Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cop forgets loaded gun in Tokyo restaurant toilet

A police officer is in hot water after he forgot a loaded handgun in a toilet stall at a Tokyo restaurant just after noon on Nov. 11, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has revealed.
Luckily for the 59-year-old assistant inspector, who is part of the MPD's increased security measures for the coming APEC summit in Yokohama, the weapon was turned in to a nearby police officer by restaurant staff just five minutes later, after the next customer to use the stall noticed the gun and notified the establishment. The revolver was still loaded with its original five bullets, and there was no sign it had been fired in the five minutes it was out of police hands.
According to the MPD, the assistant inspector came to the restaurant with another officer and went to the washroom at around 12:25 p.m., where he left the weapon along with its belt and holster. He apparently did not notice the gun was missing until he returned to his police vehicle, at which point he reported it missing to his superiors.
The officer was loaned to the public safety department on Nov. 5 this year.
"It is most unsatisfactory that such an incident occurred, especially during our heightened security precautions for the APEC summit," said Kenichi Sakurazawa of the MPD's police affairs section. The force is considering disciplinary action.
Nov. 12, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hyogo police officer busted for marijuana possession

KOBE -- A police officer here has been arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession, Hyogo Prefectural Police revealed.
Isao Fukuoka, 24, an officer at the force's Kakogawa Police Station, stands accused of violating the Cannabis Control Law. He has reportedly admitted to the allegations.
Investigators are questioning Fukuoka over how he obtained the drug and whether he used it.
In response to a tip that Fukuoka was using marijuana, investigators questioned him at prefectural police headquarters and found him in possession of about 2 grams of the drug -- worth approximately 12,000 yen -- in his wallet on the evening of Oct. 15, according to police.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Police lied over cause of death of Tottori man

TOTTORI -- A man with ties to a bar hostess arrested on suspicion of fraud was beaten prior to death, contrary to police announcements that he drowned, it has emerged.

Despite determining that foul play was involved, Tottori Prefectural Police told family and press that Hideki Maruyama, 57, had sustained no injuries and had drowned to death.

Maruyama, a self-employed man from Tottori, is among several who died while being known to have had contact with the 35-year-old hostess. He was found lying face-down in the Mani River on Oct. 7.

Senior prefectural police officers have defended their actions. One official told the Mainichi that they withheld the details "because we thought it was likely to be a criminal case."

Another high-ranking official offered: "It is more of a difference of views than falsehood. It's just that we do not release the causes of death."

According to Maruyama's brother, he thought his younger brother had been attacked after he noticed the victim's right eye was injured when he saw the body after an autopsy. He also heard from another person who saw the body that the victim had suffered deep wounds to the back of his hand and that his trousers had been torn.


November 7, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Suspect flees from police station while officer dozes

NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo -- A man being questioned over a car break-in escaped from a police station while a 19-year-old officer dozed, sparking a search involving 170 officers before the suspect turned himself in.

Nishinomiya Police Station officials said the 32-year-old suspect, Takami Yonezawa, a resident of Osaka, escaped from the police station at about 4:30 p.m. on Monday. The station quickly deployed a search team with about 170 officers looking for the 32-year-old, who turned himself in at the same police station on Tuesday afternoon.

Officials said that Yonezawa was arrested on suspicion of stealing a bag from a vehicle in a coin-operated parking lot in Nishinomiya at about 3 a.m. on Monday. A 34-year-old sergeant and a 19-year-old officer began questioning Yonezawa in an investigation room at the police station at about 3:30 p.m. on Monday. However, when the sergeant left the room for about 10 minutes to print out a report, the suspect fled. The younger officer was dozing at the time and reportedly did not notice Yonezawa escaping.

Police said Yonezawa's handcuffs had been removed in the investigation room, but he was tied to a chair with a leash. The door to the room was unlocked, and Yonezawa apparently untied the leash and escaped through the corridor.

"It's extremely unfortunate that he escaped while we were questioning him," police station head Chiaki Yoneda said.

The 19-year-old officer had emerged from a police academy at the end of January, and was assigned to the police station, where he was undergoing criminal investigation training.





April 21, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

National Police Agency looks to 'block' access to child pornography sites

The National Police Agency (NPA) will consider the introduction of new "blocking" measures against online child pornography, which will make certain Web sites inaccessible.

An NPA advisory council against online child pornography, led by Tokyo Metropolitan University Professor Masahide Maeda, has proposed to set up a group to monitor illegal and harmful Internet sites to prevent access.

The NPA will set up a committee consisting of providers and related government ministries and agencies as early as May to consider the introduction of the blocking measures.

In Japan, "filtering" measures are being implemented, such as those that let cell phone carriers shut down access to illegal and harmful sites. Requests to erase such entries have been made to site operators by the Internet Hotline Center, which consists of Internet providers. However, the council pointed out that the spread of online child pornography cannot be prevented only by current measures.


March 31, 2009

Police apologize over 'Taliban' comment to porphyria sufferer

YONAGO, Tottori -- A high school student who wears a veil due to a medical condition was stopped and verbally abused by a police officer, who asked him if he was a member of the Taliban, it's been learned.

Tottori police apologized for the officer's actions at the Tottori Prefectural Assembly on Friday, saying the officer acted and behaved inappropriately.

The 18-year-old student, who attends a high school in the Tottori Prefecture city of Sakaiminato, suffers from porphyria, a condition which causes pain when his skin is exposed to sunlight.

The officer from Yonago Police Station stopped the boy as he was riding double on a bicycle near JR Yonago Station on Oct. 28 last year, accusing him of being "strangely-dressed" and asking him, "Are you a Taliban member?"

The chief of the prefectural police headquarters later admitted that he was stopped because the veil looked suspicious, not because he was riding double.

The head of Yonago Police Station apologized to the student and his family, and the prefectural police headquarters reportedly sent a DVD explaining the condition to all police stations.

The student's 21-year-old brother also suffers from the condition, and met with Tottori Gov. Shinji Hirai, seeking support in obtaining signatures to have the condition designated an intractable disease. The student's brother said the problem had been caused by a lack of understanding about the illness, adding that he wanted a lot of people to learn about it. The governor replied that he would make a request to the central government seeking official designation.


March 7, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Filipino couple faces imminent deportation, separation from Japan-born daughter

WARABI, Saitama -- A Filipino man and his wife face imminent deportation from Japan, and the painful possibility of leaving their 13-year-old daughter behind.

Arlan Calderon, 36, an interior demolition worker living in Warabi, Saitama Prefecture, arrived in Japan illegally in 1993, and has been ordered by the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau to turn himself in to authorities for deportation by Friday. In response, his coworkers have rallied around him and more than 19,000 signatures have been collected on a petition calling on the Ministry of Justice to give him special permission to stay in Japan.

What's more, Arlan's Japanese-born daughter Noriko, a junior high school first grader, must either go with her family, or remain in Japan without her parents.

"Japan is my beloved country. And I want to live together with my whole family," pleads Noriko.

Arlan's long illegal stay in Japan began with an altered passport. On the night before he was to leave for Japan, Arlan went to get his passport from the broker he had hired to secure his visa to the country. The passport he accepted had a different person's last name and a birth date one year too early. He took the passport despite the changes. "I had already paid, so I just got on the plane," Arlan says.

Once he arrived, Arlan learned Japanese in about a year. He did dirty and dangerous jobs, such as asbestos removal, and worked almost entirely at night. Despite such conditions, he strived to succeed, believing that "to achieve recognition in Japan, I had to put in five times the effort."

In one incident, Arlan even rescued the job site supervisor from under several heavy sheets of metal. "Without you here, this company would be in trouble," his firm's president once told him.

Arlan's wife Sarah Calderon, 38, whom he married in Japan, was arrested in July 2006 for staying in Japan illegally. While Sarah was in custody, Arlan knew that he couldn't leave the then 11-year-old Noriko alone at home during the night. So, for the some 10 months Sarah was gone, Arlan took his daughter to work with him, where she slept in the car.

The family was ordered to leave Japan by the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau in November 2006, and Arlan's lawsuit to have the order cancelled was rejected. When Arlan visited the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau on Feb. 13, he was told that either his whole family had to go, or he could leave Noriko behind in Japan. The bureau also demanded that Arlan set a date for his departure. Unable to make such a choice, he will visit the immigration bureau once more on Friday.

What Arlan regrets most in all his trouble with the authorities is that events have led to his daughter suffering.

Hoping to encourage the Calderon family, five of Arlan's coworkers visited his home on Feb. 7.

"Arlan is the old hand at work. He takes good care of the rest of us, and he treats everyone equally. So we all think we should help him," says Koichiro Hosono, 29.

"Absolutely do not give up, because we're all with you," Arlan's workmates told him, trying to keep his spirits up.

According to the Immigration Bureau of the Ministry of Justice, there were around 174,000 people staying in Japan illegally as of January 2008. In 2007, immigration authorities ordered the deportation of 45,502 illegal residents, though 7,388 received special permission to stay in Japan from the minister of justice. Of those special cases, 1,457 people had entered the country illegally.


February 26, 2009