Posted by debito on February 26th, 2008
Recently, we all heard about the alleged rape of an Okinawan junior high school girl that took place a few weeks ago. Of course, we all did. It was on the front page and made the headline news. Japanese people were shocked and appalled at the incident. The US military apologized and promised to take steps to deter further incidents in the future. The girl is now safe at home with her family.
However, even before all that happened, there was a more harrowing but unknown crime. This time the criminals were Japanese and the victim was an American. On December 29th, 26 year old David James Floyd, an American tourist, was hit by a taxi in Sendagaya, Shibuya ward around 12:30 at night. The taxi sped off, didn’t bother to call an ambulance, phone the police, take Floyd to the hospital, or even get out of the car to see if he was ok. He just hit him and ran.
As Floyd was lying on the ground, he was run over by another car only about 5 minutes later. This time, a 19 year old man was driving. Floyd was killed and this man too fled the scene. Both men were arrested, but get this: “due to lack of evidence” the taxi driver was released.
Now honestly, if we compare the above with the Idubor case a terrifying truth comes to light: not only are foreigners framed for various crimes and sentenced without evidence and faulty testimony the Japanese government and its police force protect Japanese who murder foreigners. How is it possible that the Japanese government found Mr. Idubor guilty and the taxi driver innocent? The taxi driver is guilty of at least 2 crimes: hit and run, reckless endangerment, and a few more. The 19 year old is guilty of involuntary manslaughter at least. However, the taxi driver is free and I’ll bet you the 19 year old will get a slap on the wrist- if that.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this happen when a foreigner is murdered. Lucy Blackman’s killer was acquitted of her murder, and Lindsay Ann Hawker’s killer escaped from the police… or did he? Did they just turn the other way while he escaped?
The most basic right- the right not to be murdered- and the most basic justice- punishing a killer, is denied to foreigners in Japan. The American military took some steps to try and avoid such instances in the future and the head of the armed forces in Japan bowed and apologized.
For the murder of 3 young foreigners in Japan, cut down in their prime for absolutely no good reason, what have we got? We can’t even get justice for these people. Not even a conviction, let alone an apology. Is this a civilized government?
I have traveled around the world, have lived in dictatorships, monarchies, and under tyrannical governments, but even under those regimes, if you murdered someone you would be prosecuted under the law, no matter where you came from. I have never seen a country that condones the murder of foreigners by its own citizens. What really makes me sick to my stomach is that now Japan is trying for a seat in the UN Security Council. Is this really a country that is ready for a veto vote and is ready to make decisions that will affect the entire world? I hope not.