©New York Times
How not to be seen.

Although crime rates are actually decreasing in Japan, an experimental fashion designer has found a new way to shield herself from any potential attackers - by dressing like a vending machine to blend into the Tokyo surroundings.

Aya Tsukioka invented the strange design in the hope that it will ease Japan's increasing fear of crime.

An acute anxiety about safety is emerging amongst the Japanese - which has been fanned by sensationalist news media. But instead of conventional crime deterrents like pepper spray or tazers, they are devising a new array of novel solutions. Some are high tech, others are odd, but all of them reflect a uniquely Japanese sensibility.

"It is just easier for Japanese to hide," Ms. Tsukioka said of her vending machine outfit. "Making a scene would be too embarrassing." She said her disguise was inspired by a trick used by the ancient ninja, who cloaked themselves in black blankets at night.