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  • Kyodo: J Man arrested for making bomb threat at Sapporo Chitose airport

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on July 9th, 2008

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan
    Hi Blog. Here’s something simultaneously scary and amusing: a bomb threat by a Japanese man during (but unrelated to, he claims) the G8 Summit.  Naturally, as contributor AW points out, he would not have been snagged by the Hokkaido Police’s racial profiling.  And image the hay the police would make if the perp had been NJ.  “Hey, good thing we did all the security checks on the gaijin!.”  Sorry there’s not much hay to be made this time around–wrong race.  Maybe it’s time the police disengaged race and nationality from criminal intent.  But I’ve suggested that both to them and to readers here ad nauseam by now.  Sigh.  Debito in Sapporo


    Man arrested for making bomb threat at Chitose airport
    Contributed by AW

    SAPPORO —A bomb threat by a male passenger on Tuesday grounded a commercial flight bound for Tokyo from New Chitose Airport, the closest major airport to the site of the ongoing Group of Eight nations’ summit, airport and police officials said. Takanari Deto, a 69-year-old realtor living in Sapporo city, was arrested on suspicion of obstructing business by force. He had said his luggage contained a bomb and started making a scene after boarding Air Do Flight 20, which was scheduled for departure at 2 p.m., the officials said.

    Police found no suspicious objects in the plane, they said. Deto told the police that his act is not related to the G-8 summit. A total of 215 passengers and crew members had to get off the plane so police could search it. The plane left the airport about three hours behind schedule after safety was confirmed. About 40 passengers were placed on other flights.



    PS:  Tangental irony: The airline getting terrorized like this, Air-Do, also has a history of treating passengers differently by nationality

    8 Responses to “Kyodo: J Man arrested for making bomb threat at Sapporo Chitose airport”

    1. Mark Mino-Thompson Says:

      “Takanari Deto, a 69-year-old realtor living in Sapporo city, was arrested on suspicion of obstructing business by force. He had said his luggage contained a bomb and started making a scene after boarding Air Do Flight 20.”

      Arrested for “obstructing business by force.” What do you think the chances would be that a NJ making the same bomb claim in Chitose Airport this week would be charged with that offence?

    2. HO Says:

      Japanese version of the news says the man was drunk and joking. There was no bomb, either. I can hardly think it a crime, since he had no intention to “obstruct business by force.”

      –Yeah, and I’m sure the people on the plane delayed for hours or forced to take alternate flights see it merely as a joke, and think he should go unpunished too. And wouldn’t mind if it happened again and again in situations like these as long as the perp thought he was being funny. And yes, I’m being sarcastic.

      毎日新聞 2008年7月9日 東京朝刊

    3. Michael Weidner Says:

      Ho – such things are not taken lightly anymore. If you even say the word “bomb” on a plane, you WILL be arrested. It is law. It’s not that joking and such is not allowed; it’s more on the fact that it causes panic in other passengers around the man and can be a big problem. It’s the same when you shout ‘Fire!’ in a theatre. Both are against the law, whether you be joking or not.

    4. Martin Says:

      Imagine someone from the Middle East doing a “joke” like that (3 weeks in a detention center, 3 years in jail followed by deportation)… Do you think that I would commit a crime by overstaying my visa even only one day ? Here’s your peanut butter answer: well, according to the “immigration law nsc.7.9” (you trying to show off that you can read) it is considered a crime to overstay your visa and we could also say that it is “gaikokujin hanzai”. But you’ve got a point, I doubt that his intention was to “obstruct” business, he just indirectly threatened people. There are some things that you can’t say in an airport (like I’ve got hash in my butt, haha, just a joke).

    5. Jake in Osaka Says:

      “Hardly think a bomb threat is a crime”? Are you serious? This isn’t just G8 Summit overblown security; bomb threats are crimes the world over, and are something that you just don’t make light of in this day and age.

    6. Dave R Says:

      Right HO

      I wonder what would have happened to me if I said this. I probably would have been thrown in jail, lost my business, and have been deported.

      Give me a break – in this environment it is not a “joke” to say you have a bomb on an airplane.

      HO – I read your posts here and you make some very good points and offer good information, but in this case? Come on! – he is drunk and it was a joke – come on – If I (as a foreigner) had done the same the minimum would have been jail – the most likely outcome deportation

    7. InJM Says:


      The “news” didn’t say he was joking, Mr. Deto said he was joking when he said it. Saying you’ve got explosives, dynamite, bombs, whatever on an airplane was never acceptable.

    8. HO Says:

      I agree that he should not have made such a joke, but whether it is a crime or not is a different story.

      To convict this man, the prosecutors must prove that he “obstructed the business” intentionally.

      Penal Code (of Japan)
      Article 38(Intent)
      (1) An act performed without the intent to commit a crime is not punishable; provided, however, that the same shall not apply in cases where otherwise specially provided for by law.

      Saying “I did not intend to,” is a good defense in many criminal cases in Japan. There are exceptions to this rule like reckless driving where the law says prosecutors need not to prove the intent.

      Remember Joji Obara, who killed Ms. Blackman? He was not charged with homicide because the prosecutors could not prove his intent to kill. He was convicted of “rape causing death” and is serving life in prison, avoiding possible death penalty.

      So, if you ever get caught not carrying a gaijin card, try this defense. If you can give the judge reasonable doubt about the existence of your intention not to carry the card, you can walk away free. It may (might) work.

      –Point taken. But I think what we’re incredulous about is your assertion and belief that it is not a crime, rather than the judicial wrangling and loopholing you’re encouraging above.

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