Mainichi: JHS teacher arrested for defrauding insurance companies by repeatedly claiming his luggage was stolen by foreigners!


IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\" width=「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 Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

Hi Blog. Chalk this one up to the idiocracy that springs up whenever unquestioned hegemonic discourse (i.e., “foreigners commit crime”) in a society leads to too much giving the benefit of the doubt. We have some Japanese guy (a junior high school teacher, no less) repeatedly “losing” his luggage while traveling and then successfully getting insurance paid out on it due to claims of “thefts by foreigners”. (The idiot did it with enough frequency that cops became suspicious because they remembered his claims.)

Frauds and blaming foreigners are nothing new. I wrote a whole Japan Times column in 2007 on how foreigners have been targets of a “Blame Game” for many years now. But often it goes beyond comical. We have a trucker in 2004 who overslept his appointment and then formally blamed it on being kidnapped by foreigners. We have a bosozoku biker gang that same year who killed somebody and tried to blame it on a foreign gang.  And we have murder suspects in 2006 who tried to blame a homicide on a lurking “blond man” (in a city with very few foreigners to boot).

Clearly the “foreign crime wave” which was fabricated by Tokyo Gov. Ishihara from 2000 has cast a long shadow. As submitter Becky says, “No wonder they get microaggressive, look at all the crime we commit!” Arudou Debito


Police nab man for allegedly claiming theft of non-existent luggage
Mainichi Japan April 05, 2012, courtesy of Becky
(no Japanese version found)

OSAKA — A man was arrested here on April 4 for allegedly reporting a non-existent bag stolen at Kansai International Airport and claiming insurance money for it.

Satoshi Kita, a 39-year-old junior high school teacher, received a 236,433-yen travel insurance payout after claiming his bag containing a laptop computer and other items had been stolen by a foreign couple near the airport train station on Aug. 4 last year, when he returned from a trip to Taiwan. An officer with the Osaka Prefectural Police’s Kansai airport station who remembered Kita’s original theft report became suspicious of his claims after reviewing airport security camera footage that showed Kita had not been carrying the bag in question.

“It’s absolutely true that I submitted a fake theft report,” Kita was quoted as telling police.

Police also suspect Kita may have pulled the same trick on four other occasions, including an August 2006 incident in which he claimed his overnight bag had been stolen from a bench while he was giving directions to a foreigner, for which he claimed 320,000 yen in insurance benefits. He has also filed theft claims at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and in Seoul.

16 comments on “Mainichi: JHS teacher arrested for defrauding insurance companies by repeatedly claiming his luggage was stolen by foreigners!

  • Odorikakeru says:

    A quick search came up with the local edition of Yomiuri –
    And a few others –,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1280&bih=632&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ncl=dxVoxaNROPb0dwMWVNPq8WyDNzflM&ei=2Yd_T9FijO-YBbHjoYEI&sa=X&oi=news_result&ct=more-results&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQqgIwAA

    From a Japanese perspective this is a pretty minor story. I guess a lot of people don’t even realise the effect this has on the NJ community.



    (2012年4月5日 読売新聞)


    保険金詐取容疑で中学教諭を逮捕 大阪府警
    2012/4/5 9:20 日本経済新聞;at=ALL




    日刊スポーツ  [2012年4月4日19時3分]






    時事通信 (2012/04/04-18:24)

    — Thanks for digging these up.

  • B: I managed to find the criminal’s name in Japanese, and from there you can google for news articles in Japanese:
    喜多聡 荷物 空港

    For example:

    2012年4月4日 18時22分 エキサイトニュース

    Certainly not going to make the headlines though.

    I wonder, does saying that the criminals were foreign make the lies more credible? I’m surprised more bank and convenient store robbers don’t put on a fake accent when carrying out their crimes.

    — They have. Just found this one from the Mainichi from July 19, 2000: “Gang eluded cops by using foreign accents.”

  • He was traveling overseas. Who’s he going to blame it on? Foreign Japanese criminals? That wouldn’t be very plausible.

  • Anonymous says:

    Nope Daniel, each time he claimed the bags were stolen in JAPAN (e.g. Kansai Airport) so there is no excuse.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    The shame of it all is that since the police themselves are from childhood socially conditioned to believe that NJ are responsible for the majority of crimes, whilst this may cause some gasps of astonishment from J-readers, the reason the man was able to commit the fraud is precisely because Japanese believe that NJ are responsible for most crimes in the first place.
    My dollars worth; that in order to make this kind of fraudulent claim impossible in future, the J-police will announce a fresh anti-foreign crime campaign. Elections are coming this year, let’s see how much is made of ‘protecting Japan’ from foreign ‘influences’.
    When the primary role of the police is to protect social myths rather than enforce the law, what other outcome could you reasonably expect?

    — Well, at least the police in this case (and in others I linked to) were suspicious enough of the claims made to investigate further, and uncover the frauds and frame-ups; gotta give ’em that.

  • Just funny, and no surprise…..A JHS teacher (public servant) with no worldly knowledge, still believes his crimes will be absolved if he cries “foreigner’s fault!” Goes to show the lack of education on his part as a human being, and as people are waking up to this, it is an embarrassment on the society that this should be given publicity (in Japanese news) if it doesn’t show the stupidity and low depths people are willing to sink in order to hide their crimes.

  • Andrew in Saitama says:

    Just skimming through the articles that have been posted, I notice that none of them present Kita as blaming foreigners for the thefts.

  • Anonymous says:

    Nope Andrew, it clearly says right there in the first Japanese version posted 喜多容疑者は、「外国人に道順を聞かれている間に、バッグがなくなった」と被害届も提出。(Yomiuri)

    And in the second Japanese version posted 「関西空港周辺で外国人に道を教えている間にノートパソコンなどが入ったバッグを盗まれた」と保険会社に虚偽申告し (Nikkei)

    And in the third Japanese version posted 逮捕容疑は「関西空港で外国人に道を教えている間にバッグを盗まれた」と虚偽の申請をし (Nikkan Sports)

    Yes, the 4th and 5th Japanese versions posted don’t mention the fact that Kita blamed it on foreigners, but still, the initial English version posted at the top of this thread clearly says he blamed foreigners, and the first three Japanese versions posted right after that says he blamed foreigners, so c’mon now, let’s not waste time denying what the guy did.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @Debito (re:#7)
    This is true, at least the J-police actually realized there was a pattern of behavior. This really does represent an leap forward in J-police methodology.

    @JJ #8
    I got no problem with the papers reporting the fact that the man had claimed he was robbed by foreigners in order to carry out an act of fraud. What is distressing is that none of the newspapers actual then go on to say anything along the lines of challenging the Japanese cultural myth that foreigners commit all the crimes in Japan. The act of not challenging this myth in the first place is precisely what enabled this man to commit the same act of fraud over and over again without being suspected.
    We should add this case to the ‘Myth of Japanese Honesty’ , right alongside centenarian pension fraud.

  • Anonymous Says:
    April 8th, 2012 at 3:02 pm
    Nope Andrew, it clearly says right there in the first Japanese version posted

    Obviously Andrew finds it easier to read Tepido, than he does Japanese, where the same silly claim was made.

  • Andrew in Saitama says:

    Nope, Andrew does not read Tepido.
    Andrew was merely pointing out that the Japanese versions state that:
    which put Kita as talking to a foreigner when his bag was stolen.

    This is important from a Debito perspective because the respective articles fail to point out that Kita blamed NJ for the alleged crime. The Japanese language ones rely on the reader to make that connection/assumption (which I admit would probably be the default setting for a lot of their readers)

    I am NOT taking swipes at anyone except the Japanese press for the holes in their reporting. The guy made fraudulant claims, used the NJ blame game and got caught. The J press version removes step 2.

  • Ah, interesting Andrew. Now I see what you mean. Those quotes cause us to INFER that the foreigner asking directions was working together with the person who took the bag, and also to INFER that the person who took the bag was also a foreigner (a two-person foreigner team using the directions-distraction technique, just like the posters at the ATMs in Japan warning Japanese not to trust big-nosed people who say “you dropped something.”) You’re right Andrew, the quotes don’t specifically state “the bags were taken by foreigners” per-se.

    But even though the papers aren’t saying so, Kita MUST have given the police a description of the person who took the bag, while being distracted by a foreigner. Now we enter the realm of yet unknown, but chances are Kita said, “The guy who ran away with my bag, just like the guy asking me directions, was taller than average: he looked like a foreigner.”

    — Anyhoo, we know through the clearer English version that Kita was arrested for fraud and that fraud involved falsely blaming theft of his personal effects on NJ.

  • Anonymous says:

    Good point Debito, “stolen by a foreign couple” Mainichi stated the situation absolutely clearly.

    So, as you and Andrew pointed out, the English version was clear, the Japanese version was vague.

    And yes, they should have added, “Japanese citizens commit more crimes per person than foreigners do.”

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    With all the nit-picking going on about whether Kita was asked for directions by a foreigner, rather than claiming that he was robbed by a foreigner, a rather basic point is being overlooked, namely; Japan is such an exclusionist country that ‘looking non-Japanese’ automatically qualifies you as;
    a) a ‘gaijin’, (even though Debito is proof that this logic is flawed), and;
    b) that in Japan, just the word of a Japanese is proof enough, in the minds of the J-police (it was only because one individual cop remembered Kita that the J-police even bothered to check the airport surveillance footage for the first time!).
    c) Kita was distracted because he was ‘helping a foreigner’. Gee, why didn’t the police ever think about trying to track down any of these witnesses? Was it because the J-police automatically assume NJ must be complicit in the crime, or because the J-police are embarrassed that should they actually find Kita’s mythical NJ, they don’t have the English skills to interview the witness? Don’t they have interpreters for that sort of thing? Why didn’t the police review any of the security footage (prior to the last incident) in order to try and even identify the NJ that Kita was helping? I would suggest that it was because that the very suggestion that NJ may be involved is a ‘case-closed’ for the J-keystone cops.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>