I'm always interested in what make the national crime pages of the Japanese news. This is what I learned this week about crime in Japan.
Arrested for Spitting
In Osaka, a man in his 60's was arrested for spitting in front of a pickle shop. In the Autumn of 2019, a customer got into a dispute with the pickle shop owner over a point card. The customer was not satisfied with the result of the dispute and left the shop. After that, the customer returned to the shop several times a month from January to October 2020, cursing and spitting on the sidewalk outside the shop. Finally the shop owner called the police (why he didn't call them when it first happened is unknown). Spitting on the sidewalk is a violation of the Minor Crimes Act in Japan. On October 29th, Osaka Prefectural Police caught the man in the act of spitting. This resulted in further investigation and the man was charged criminally on May 31, 2021 after it was determined the spitter's actions were "highly malicious". Punishment for violating the Minor Crimes Act are up to 30 days in jail or a fine between 1,000 and 10,000 yen.
Arrested for Toilet Paper Theft
On June 3rd, Saitama Prefectural Police Chief Takashi Tanaka of the Fukaya Station was charged for stealing five rolls of toilet paper on May 29th. After drinking on his day off, the police chief used a public toilet near JR Konosu Station and stole the five rolls of TP. Another person saw him and alerted security that a drunk man was stealing toilet paper. On June 3rd, he was given a one month suspension from his duties, but decided to take early retirement that same day. That sounds like a sad way to end a police career.
Man Arrested for Ruining Fruit
A 71 year old man in Koryo, Nara Prefecture was arrested on suspicion of property destruction after he ruined fruit at a supermarket. He was observed poking his finger into kiwi, bananas, and other fruit around 6:30 pm on May 10th, ruining 16 pieces of fruit worth 4,145 yen. He was arrested this past Monday. He admitted to the charge, saying he did it to release his stress and anxiety and had done it about 30 times since April.
Reading about these "serious" crimes makes me happy I live in Japan.