“These people have no love or respect for the Shibuya neighborhood.”

In recent years, partiers have been leaving a huge amount of garbage behind on the streets of Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood following Halloween celebrations on the weekend before October 31. This year, though, things were even worse.

The rowdy crowds progressed from littering to outright vandalism and even assault, with startling and depressing videos showing partiers tipping over a truck and breaking a restaurant’s meal ticket vending machine. Then there were the multiple arrests for offences including groping and voyeurism.

▼ Shibuya Halloween party on October 28

And the worst part of all? It’s not even Halloween yet. While the pre-October 31 weekend sees the biggest crowds in Shibuya, Halloween night itself is another reason to come out and party, which has the neighborhood bracing for more trouble on Wednesday. So on Monday, Shibuya Ward Mayor Ken Hasabe issue a statement through the ward’s official website begging people to mind their manners.

The statement reads:

“Last weekend, there were many reports of unruly behavior in the area around Shibuya Station during the Halloween celebrations.

There were clear instances of criminal activity, with multiple arrests and damage reports, which are extremely upsetting. As a result, Shibuya Ward will now be strengthening its coordination efforts with law enforcement.

In addition, there have been many reports of people who, while not committing crimes, have been behaving rudely. These people have no love or respect for the Shibuya neighborhood.

There are people who want to enjoy Halloween in a wholesome way, without causing disturbances for the community. There are also many people with a genuine love for Shibuya who go to the trouble of coming to visit us. To see their sentiments trampled on by the recent string of inconsiderate behavior is utterly unforgivable.

Ensuring a community atmosphere that is safe and peaceful, while also energetic, is a critical responsibility that I must meet as the head of the local government. It saddens me that there is no quick and easy cure for this problem, but I am firmly committed to finding a way to resolve this issue.

I once again implore anyone coming to Shibuya on October 31 to celebrate Halloween to do so in a moral, polite, law-abiding, and wholesome manner.”

One of the great paradoxes of Japanese society is that while many would describe it as “rule-abiding,” there often aren’t that many formal regulations. Public consumption of alcohol is widely allowed, curfews are relatively unheard of, anti-loitering regulations are rarely enforced, and all because traditionally it’s been enough to rely on people’s common sense and basic courtesy in self-regulating their rowdiness so as not to cause trouble or discomfort for others. That doesn’t look like it’s working for the Shibuya Halloween parties, though, and while Hasabe hasn’t disclosed specifically how law enforcement will be taking a stricter approach to policing Shibuya on Halloween night, it sounds like he’s lost faith in partiers minding their manners out of the goodness of their hearts.

Source: Shibuya Ward via Hachima Kiko