17-year-old dead, 16-year-old seriously injured following police chase


An investigation is underway to discover the cause of a motorbike crash in Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture, in which one teen was killed and another seriously injured.

According to the report filed by the officers involved, the two boys, aged 17 and 16, were riding on a single motorbike on Sunday afternoon when they failed to stop at a crossing, Fuji TV reported. When a police patrol car approached them, the boys sped off.

The patrol car pursued the boys through the streets of Kawaguchi until the officers said they lost sight of the bike. Shortly afterward, police found the bike which had crashed. The officers were quoted as saying the crash occurred while the bike was out of sight and was not caused by their actions. The 17-year-old died after sustaining head and chest injuries.

An investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing, police said.

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idiots ... what a waste of a life...

2 ( +9 / -6 )


idiots ... what a waste of a life...

The Police chasing or the boys?

I don't know these individuals personally but chances are the 1 did not deserve to die like this. A bad choice made by 2 young men and their families will suffer for a long time...

Does anyone know if either was wearing a helmet or other protection?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

When the Police ask some one to STOP, it means STOP, not escape...........................If you have nothing to hide, there is not need to run away............

22 ( +28 / -8 )

"The officers were quoted as saying the crash occurred while the bike was out of sight and was not caused by their actions."

Ya right

-16 ( +8 / -25 )

Idiots.. All they had to do was stop. But now one is dead and the other shall have to live with it for the rest of his life. This should be a lesson to others to stop when police request that you do so.

12 ( +14 / -3 )


Idiots.. All they had to do was stop. But now one is dead and the other shall have to live with it for the rest of his life. This should be a lesson to others to stop when police request that you do so.

Yes and some might say it sounds silly... but wear a helmet....

I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt. Rather than call them idiots I like to think of them as having a lapse of judgment... As you and Semperfi stated, if you have nothing to hide don't run.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

We need some of these policemen (with actual balls) in my area. The bosozoku are at it every other night, and getting rid of a few could do a lot of people much good.

21 ( +22 / -2 )

"The officers were quoted as saying the crash occurred while the bike was out of sight and [therefore?] was not caused by their actions"

Yeah, right, how convenient that it happened right after they were no longer in your sights, according to you. Hows about instead of trying so hard to avoid getting your sorry ass blamed you give a care or two about the boys that just lost their lives?

-25 ( +4 / -29 )

I doubt very much these kids had a lapse in judgment, they where probably "bosozoku" which pretty much died out until some years back. if you know what these bike gangs get up to on the road then its not suprizing one is dead, they totally ignore all road rules and are a danger to others. RIP

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Why is it so hard to believe that the police are genuinely not at fault for the accident? Until we have more details, let's refrain from blaming anyone and call it what it is: a tragic accident that could have been prevented. I don't think any cop relishes in having been part of a chase that killed a kid, and I'm sure they blame themselves. No-one forced the boys to run, and the police were doing their job. If it comes out that the police were on their tail so closely that the boys lost control of the bike, then we can look into the police behavior.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

These two likely "bosozoku" boys are not a loss to society.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

I know these "motorcycle gang" types only too well. I use speech marks, because I doubt they would last two minutes when faced with a real motorcycle gang, such as the Hell's Angels. Anyway, they drive around noisily, hold up traffic, weave in and out of traffic, bait the police into chasing them etc....not to mention keep local residents in my area awake at night with all the stupid revving of their engines. I am happy to hear they got their comeuppance. When I hear other people saying things like, "Poor boys!", or "So sad!" etc, I am reminded of the part in 'Batman Begins' where Liam Neeson's character, Ducard, tells Bruce Wayne, "Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society's 'understanding'". It's a point worth remembering.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

According to the report filed by the officers involved, the two boys, aged 17 and 16, were riding on a single motorbike on Sunday afternoon when they failed to stop at a crossing.

Good riddance. The 16 year old will be back in the bitchseat in a few months though.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

These bike kids are idiots. I say fit your bull-bars and call open season on the oxygen wasters. I saw three of them on one scooter the other evening trying to trap a car on a level-crossing. Morons..with no respect for other peoples lives nevermind their own.

8 ( +9 / -2 )

@victoria if they actually blamed themselves then they wouldn't have been quoted as saying it was not caused by their actions. When, in reality, if you continue to chase someone at faster and faster speeds, who do you think is more likely to get hurt? Two people on a bike? yes.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

the problem is the police get blamed when these idiots crash for continuing to chase them. never is it a problem of their not stopping. personally, if they don't stop, police should be entitled to force them to stop. they are breaking the law and it they die they die..

14 ( +14 / -1 )

Running from the cops is a game for these young punks. It happens regularly all over Japan. The get on their Mixi page and boast about it afterwards, the ones that survive, of course. If they had stopped they would have only received a stern talking to and had to walk a few hundred meters till they were out of site and they would have been off terrorising and endangering pedestrians and others drivers again. You can't really blame the cops for their death ina chase, but you can blame the cops for allowing this crap to go on for so many years.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Young dumb ass kids on scooters, motorcyles, cars, hell anything that will get you hair waiving in the air for a thrill,we all did it when we were kids, helmets?? Yeah right! Anyway, these kids out in Saitama gambled the dice of "life" and one of them lost his life and the other will have to live with this for the rest of his life, as for the police, we need more and more JAPANESE POLICE, who do have a nice pair of HUEVOS to go after these stupid young punks who are not only a danger to themselves, but to ALL OF US and our FAMILIES so, if you wanna play do not be afraid to pay, and in this case meaning paying with your very own life! RIP?? Heck, I am lucky I was chased down by cops back in California when I was a stupid ass kids, on a Suzuki? Honda? Heck I don't remember but sure was fun, out running the cops! But at that silly age you do not think about all the horrible consequences, I just lucky to be here, so maybe just maybe some of these Japanese kids will one day grow up like me, to actually feel GRATITUDE towards the cops that stopped them from being too stupid??

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Why is it so hard to believe that the police are genuinely not at fault for the accident?

Because I've seen the actions of punks fitting the description too often. Their selfish actions endanger our lives.

One teenage biker rammed into me on my bicycle, threw me over the handlebars and destroyed my front wheel, after he was riding on a sidewalk and coming fast around a blind curve. If I had landed on my head, I may have died or been a vegetable. I demanded his cell phone number: turned out it was a bogus number he gave me. A human scumbag all around.

My sympathy for these biker punks is basically zero.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Aside from the fact that it's a totally wasted life, I have little sympathy for the teens on the bike. Sure, they're teens and therefore do stupid stuff, but they're old enough to know the danger, especially if trying to flee from police. I don't blame the police for this one iota. In fact, I applaud them for actually chasing these fools for a change. All to often I see those idiot bosozoku or even bosozoku wannabes riding two on a bike and revving their engines just to make noise, riding slow on purpose -- or too fast -- without lights, weaving down the streets and going through red lights, and no one does a thing about it. So, while it ended in tragedy, it's entirely the boys' fault and I say good on the police for trying to go after them. Perhaps the surviving boy will learn a little from his little joy-ride.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Slightly disappointed in some of your comments. You seem to give up on that group of youth and put a stigma on them. Sure some of them might be full of hate and downright criminals, but for the most part most they are lost, lonely, following the crowd, poor, or whatever the case might be. For anyone who has read my posts you know I am all for a 16-17 year old being tried as an adult and punished for the crime they committed.

Slightly back on track... Everyone is under the assumption it was bosozoku or another bike gang. Do we know for sure? I'm also well aware and often seen firsthand the acts described by individuals. They are actually becoming more frequent around the Tachikawa area. Last weekend 2 bikes with their license plates bent up and mufflers removed drove up to the bus stop near the Koban. They proceeded to get the attention of the Police until the Police started chase. Cops returned and maybe an hour later they were back at it... It's a game and the Police have to react accordingly.

2 ( +5 / -3 )


I will say many states in America have no chase laws or certain stipulations. When it presents a clear danger or in certain city areas they are ordered to back off and distance themselves. If the Japanese Police deemed it necessary to chase the bike then we should not complain. Citizens of Japan put those Police in that position of power to make those choices. If you don't like their decisions as whole, do something about it to bring a change. However, if an individual Police Officer does something that does not reflect Japan Police as a whole, he should be held accountable.

Let me ask this question. Would you rather the Japanese Police used excessive speed and possibly hurt innocent bystanders or backed off and caught them after they wrecked / stopped somewhere and thought they escaped?

If they are only stopping the bike for a noise complaint it's not worth putting lives in jeopardy. If they are responding to a murder or some other serious crime then it might be...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Bosozoku I am sure! I have a bunch of these scum living around me. They don't stop at lights, they stop stop at stop signs. And they don't wear helemets. I can't these idiots. I think bosozoku bikers are lowest of lowest scum, behind human traffickers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Most young people wear their helmets backwards with the strap dangling. Plus the helmets look like construction worker hats. The head will totally be destroyed if hit on when wearing one of those useless devices when traveling and crashing at high speed.

8 ( +8 / -0 )


" idiots ... what a waste of a life... "

Having lived in a neighbourhood frequented by the these young motorcycle bozos, I am not all that sure that great lives were lost. And remember: This was entirely preventable. They could have stopped at any time.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Leonard Carson:

" Does anyone know if either was wearing a helmet or other protection? "

The article does not describe it, but I would take any bet that they were wearing useless half-helmets, and turned around the wrong way, so that the sun shade is in the back, and the strap (if used at all) working as a strangulation device. This seems to be the bozo helmet code of choice. I think Darwin would nodd approvingly.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Sorry that one of them will never mature and grow up. Happens with every generation. We are the lucky ones that made it through so far.

Japanese Police car drivers that I have seen tend to be extra cautious, even when giving "chase". They have been blamed so often in the past for this type of crash that they tend to look on, taking no action at all, and when they do go after someone, it is with extreme reluctance and lack of aggression. Admittedly this is a generalization.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Too bad. I see those bike hoons all the time, they go through red lights, use pedestrian crossings and think they are above all road rules, then put their GF at the back and endanger their lives at well and usually without a helmet.When you hit them with a car , they claim huge amounts for insurance and give you a lot of trouble. I say learn from this looser hoons.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

As nandakandamanda also said, I'm a biker (for 10 years riding daily to work in Tokyo) and I've seen police chasing punks many times. They are cautiously and slowly chasing them, repeating "tomete kudasai" (please stop). But they don't take any other action. From the Japanese news, the two teenagers did not stop at a crossing and when the police tried to stop them, they teased the police for a while (driving away, then stopping and when the police approached again speeding away) then they speeded away on some narrow streets. a few minutes later somebody saw them crashing and called the police. it's a pity that one of them lost his life, but they are the only ones to blame.

10 ( +9 / -0 )

As they say in japan: zamamiro - it serves you right/see what happens. Very little sympathy for these two clowns.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm just wondering... is the person who survived the driver or the passenger? If the driver, I hope he's charged with numerous counts, including negligence resulting in death, as an adult. If they knew what they were doing and flaunting it in the police's face, as seems to be the case, then book 'em... or at least, book HIM (since the other one paid the ultimate price for his stupidity). If he was the passenger, after booking him for lesser charges, as him, "Was it worth it?"

We won't hear any more on this, though.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

We won't hear any more, perhaps, but their two families have probably just started something endless between them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One more thing: the time of the accident was a few minutes after midnight. It was 1-2 degrees C at that time, and I reckon the road was slippery. Combine that with speed, and possibly the "dance" these guys like to perform when flaunting the police, and you have a tragic result.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Amanda "it is with extreme reluctance and lack of aggression"

As it should be, do you realize how dangerous car chases are?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These kids chose to break the law, they chose to flee from the police, they chose to ignore orders...I am afraid the blame lays entirely with them.

16 and 17 year olds know right from wrong perfectly well. They chose to ignore their responsibilities.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have never seen the J police dtive at excessivecspeeds during the day, they are usually very careful, at night time though when the streets are almost empty they do. Bosozoku young men are violent to other drivers, often harass, danage cars and even assault people constantly knowing that since they are juveniles the courts go easy on them. In this case they myst have been up to no good cause as a juvenile in Japan you get off lightly even if the j-cops book you.

Therefore.... Although it is a pity they died, they caused their own demise.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I was going to post some thoughts about how surprising I found the comments to this article, but then Leonard Carlson came along and put them into words better than I would have. So yeah. what he said.

I would like to particularly highlight the point Leonard Carlson made about the extent to which it is police policy in North America to abandon any kind of risky pursuit unless the officers absolutely know they are chasing a dangerous fugitive. If anyone dies, particularly an innocent but even the fleeing suspect or someone in his vehicle, there are sure to be long, expensive, resource draining lawsuits filed by someone. And the media coverage of the event will most likely be slanted toward demanding better police protocols, rather than critical of the deceased - particularly if he turned out to be a pretty young kid doing something stupid one evening rather than a "biker punk" or a "scum".

I guess we pay the police to be able to make that distinction in an instant .... may not necessarily be the easy job some posters on JT like to make it out to be.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I saw a bunch of bikers on my last night in Tokyo... all pink boiler suits and mad-looking scooters. They looked pretty stupid to be honest and with all that crap on their bikes they must be pretty unstable at anything over 30mph.

The article mentions that the police approached the boys, who zoomed off... and the police found them when they caught up with them. Doesn't sound like a chase to me.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Darwinism working its magic

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@ Jumpultimatestars

"@Amanda "it is with extreme reluctance and lack of aggression"

As it should be, do you realize how dangerous car chases are?"

Yup, they can end in idiotic kids losing their lives. Why don't you direct this at the next Bosozoku you meet. But from your posts, I imagine you've never had the pleasure before.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

were the kids ever found?

0 ( +0 / -0 )


1 ( +2 / -1 )

It comes down to the fact, that it was a stupid thing to do. And while the story the police tells is probably a lie, we will never find out. But we should not come to false conclusions. Those boys did what boys do all over the world every day, they were simply very, very unlucky. Another story is of course the extremely stupid law, that only one person is allowed on those scooters. I have lived in a lot of different countries and I laways own a small scooter like that in every one of them, but not a single country has an idiotic rule like that! But then, Japan and traffic, that is truly ridulous combination.

Nevertheless, it is simple, that rule killed two boys! Go to some third world countries in Asia or South America and you will find up to six people on a scooter like that!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

it was fun while it lasted. We all do stupid things, and when kids see how powerless the police in stopping them except for tailing them and shouting at them to stop then they slow down and speed up then slow down while the police will say abunai yo, tomete kudasai and i know this because i live along a major thoroughfare.

These kids in scooters are so noisy at night, revving their pathetic little scooters and the mobile car keep on repeating their warning. Its all charades and kids love it until somebody die. I for one want to hit one of these punks for being noisy and disturbing our sleep.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Volland -

Yeah, because 6 people is totally safe in any country. If the machine wasn't built for it, don't put extra people on, it's pretty simple. If the bike had a designated passenger seat, then two people is fine under the law, I feel like. I once road on the back of my host father's Harley down in Kagoshima, and there was no problem, because I was sitting on a second seat. What the kids were riding was probably not meant to be ridden by two people, and thus, it is illegal. If a second rider goes flying off the back of a bike while doing a sharp turn and slams into someone else's car, that's a big problem. I think you can see why it is illegal to ride vehicles in a way that they were not meant to be ridden.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Volland, the article is not discussing how many on a bike may or may not be legal.

It says, but then if you'd read the article you would know....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not good. They should think about how much their rest of life was valuable. They just waste their life. Young guys try to do something dangerous thing a lot because they think if they did everyone would think that they are cool but it is not. I am sorry for their parents and family.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm wondering when two people riding on a motorcycle automatically turn into "biker punks"? Just because they drove off doesn't mean they ware part of a gang. Usually with a gang you have more than one bike and more than two people present.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@nandakandamandaDec. 12, 2012 - 05:27PM JST

"Volland, the article is not discussing how many on a bike may or may not be legal. It says, but then if you'd read the article you would know...."

An extremely clever comment.... The only reason why the police followed them was that there were two of them sitting on it. Its not the reading that is complicated, its the understanding what you read. But, do not worry, you belong to majority....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Volland, I have just read several articles from the Japanese press and the bike is referred to variously as a minibike, a scooter, a bike, etc. The reports say that the police followed them for 400 meters before they swerved and dodged down a side street. They were found 600 meters from the level crossing. The bike seems to have hit the concrete kerb and flipped. One was struck in the chest and died in hospital and the other has serious neck injuries. Possibly they had no license, no helmets, no number plate and there were two of them on a bike for one. None of these details are clearly reported. The immediate reason for the Police to go after them though, was failing to stop at a crossing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thank you. Well that clears it up. We are in a country where we all can rely on the police to never tell something that is not the truth...

Try to remember: The point I was making was that the rule that only one can ride those things is nonsense and Japan is the only country that has it. Without it, these two follish kids would still be alive. ALL the rest is incidental. You never rode a scooter without a driver's license when you were 14? Then you are to be pitied...

Just read Victoria Maudes comment. Her picture of the world excludes about 80% of the planet, where people are considered lucky, if they own at least a little scooter where mommy, daddy and four children get to ride to work and kindergarden.

It would help if comments were made about the actual existing Japan, not about the image it would love to have?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Volland, I understand what you are saying and in some cases I too see laws or regulations or flawed traffic designs here which go against natural flows and may even contribute to unnecessary deaths.

Japan has laws pertaining to motorbikes. Some bikes are designed and licensed to carry one and others for two riders. In some cases they both look the same externally. Generally the second seat will give you an indication which type it is. As you say, in Vietnam and places whole families ride around on Honda Cubs, for example, or on cheap Chinese copies. I should imagine that traffic deaths are horrific there.

Whether we westerners understand/respect them or not, the laws here in Japan are probably designed to cut traffic accidents, and breaking the law as in this case can sadly lead to unnecessary deaths. When in Rome do as the Romans do. People have spent years in prison here for doing drugs, which may be perfectly legal in another country. Should they demand their life back?

Ultimately if we see something that is not right, we have a voice with which to ask for change.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

PS As to the police here being always truthful, or occasional liars, that is another matter. I have met all kinds since I have been here, most of them human, but I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt. There is usually a sympathetic ear somewhere if you get into trouble. Learning the language here helps too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To this I add that I wish police officers in Japan would more readily go after those running red lights (a very dangerous act I might add).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Volland --

We're not talking about other countries where a single scooter might be an entire family's only method of transportation. We're talking about Japan, which is most definitely not the only country to have safety laws like this. And we're talking about two youth, who most likely were not sharing the cycle because they had no other method of transportation. This is Japan, land of thousands of trains, taxis, etc. If this were a third-world country, the law and I might agree with you, but it isn't. The laws are the way they are for a reason: safety. Had the boys been riding the bike correctly, it's likely that neither of them would be dead right now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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