crime

Anime apparently dictating reality as police round up gang members, make them form sports team

Over the last decade, anime has seen a steady rise in the number of slice-of-life series with mundane settings. Still, even when set in the real world, anime tends to operate under very different rules from reality.

Or does it? In a story that sounds like something out of a manga for teen boys (or girls, provided you draw everyone with wavy, pastel-colored hair), police in Tokyo are forcing members from two rival, frequently rumbling gangs to get along by forming a sports team together.

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Man arrested for breaking into woman’s hotel room, spanking her with shoehorn

Here’s one you don’t hear every day – a man was arrested in Daisen City, Akita Prefecture last weekend on charges of  entering the hotel room of a female acquaintance through the window before proceeding to strike her about the buttocks with a shoehorn that he found in the room. But just what could prompt such behavior?

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Coral in Japan’s Ogasawara Islands being threatened by Chinese poaching ships

While the vast majority of Japan’s population is crammed onto its four largest islands, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, and Hokkaido, the country’s territories extend much farther out to sea. For example, if you head about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) south of downtown Tokyo, you’ll come to the Ogasawara Islands, one of Japan’s most remote settlements.

We’ve talked about the Ogasawaras before, and how their beautiful ocean scenery has been helping to attract tourists (and perhaps even a new chef), to the archipelago. Recently, though, the islands have been seeing an increasing number of extremely unwelcome visitors, in the form of ships coming from China to poach coral.

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Peeping Tom landlord busted for spying on female tenants in China using “magic mirror”

A man was arrested in Beijing last week on charges of voyeurism and taking illicit images of several women. The man, a landlord of an all-female residence, went to extreme measures to spy on his victims in their rooms, including installing hidden cameras and, unbelievably, a 2 metre tall one-way mirror of the type used during police interrogations. Which, ironically is what he had to face up to, once he was busted by one of the tenants who happened to spot snaps of her roommate on his phone.

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Japanese university lecturer arrested for assualting…an ambulance

The sound of an ambulance siren could never be considered something pleasant, but it’s not really something the average person hates. It’s annoying, but then again it’s meant to be annoying–and it’s usually part of rescuing someone in need. We may not like it, but we certainly do appreciate it.

So, while most people may cringe and cover their ears when an ambulance goes screeching by, we doubt anyone would actually get mad and try to assault one!

Unless you happen to be this university lecturer…

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Akita judge rules man’s drunk driving somewhat justifiable, gives him his job back

Some people see things in black and white while others tend to judge each incident as a unique situation with its own parameters of right and wrong.

Take drunk driving for example. There are many who would say that under any circumstance getting behind the wheel of an automobile with significant levels of alcohol in the system deserves punishment. And then there are some that say there may be exceptions to the rule.

Luckily for some government workers who got picked up by police for drunk driving, more than a few district court judges appear to belong to the latter camp.

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In Luffy we trust – Man arrested for selling dollar bills with unlicensed One Piece stickers

Every couple of months, a situation will crop up where the legal rights holder to an anime comes in and quashes some sort of unauthorized derivative work. Fans don’t always let the letter of the law stand in the way of how they express their passion for their favorite shows, though, and defenders often assert that no harm is actually being done, so long as the rights holder wasn’t already producing the same product. There’s no need to shut down an unlicensed T-shirt operation, the argument goes, if the company isn’t actively producing shirts itself.

Maybe that was going through the head of one Nagoya resident when he noticed a glaring oversight in the marketing machine behind hit anime One Piece, and decided to start selling one-dollar bills with copied stickers of the series’ band of pirates.

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When a goddess speaks, you listen…unless she’s telling you to kill someone

Criminals have to come up with some pretty extravagant excuses for why they commit crimes. Sometimes, their reasons are really out there. Take the Oscar Pistorius case, for example. He acknowledges that he fired the shots that killed his girlfriend, but claims that he thought he was protecting her from a possible intruder. It’s then up to the courts to determine whether or not the defense’s theory holds any water. But what do you do when the working theory is, “Amaterasu, the sun goddess, told me to kill my mother.”

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Ken Akamatsu bemoans Britain’s child pornography sentencing

“The days of quietly drawing whatever you like are already over”

Robul Hoque, a 39-year-old resident of Middlesbrough, England, was recently given a suspended sentence of nine months in prison for possession of child pornography when investigators found “manga” drawings of schoolgirls on his computer. The sentence is suspended so long as Hoque follows the court’s guidelines for two years, but manga artist Ken Akamatsu (Love Hina, Negima! Magister Negi Magi) disapproved of the conviction and reacted to the news on Twitter.

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U.K. man sentenced for prohibited images of ‘manga’ children

The Teesside Crown Court of Middlesbrough, England convicted 39-year-old Robul Hoque of 10 counts of possessing prohibited images of children. However, the children depicted in the images were all drawings. Hoque is believed to be the first man in the country brought to court solely over manga and anime images. The court sentenced him to nine months in prison, but the sentence will be suspended if Hoque maintains good behavior and follows the court’s requirements for two years.

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Three Chinese men arrested in Japan for buying too many diapers

In recent years a scourge has gripped Japan, and it is people buying too many disposable diapers at once – the Merries brand in particular. For this heinous behavior, three Chinese men were arrested by the Hyogo Prefectural Police on 15 October and are expected to be deported back to their country.

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Biker assaulted by iron bar-wielding Nara innkeeper, not the other way around

The are many pleasant sights and sounds to be found around Japan. One of the most famous is the exaggerated revving of groups of motorbike engines at all hours of the day and night. They’re often referred to as bosozoku which although often translated as “biker gangs” can be misleading as that would imply the use of at least somewhat cool bikes. Bosozoku kids, contrastingly, often ride scooters customized for peak annoyance of all those around, and some of them don’t actually ride their bikes at all.

Despite efforts by law enforcement, this trend continues all over Japan. So it comes as no surprise when people take the law into their own hands. In the case of one Nara resident, “the law” came in the form of an iron bar which he used to break the knee of an allegedly noisy biker.

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Police officer arrested for assaulting 2 train station attendants in Saitama

Saitama prefectural police said Monday that a 54-year-old police officer has been arrested after he assaulted two train station attendants.

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Woman on train groped by two men at once, suspects apparently unrelated

Japan is known for many great things from its delicious food and unique culture to its abundance of anime, manga, and video games. Unfortunately, it has also earned a reputation for being packed with skeevy perverts, which is actually an extremely unfair characterization–the average Japanese citizen is no more perverted than the citizens of any other country. But that doesn’t change the fact that many women still have to put up with both discrimination and sexual harassment, as a story that broke on Friday demonstrates.

A young woman in her twenties was allegedly groped while riding the train. That on its own would be bad enough, but this woman was allegedly molested by two different men at the exact same time.

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Osaka Station showered with photos of a teenage boy, two train otaku questioned by police

On the evening of 19 September, JR Osaka Station became the scene of unseasonable weirdness as dozens of photographs of an unknown teenage boy seen sitting on the train fell from the sky like giant snowflakes of randomness.

Upon investigating the incident, Osaka Prefectural Police found this to have been an act of revenge by what is fast becoming Japan’s most oddball sub-culture: train otaku.

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Own a pair of secret camera shoes? The police should be by shortly for a visit

For most of this summer, Kyoto Prefectural Police have been carrying out an aggressive campaign of going to people’s homes and asking them to voluntarily give up their shoes with built-in hidden cameras. These house calls have resulted in hundreds of pairs of these “tosatsu shoes” (voyeur shoes) winding up in police custody.

This plan to deter the use of tosatsu shoes to illegally film in private areas such as up women’s skirts had proved so successful that police in Kyoto are spreading the word to other departments and will continue the same tactics in the future.

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iPhone 6 launch keeps Chinese customs officials busy as they seize hundreds of smuggled units

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus went on sale last Friday, and we were pretty psyched. In fact, our very own Mr. Sato was so excited about the launch that he was, once again, first in line to get his hands on the latest version of Apple’s smartphone, and we’re sure others in the U.S. and Hong Kong felt just as happy with their new purchases.

Not everyone in the world got to be in on the fun, though. Apple is staggering the launch of the iPhone 6, and while Japan was lucky enough to be in the first batch of territories where it has become available, mainland China wasn’t. This has led to some extra cash for iPhone resellers, as well as customs officials who spent the weekend steadily confiscating smuggled iPhones.

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19-year-old youth stabs parents; mother dies

Police in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, on Tuesday arrested a 19-year-old youth after he stabbed his parents at their home. The suspect’s mother later died of her wounds.

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Japanese high schooler fails driver’s license test 20 times, tries to hire someone else to take it for him

How far would you go to pass a test? At all points in our life, tests determine whether we succeed or fail with little remorse for how much grueling effort actually went into studying for it. One test in Japan is extremely taxing and foreigners and Japanese alike shudder at even the thought of taking it. We are talking about the Japanese driver’s license test and one first year high school student from Fukuoka who had failed the written portion 20 times, finally resorted to cheating in order to try and pass it.

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Chinese “rape prevention” list goes from zero to Dexter in five seconds flat, endorsed by government

Rape is and has always been among the most heinous acts humans are capable of, and we should take any and all precautions when it comes to preventing it. This fact has been highlighted in China recently due to some high-profile incidents in the media.

In reaction to this, a graduate from Wuhan University who works at the city’s Public Security Bureau created a list of nine ways to avoid being raped. It’s a little hard to believe that they’re coming from someone within the Bureau as a few of them seem to encourage committing major felonies themselves. Nevertheless, this list earned the honor of getting posted on the nation’s Ministry of Public Security’s Weibo account as well.

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