crime

17-year-old boy assaulted after asking man to stop smoking on train

53 Comments

Police in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, have arrested a 28-year-old man on suspicion of assaulting a 17-year-old boy who asked him to stop smoking on a train.

The incident occurred aboard a train operating between Suzumenomiya and Jichi Medical University stations on the JR Utsunomiya Line at around noon on Sunday, Fuji TV reported. Police said Kazuma Miyamoto, a restaurant employee, was smoking an e-cigarette. The boy, a high school student, approached Miyamoto and asked him to stop smoking. 

At the time, the boy was with four classmates. After he asked Miyamoto to stop smoking, Miyamoto stood toe to toe the boy who pushed him back. Miyamoto then started punching and kicking the boy while his classmates tried to break them apart.

When the train arrived at Jichi Medical University Station, Miyamoto starting hitting the boy again once they were on the platform.

Police said the boy sustained serious injuries, including a fracture to his right cheek. 

Miyamoto managed to flee the scene at Jichi Medical University Station by hopping onto a train. However, he was arrested at around midnight on Sunday in Utsunomiya.

© Japan Today

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53 Comments
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Saw this last night, his friends tried to stop it…but I have a question?, were there no adults there? And what deranged person thinks smoking anything on a train is ok? There are signs saying no smoking. I applaud this young mans gumption and his friend’s loyalty, the child beater, smoker not so much. Other adults watching, what are they thinking? I know violence is frightening, but the knowledge you stood by and did nothing will stay with you forever.

48 ( +53 / -5 )

Sorry for the boy for having been assaulted but my congratulations for having stood up to that antisocial subject! Well done! Should get a medal for this! Bloody bullies behaving like the world is theirs alone

34 ( +37 / -3 )

Poor kid, did the right thing.

32 ( +37 / -5 )

Other adults watching, what are they thinking? I know violence is frightening, but the knowledge you stood by and did nothing will stay with you forever.

As a foreigner dealing with all kinds of criminals and illegals over the years I got from experience that I am not allowed to help anyone when there is a person vs. person situation, unless I want risk not only my freedom but my entire life with my family in Japan for nothing, simply not worth.

But how about other japanese people? Thats gotta be something, maybe they are taught since very young age at school to never get involved in these kind of situation, its just awkward absolutely no one steps in. Are they afraid of the illogical law just like us?

31 ( +36 / -5 )

In a culture where adults look away rather than confront bullies criminals and rule-breakers, this boy is a model citizen and needs a medal and a college scholarship.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

As a foreigner dealing with all kinds of criminals and illegals over the years I got from experience that I am not allowed to help anyone when there is a person vs. person situation, unless I want risk not only my freedom but my entire life with my family in Japan for nothing, simply not worth.

Also if that kids was an adult foreigner tried to tell that smoker to stop, that adult foreigner might end up guilty too, for starting the whole incident. Just to be told stay away from Japanese people business.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

@finally rich

i get that.

20 odd years had so many foreign friends get involved to stop something bad…only to become the police focus. I just yell, swear, point. Usually enough. Then I’m gone before the police arrive. I understand nobody trusts the police, you can’t.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Poor kid. These are stressful times and best to hold your tongue rather than switch on some psycho. I was in the grocery store today and a 50-ish guy was yelling at the top of his lungs at a 70-ish guy who cut in front of a long line when a new line opened. I thought there would be an oyaji throwdown before my very eyes with pieces of bread and coupons flying. It seems the old guy got out of jail free by feigning being deaf.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

The 17yo is a hero, those that ignored his subsequent plight, don’t complain if know body comes to support you. You missed your chance to help a child.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

They should have all given the perp a hiding!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It's pretty amazing that they got the guy, when you think about it. Identifying a perp from what I assume is some grainy CCTV footage? That can't be too easy.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

That boy has guts and is more of a man than that scum will ever be.

As a gaijin, I don't think I would have said anything, otherwise I could have found myself arrested. Sad, but when in Japan, leave things well alone and let locals sort out their own problems. Sorry if that sounds harsh. I would have just walked away from that guy and sat somewhere else.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

wow, another example of how low smokers go to defend their right to give others cancer. Like they will die from eventually. No better than a heroin addict these smokers are. Kids around them and all they care about is getting their fix. Hope this criminal goes into a smoke free prison for quite a long while.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The boy confronted the offensive adult and got beaten for it while so called adults probably stood by aghast but still not being anywhere as courageous enough as the minor to hold the offensive adult down. This thing about minding your business and not defending a fellow in danger or even trying to help a fellow in need is way too common in this country.

P.S. This young guy is a rare gem in this generation I'd say.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Poor boy, he did the right thing.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Garypen...

It's pretty amazing that they got the guy, when you think about it. Identifying a perp from what I assume is some grainy CCTV footage? That can't be too easy.

Pasmo data would be the answer.

Whats amazing is that the kids mates stood around and didn't kick the @@@@ out of the older smoker.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I totally approve the boy for telling the adult to stop smoking in the train which is illegal. But maybe MAYBE he could have avoided pushing him. The number one rule for self defense in such situation is staying calm and try to de-escalate the situation by all means. Try staying and calm and then joking, telling a compliment or whatever just to destabilize and then run away when you can. I know it's not easy and was maybe almost impossible in the situation, but that's what we should at least try. And then at the station you go to the police and report the smoker. We should never try to replace the police. You see an illegal situation you go to the police or the person in charge.

As for why others don't intervene: the problem is it's always easy to critic once you know all the facts afterward. But when it's happening you often know absolutely nothing: do these guys are yakuza? do they carry knives or even guns? Who started the fight, who is wrong or wright. Are they friends who got mad at each other and if you try to stop they will both go after you and tell the police you started it? All questions you could get while thinking should I do something? And 17 vs 28 is not such a huge difference and some people look older other look younger, it's not like a 40 yo beating a 8 years old kid.

just my 2 cents.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@shallot

are you new to this site? or Japan? or maybe both? there isnt a similar article someone doesnt throw in their own experiences, 10 seconds search and I got Disillusioned's comment:

A total untruth! The Japanese legal system and police are much more strict on foreigners than on Japanese. I know of many cases involving foreigners being unfairly detained and treated as criminals for no reason. I also have a personal experience of unfair treatment. About 8 years ago, I caught a creep taking a video up the skirt of a high school girl on an escalator at a train station. I grabbed him at the top of the escalator and told the girls to get the station staff. They were actually my students at the private high school I was working in at the time. This pathetic creep started screaming like a little girl, all the while trying to delete the video from his phone. The girls came back very quickly with the station staff and I was sure he had not deleted the video. We both went to the station office and awaited the police. The cops came about 15 minutes later and put us in separate rooms. They asked me what happened and walked out. I could here them interrogating the creep in the next room. He was screaming like a little girl again and claiming his innocence. He also made a lot of anti-foreigner comments and stated that I had punched him, which was total BS. After about 20 minutes they let him go. To my knowledge, they didn't even look at his phone. Then, they came back to me. They checked my ID, called the school I was working for, called my wife and requested a copy of my passport, even though they had my gaijin card. They detained me for two hours at the train station. Then at the end of it one of the cops came up to me and said to me in English, "Stay out of Japan business." Please tell me how that is not treating foreigners different to Japanese.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Caught the video on twitter, wow. I guess the person took it for evidence.

But if you see a dude on the train laying on a priority seat smoking. Get off, wait for another train. Also, if you want to tango with obvious crazy, know if your 3 friends would be useful in such a situation.

Basic street smarts

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I hope the young guy recovers well, and the man who hit him is sentenced to a long time in the prison.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

And what deranged person thinks smoking anything on a train is ok?

You just answered your question. He's deranged.

I had encounters with people whom I tried to call out for wrongdoings. I learned that it's pointless to call them out. They are doing wrong things for a reason and that reason is - they are idiots.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The kid is brave and did the right I hope he recovers soon..

And for that scumbag, send it to jail..

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If you see someone smoking on the train or public transport or smoking in a non smoking area i suggest filming them and report it to the police instead of a confrontation.

Its disturbing to witness parents or people with babies or children that are smoking is also a crime.

Especially disturbing when you see people smoking when there are babies or children in the car with them.

Tobacco should be outlawed and forbidden everywhere !

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Wishing a speedy recovery for our story’s ‘hero’ and that ‘justice’ will be just as expeditious and appropriate for the assailant’s crimes.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

And yes the article says smoking and yes the article says e-cigarette .

Its still contamination of hundreds of toxic chemicals in a confined public area .

Second hand smoking or vapor kills people .

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Saw this on the news last night and glad he was arrested, hope the parents file a case againts him.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The 17-year-old victim reportedly suffers from a medical condition affecting his respiratory system; Zensoku (asthma). Smoke and vapour could possibly affect his breathing, regardless whether the cigarette is tobacco- or electronic type. The alleged assailant Kazuma Miyamoto, listed as a 'restaurant employee' is actually a host at a nightclub located near Utsunomiya Station. A co-worker described him as "Gocha Gocha"...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I applaud this kid and his friends for standing up to this unruly SoB. Hope he makes a speedy recovery. As for the "adults" on the train - shame on you for not intervening or pulling the emergency brake. The average Japanese person really takes the whole "don't get involved in other people's business" to an unethical level. What if someone were to get shot or stabbed on the train? Would the passengers just sit there and watch the victim bleed to death?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

That's different situation, helping other people from accident is not something that can lead to physical altercation unlike trying to separate person to person conflict. When physical altercation took place, even in capacity to stop fighting between two people, you can be accused to be involved too in Japan.

Exactly! Just yesterday I rushed to help an old lady who got her parked bicycle full of groceries knocked over by the wind, its a completely different situation.

Person vs. nature (somebody drowning, fainting, fallen from somewhere) ✔

Person vs. person (any kind of verbal/physical altercation) = absolutely NO - extremely high chances you will be accused of something, simply by restraining someone until the police arrive is already a very dangerous situation for the foreigner, they will arrive and will lay their eyes right on you, and I tell you this out of countless, but countless real world experiences (interpreting for lawyers, immigration, the police, in the court, etc)

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"E-cigarettes are smokeless."

OK, its all right then, go ahead and smoke anywhere you like...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Kudos to the teen! Need more citizens like him.

But where were his boys? He had three with him? They couldn’t step up?

And, BIG MAN you are Kazuma. Too bad that e-cig didn’t get stuck up somewhere inside of you.

As for any “male adult” bystanders that didn’t help out, if there were any………..pathetic…….

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I would never blame whom a poster defines " adults watching the crime " were inactive in this kind of violent situation.

As some poster mentioned, helping someone with/without possibilities you could have fatal injury yourself is totally different. There are so much of youtube videos capturing crime scenes with none around the victims did anything.

I am actually fed up with so many of key board warriors just keep boasting

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are no good news coming out of trains these days... I avoid them like a plague here in Tokyo (even before corona) just like I avoid central Shibuya and other over crowded places. Better share crowded but peaceful cafes with other people than share trains with all kinds of sociopaths like this guy.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

He should obviously have to pay the boy's medical bills plus thousands (of dollars) in punitive damages, and then on top of that face years in prison. Also, it's time Japan started getting serious about infractions like smoking. You shouldn't need the lives of people threatened by maniacs who will not follow the rules. Put in place measures like those in Singapore, Canada, Australia, and other nations -- if you smoke in non-smoking areas and automatic $5000 fine -- which ANYONE would feel comfortable in reporting... not worry about potentially being killed.

Good on the kid for standing up for what's right, and now Miyamoto, who could not resist smoking on the train, will hopefully be going behind bars. Hey, maybe he can smoke in there, at least.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Smoking or vaping tobacco in public in Japan is a terrible problem.

Everywhere you go people are Smoking and throwing their cigarette butts on the ground or down the drain.

Rarely can you walk down the street anywhere in Japan without having to Breathe in someone's second hand smoke.

Police need to start issuing Smoking in public penalty tickets and uphold the laws against Smoking in public better.

Its disgusting in Japan Everywhere is cigarette smoke .

If you ask people why do they smoke - they don't even know why.

What possible benefits of Smoking tobacco are there?

Apart from looking like a idiot Smoking but thinking you're intelligent or trying to act cool.

Tobacco is a disgusting habit.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

How did this turn into an argument about smoking or kids shouldn't complain to their elders.

The story is a guy was smoking on a train, he was asked to stop and the first guy started beating him and made go on all fours and apologize.

While this went on not one person on the train offered to help.

That's nearly as bad as the guy who did the assault.

Poor kid

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Absolutely sad when ‘teenagers’ have to intervene in train & station assaults. Anyone else remember the recent ‘press events’ like parading uniformed and canine officers in the stations? Whatever happen with those plans? :

Nov 17, 2021: https://japantoday.com/category/crime/police-step-up-patrols-at-train-stations

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

For those that are wandering why no adult tried to help, that is because people do not want to get involved, they got problems of their own and do not want to have anymore.

Imagine for a second what would happen if you get involved, first even if you can stop a fight, there is an injured 17 year old and you have to look after him, which means calling the police and spending god knows how long talking to them and making statements and they will want to talk to you again at some later date, but you got to go to work, so you got to do this in your little free time and all this IF you can stop a fight, but if you can't, things get a lot more complicated!!!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Sometimes its just best to get authorities to handle such incidents. Yes the kid didn't like the smoking but I am sure he could have found train personnel rather than trying to be the police himself. Let the authorities handle it that's what they get paid for.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Evil wins through the inaction of the good. There may have been an element of bravado in the student's case, and I applaud him anyway for what he did. Too much of a blind eye is turned to bullying in this society, with gross unawareness of the damage it does on all levels.

On the TV news last night it said that the smoker had been reclining on the priority seats, and made the kid do dogesa (apology on all fours), neither of which are in the article, but the latter was recently (iirc) criminalised. Dog knows what behaviour the punk - who, if he's a host likely has an unhealthy view of fellow humans - might have escalated to next. Japanese prisons are harsh places, and I hope this guy gets a long stretch in one.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You can be right and still get clobbered. I guess that’s how we gain wisdom.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Perspective needed here. It was an e-cigarette, so no deadly smoke or toxins. Anti social, yes. But was he being egged on by his mates or was he just standing up for a better world? I have to say, I'd take umbrage if a 17 year old schoolboy tried to tell me how to behave (probably encouraged by his friends less willing to do so). I think that perhaps this young lad was not trying to create a better world for all, but may well have been trying to impress his friends.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Nah, the kid is a fool.

Hes 17.....and telling an adult what to do.

Train staff deal with minor issues like this...Police major issues.

Learn to shut up unless the situation is serious...like domestic assault of a woman.

And dont "chest bump " a cranky adult male.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

This man shows the level of bad education in this country.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

P. SmithToday  08:17 pm JST

kennyGToday  07:01 pm JST

 Others might be too scared to tell or stop or help but sure they could testify what you would have done. Shame on you guys disgracing the people where you live? Perhaps you could stand up against several violence if it were in the New York subway

Shame on adult Japanese people for leaving this kid in the lurch. It’s pathetic that no adults did anything to assist.

I’ve witnessed this disgusting part of Japanese culture numerous times. Not just in violent situations either. I’ve seen people fall face down on the train and nobody but me bothered to do anything. I know pushing the SOS button is extremely difficult and you might lose your seat, but have a slight amount of decency about yourself; it’s another human being.

I’ve stopped violence by Japanese men against women numerous times here. I’ve also stopped violence against others numerous times in the US because I’m not a self-centered coward.

I’m not a big person either; I just know how to take a punch and subdue others.

Heck, No media so far reported that, and you must have no idea that, how many so called adult Japanese happened to be in the same train vehicle.

It could be just old men and women who has no idea about how to take a punch. and you could just be blaming those old people.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

People often say that it's a big risk for foreigners to intervene. I would like to know some concrete, reasonably recent and clear examples of this going wrong. I'm not disagreeing with it but I am curious about the details of such situations.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I still remember well the old, normal world, when you could peacefully smoke a cigarette in the train without being affronted by a crazy youngster who still hasn’t moved a finger for the country in his whole 17 year long senseless lifetime.

I remember those days too , when you could smoke on trains, and even on the platforms on the subway. In this case it was an e-cigarette, so I don't really see why the 17 year old was so offended. E-cigarettes are smokeless.

Still, the reaction of the adult was a little OTT, and as some commentators have pointed out, it is best not to get involved in Japan, especially if you are not Japanese.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Doesn’t read where the boy was admitted, treated & hospitalized for serious injuries but the article stresses, no less that 3 times: “Jichi Medical University Station

- “When the train arrived at Jichi Medical University Station, Miyamoto starting hitting the boy again once they were on the platform. Police said the boy sustained serious injuries, including a fracture to his right cheek.” -

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Was it all just a ‘media circus’ to quell public fears of further assaults, knifings and arson on the trains in Japan? When are these ‘promised’ measures actually going to be put into practice ?

Nov 16, 2021: - https://www.gettyimages.ae/detail/news-photo/police-officers-and-a-security-dog-patrol-jr-shin-osaka-news-photo/1236597863 -

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

As a foreigner dealing with all kinds of criminals and illegals over the years I got from experience that I am not allowed to help anyone when there is a person vs. person situation, unless I want risk not only my freedom but my entire life with my family in Japan for nothing, simply not worth.

Also if that kids was an adult foreigner tried to tell that smoker to stop, that adult foreigner might end up guilty too, for starting the whole incident. Just to be told stay away from Japanese people business.

Others might be too scared to tell or stop or help but sure they could testify what you would have done. Shame on you guys disgracing the people where you live? Perhaps you could stand up against several violence if it were in the New York subway

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

I still remember well the old, normal world, when you could peacefully smoke a cigarette in the train without being affronted by a crazy youngster who still hasn’t moved a finger for the country in his whole 17 year long senseless lifetime.

-24 ( +7 / -31 )

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