only happened in the shitty 3rd world country where I live. Many people here learned to ignore ambulances for this same reason (me included).

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:24 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    And how can you be sure there's no one inside this time?

    Would you keep working if the fire alarm goes off at your workplace, even if you know it's probably a false alarm? Or would you still leave the building just to be save?
    This is the same thing, if it's your life or someone else's shouldn't matter.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:55 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The thing is, when the fire alarm goes off, 100% of the people (well at least at my country) would just ignore it, like someone mentioned above.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:46 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Specifically in the US the procedure when you see an emergency vehicle coming with their flashers/sirens on, you are to get off the street or to the side of the road.

    However we have the same sort of mentally deficient people in the streets both on foot and driving vehicles. Sadly the laws involved are never enforced to the level they should be, a few token cases in a ten year span, but nothing at the level that'd teach the morons to get out of the way.

    I wouldn't doubt if most of the people that do such stupid things complain about response times of emergency services.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:24 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    In every europe country also .

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:06 21/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    In Northern Europe, if there's sirens then there's an emergency happening.

    In some Southern Europe countries however, police, etc, often use their sirens for personal convenience. Guess who has more respect for emergency vehicles?

    Same goes for Tokyo, they use them all the time here...

    Avatar of Mauvais
    Comment by Mauvais
    17:46 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Darn right. In America, it's "MOVE, bitch. Get out the WAY," and the people do it.

    As for comments like, “It’s because Tokyo has lots of foreigners. They probably aren’t Japanese,” these 2channers are just feigning ignorance. I've been in Japan for 8 months, and drivers are generally hesitant to move for an ambulance. The ambulance has to carefully inch into an intersection for fear that some jackass will come blazing through.

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    07:53 26/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's 2channers, they're not Japanese.

    Avatar of Erranty
    Comment by Erranty
    21:11 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's probably because our Ambulances could plow right through a Hummer if they felt like it. Nobody fucks with that!

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:25 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes, it's illegal here, and I've seen it happen, but I've never seen anyone arrested for it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:49 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    its illegal, but the most they can do it fine u a few hundred dollars. a few being 300+

    Avatar of Ihmhi
    Comment by Ihmhi
    14:59 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    In America, the amber lamps would have started pushing into the crowd a little aggressively.

    Sometimes I think emergency vehicles need cow catchers or water cannons or, something. (Well, disregarding fire trucks, that is.)

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:38 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Looks like it's time for the Diet to pass some new legislation.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:28 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Motion to install water cannons w/coaxial beanbag guns on all ambulances!

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:09 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    or a front bumper with spikes and sickle blades on the wheel

    Comment by Anonymous

    How dare you make a comment that makes America look good and Japan look evil...

    Don't you know this is Sankaku where Japanophiles think Japan is PERFECT and can do no wrong.

    Whereas America is horrible and never does anything right...

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:57 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nice trolling.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:23 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    he's not trolling, he truly is dumb.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:12 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    There's a rumor that anonymous is a CIA disinformation campaign.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:27 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    this guy's actually an ideal japanese

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:07 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's saracasm, not as easily detectable when you're reading it as opposed to hearing it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:47 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fucking retards!!!

    Apparently, Sarcasm never works when you offend Japan.

    Good lord....Japanophiles rule this site with an iron fist!

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:22 22/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @16:12 Close but not quite. It's a recruitment tool.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:51 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I am from the Trolls United Front, and I can assure you that guy isn't with us. I think he's from the United Front of Trolls.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:23 20/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    i bet 5 bucks he actually is a devouted troll of the trolls united front also know as anonymous online.

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