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  • Tokyo Police apparently drop case of Peter Barakan’s assault

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on April 20th, 2008

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    Continuing along the thread of problems with Japan’s judiciary…

    I reported some last December about NJ TV tarento Peter Barakan being assaulted before one of his speeches–where he and some of his hosts were sprayed with mace in a premeditated assault: the assailant even had a harder-to-trace rental car readied for a quick getaway.

    Details on that case archived here:
    http://www.debito.org/?p=830

    Well, guess what. The police found the car. They found the mace. They even found someone in the car. But they let him go, after one of the people assaulted couldn’t identify him with “100% certainty”. It didn’t even become a case of detaining him for one of those 23-day interrogations until he confessed.

    I guess that means the cops feel that the crime against Peter Barakan is solved, or at least feel justified in dropping the case. Because according to Peter yesterday, there has been no movement or contact since from the police.

    “The police have done absolutely zilch,” he said. He tries to be open-minded about it by saying it’s his fault for not filing a complaint. But he shouldn’t have to. The police should be further investigating this as an assault like any other.

    But why bother? Famous or not, high-profile or not, it’s only a foreigner.

    You might think I’m exaggerating, but this is just another case to add to the collection of assault against NJ that doesn’t get followed up, while if a NJ were to commit a crime against a Japanese, I bet the investigation of the suspect would have been much more thorough. Leniency towards Japanese suspects in crimes against NJ does seem to happen.

    I’m trying to accept the caveat that nationality doesn’t matter in these cases. But it really is getting more and more difficult the more cases I see. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    ======================
    FURTHER READING: If it’s a foreigner allegedly committing a crime against Japanese (as in the Idubor Case), the police go after it even if there is no physical evidence. If a Japanese commits a crime against a foreigner, it’s either not pursued (see the Valentine Case, for the time being) or handled with different standards (see the Lucie Blackman Case).
    ENDS

    5 Responses to “Tokyo Police apparently drop case of Peter Barakan’s assault”

    1. Marc Says:

      Another example of how a crime by a Japanese against an NJ can get suppressed by the police and media:

      Video news in Nihongo

      http://www.fnn-news.com/news/headlines/articles/CONN00130843.html

      This is the text version of it.

      http://mainichi.jp/area/tokyo/news/20080413ddlk13040160000c.html

      The story basically says the cops got a call from a 52 year old woman who said her husband stabbed her in the chest. She is hospitalized in serious condition. The husband jumped from the 27th floor window of their condo and ended up dead. The guy was a 58 year old, unemployed man named Iizuka Yukio. His wife’s name is withheld in the article. She usually goes by another name than Iizuka, and that name is Marian J. Okada and is a civilian employee of the US military.

      http://www.meetup.com/members/5768865/
      http://photos1.meetupstatic.com/photos/member/8/a/4/d/highres_3095405.jpeg

    2. Rudy Says:

      “problems with Japan’s judiciary”

      Surely this is a prosecutor/police issue. If it doesn’t go to court then it’s not a judicial issue.

      –”Judiciary”, defined after a Google search as “That department of government which administers the law relating to civil and criminal justice”, was meant in terms of judicial processes. How people are prosecuted under the law through the police falls within the purview, I’m assuming.

    3. Rudy Says:

      You are using “judiciary” as synonymous with “system of justice” which confuses the terminology. Most of the problems foreigners will encounter in Japan are with police and prosecutors so it’s worth being precise. I would leave judiciary to refer to judges and courts especially with the lay judge system about to be inaugurated. With all the police publicity about lawless foreigners, it’s easy to imagine that lay judges could be even less sympathetic (if you can imagine that) to foreign defendants.

    4. Adam Says:

      So…now we have next stupidity of this country towards NJ. We cannot help other people (Japanese) because we may be taken as offender not someone who tried to help, we cannot call for help because we will be simple ignored by officials (Police) because we are ONLY foreigners (read:always suspects/criminals) anyway. Show me next story to add to this beautiful country about medical help, where foreigner needed the same attention as Japanese after a car accident but has been left almost dying because Japanese was taken care of first. This is real story,but don`t remember where I read about it. WELCOME TO JAPAN.

      –I think you read about it here:
      http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=603

    5. John Says:

      Has a foreign journalist actually interviewed the MoJ or Police on the record about these questions? If not, why?

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