Random Violence and Crime Is On The Rise in Japan!

The following comes from an email that was sent to my g/f from a friend of hers. The email came this morning, so this just happened. Has anyone heard of this or is our "news media" still so wrapped up in Obama and Clinton?


Japan is no longer the safe haven people once believed it was. Today, in Akihabara, a 25yr old male from Shizuoka Prefecture drove his truck at high speed into pedestrians!! Today is Sunday. Akihara has its pedestrian heaven every week on Sunday so that the area is closed to traffic and is always crowded with tourists, families, and people out having a good time. Going to Akihabara's electric town, or going to Maid Cafes, or buying anime paraphernalia. After driving into a crowd of people, sending at least three people sprawling, he then got out of his truck and had with him a 13cm survival knife. He then went on a stabbing spree!! Seven people have died and more than a dozen people were injured. He did not know any of the victims. They were stabbed at random. Although he was caught, his reason for his actions was that "he was tired of living and came to Akihabara specifically to kill people. Anybody would do". Why didn't he just fuckin' kill himself is what I say! Sorry if I seem to be a little disturbed and am using an explicit amount of profanities but my ire has not yet subsided.

I'm usually a reasonable person, but his actions are unforgivable. Not only do I wish him to get the death penalty, I would prefer to have the family of the victims stab him as many times as possible and hope to hell he dies a slow and very painful death. No! I'm not kidding! The fucking asshole deserves nothing less!! This is an area that (name deleted) and I go to occasionally. It is a beautiful and fun place to just walk around. This is just the latest in crimes of random violence that seems to be the top news every day. And this from a country that has strick gun laws and low crime rate. Not only is random violence on the rise, so is juvenile crime. Stabbings seem to be the choice method.

The news has just released the names of those who died. One person was only 21yrs old. Another 31yrs old. Also a police officer who was there to help the three victims who were hit by the truck was one of the first persons to be stabbed. It was also released that he was carrying a second survival knife as well.

It's a sad day when you think you might have to start wearing Kevlar in one of the safest nation's on earth.

I want to repeat - seven innocent people were killed for no reason except that this asshole just wanted to kill people. Totally unforgivable.

A note to friends and family: (name deleted) and I were not in the neighborhood of Akihabara today although we have also enjoyed its Sunday Pedestrian Heaven. We were far from harm and sitting at home when the news flash was shown at 12:30pm this afternoon. Although we went out later to Shimo Kitazawa (also a busy and crowded area on the weekends), just thinking of someone pulling the same stunt here is enough to make you think twice about going out just for fun.

Now this email made me think. Is violence going up because of TV, Movies, Video Games, etc. Does the increase in the consumption of western (American) processed food and fast food (obesity is on a fast rise in Japan) have anything to do with this? Is it a combination of all of these or what?

I think it would help a lot to try and figure out what has caused this in Japan. If we can identify the causes there, then maybe it will help us to identify the causes here.

Cross posted at EENR Blog

Tags: Crime, Japan, vilolence (all tags)





by kevin22262 2008-06-08 02:46PM | 0 recs
In our country

something like this would cause a reaction to loosen gun control laws, I wonder what the reaction will be in Japan, tighter knife restrictions or looser gun laws...

by Student Guy 2008-06-08 04:08PM | 0 recs
Well the last time...

something like this happened (a young guy in Ibaraki ran through the station stabbing everyone in sight a few months ago) the J-media spent a great deal of time discussing violence in video games and the fact the the culprit had a copy of Ninja Gaiden DS in his bag.....

by karagekun 2008-06-08 04:28PM | 0 recs
Thanks for the info nt.

by Student Guy 2008-06-08 05:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for the info nt.

No prob, mang. This is my first day as a posting member of myDD (been lurking for a long time, came over from kos).  But I've been a big fan of your stuff SG, and if I recall correctly we may even be fellow Minnesotans (I went to the U, graduated in 06 and came to Japan).  Keep me posted on DFL stuff and Ill try and answer any inqueries about Japan.

by karagekun 2008-06-08 05:41PM | 0 recs
Japan seems as if it is becoming more like us..

social stratification is increasing, the pension system is breaking down, Japanese are also so polite and rigid that they have trouble talking about things, they hold it in until they go crazy. Its not a good thing.

Of course, before the war, things were terrible too. At least families dont have to sell their daughters into prostitution now in order to survive! (Practice ended by American occupation forces in 1945)

And old people are taken care of, instead of being sent into the mountains with a blanket and a cooking pot, to survive, or not! (Edo period)

In the US, this stuff happens too, but in both places its avoidable.

If both Japan and the US didn't stigmatize poverty and emotional distress the way we do, people wouldn't be so terrified of rough periods in their lives and we would be able to come together as a people to work through them. People would feel as if they could reach out. Unfortunately, they don't. Everything must be bought, even people's attention.

If you can't afford someone to listen to you - well..

Many other countries have much more intelligent attitudes towards things like social estrangement and social inequalities than both Japan and the US.

I don't know the status of medical care in Japan but I do know that here, people with mental conditions like schizophrenia are expensive to treat so they are often turned out on the street until they comit some crime that gets them locked up. This gives them in a sense, an incentive to do something weird and dangerous - so they can get medication for their illness and a roof over their heads..

It also allows the system to execute them.. (its illegal to execute the mentally ill, but leal to execute people who are in treatment - at least thats the way I understood it from a Law and Order show.. please correct me if I'm wrong..

What a mess.

We should also look very closely at older people and driving.. Very old people should not be allowed to drive!

They often end up plowing into pedestrians because of some senior moment.

by architek 2008-06-09 06:59AM | 0 recs
First person shooter video games

are often very destructive influences..

If I had kids, I would not want them to play them...

by architek 2008-06-09 07:02AM | 0 recs
By the way

this email was not one of those fake forwarded on emails. This is his personal account of what happened and what he has seen and heard.

by kevin22262 2008-06-08 02:55PM | 0 recs
Yeah, it's true...

I've been living in Japan now for about 3 years, and what you say is absolutely true.  Especially in the last 6 months or so there's been a rather disturbing rise in incidents like this.  About a month or two ago there was a incident very similar to this in Ibaraki Prefecture where a 21 year old guy ran through the station stabbing everyone in sight.  Soon after, a man in his 20's was arrested after randomly pushing someone in front of an oncoming train in Okayama.

That said, these types of violent crime are still extremely rare esp. compared to the US.  It just seems that when they do happen, that they have a tendency to be senseless and bizarre.  

by karagekun 2008-06-08 04:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah, it's true...


by kevin22262 2008-06-08 04:27PM | 0 recs
I don't think so...

not denying that there is a rather vibrant (but well hidden) drug scene here....but it seems more to be a trend among young, 20ish year old males that are referred to as NEETs (Not in Employment Education or Training).  So basically dudes that didnt go to college, still live at home and feel rejected by the unforgiving japanese society. And given the almost complete ignorance here to the extistence of psychiatric or mental health conditions...in my opinion, these outcast types are just going postal (not unlike the school shooting types in the us).

by karagekun 2008-06-08 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't think so...


So what do you think about my friends reaction in the email I posted?

by kevin22262 2008-06-08 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't think so...

Well, I think its a completely valid reaction, and from what I can tell quite indistinguishable from the reaction of the rest of Japanese society as a whole.  

The Japanese take quite a lot of pride in their country and the fact that it is the "safest on earth," and I have no doubt this guy will be dealt with harshly.

I have come to believe that there is a lot of forced harmony just for appearences sake in Japanese society. One of the most famous Japanese proverbs is "the nail that sticks out, gets hammered down".  But, under this veneer of harmony and happiness there's much more going on under the surface (if you or someone you know can speak japanese just check out the forums at 2ch.net)

This is an extremely repressed society by western standards.  I have been told by many a Japanese that there are hardly any homosexuals in Japan.  Likewise, there are very few if any psychologist/psychaitrists....because there can't be any gay or crazy people in the "most advanced/cleanest/safest country" on Earth!

by karagekun 2008-06-08 04:55PM | 0 recs
Employment opportunities for young people

are limited, unless they have advanced skills in some area.. So, they try to draw their adolescence out as long as possible.. many people live with their parets well into their twenties or thirties.. they can't get married or rent an apartment without a good job, so they are in limbo indefinitely. If their parents die or get sick, they are often cast completely adrift.

Japanses companies used to manufacture, etc. in Japan but now those jobs are in China. Even engineers dont have that lifetime job security guarantee anymore.. (although it is still far better than in the US)

by architek 2008-06-09 07:06AM | 0 recs
Of course, however...

no place is perfect.  On the whole, I fucking love Japan!  Its a great place to live and has great people, food, and culture!

by karagekun 2008-06-08 04:57PM | 0 recs


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