crime

18 people to be prosecuted over insulting messages on comedian's blog

43 Comments

Police plan to establish a criminal case against 18 men and women on charges of allegedly posting a number of defamatory messages on a comedian's blog, police sources said Thursday.

In launching what is believed to be the first such move associated with mass attacks on a blog in Japan, the Metropolitan Police Department said the 18 people, aged from 17 to 45, posted defamatory messages suggesting that the 37-year-old comedian is the perpetrator in the 1988 murder of a high school girl in Tokyo.

Some of the messages included: "How can a murderer be a comedian?" and "Die, you murderer," according to police.

Investigators, acting on a complaint filed by the comedian, have identified those who posted the messages and decided to establish a criminal case against them, the sources said.

Among the 18 are a 17-year-old high school girl from Sapporo, a 35-year-old man from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, and a 45-year-old man from Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture.

The suspects allegedly defamed the comedian by posting malicious comments between January and April 2008, suggesting that the comedian was involved in the highly publicized murder case in Tokyo's Adachi Ward in 1988, which resulted in prison sentences for four minors.

The comedian, whose name has been withheld, launched his career about 10 years ago, characterizing himself as ''an ex-hoodlum from Adachi Ward,'' which apparently attracted the messages connecting him to the brutal murder that came to light after the girl's remains were found in a drum filled with concrete.

He temporarily closed his blog due to the flood of malignant messages but reopened it in January last year, only to draw the defamatory messages again.

Investigators believe dozens of people have posted several hundred vicious messages on the blog, the sources said.

This is probably the first criminal case to be built over intense online attacks on a particular blog, the National Police Agency said.

The latest move by police came amid an increasing number of ''flaming'' blogs, particularly blogs by celebrities, TV personalities and notable sports athletes.

In one case, a commentator's blog was forced to close in 2006 due to a flood of slanderous messages, and a man was arrested and given a suspended prison term the following year for threatening the commentator on Japan's largest anonymous electronic bulletin board ''2channel.''

© Wire reports

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

43 Comments
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I support this totally. Too many people think they can sit out there in cyberspace and post abusive messages, then howl about freedom of speech when they are criticized for it.

I was once slandered on the Internet and my friends told me to just ignore it, that the flamers were idiots and that nobody would pay any attention to the messages. But it is no fun to be slandered like that and not be able to do anything about it.

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... and the joker's name is?

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I guess Japan doesn't have the first amendment... oh well.

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What's the name of this comedian?

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If the police start reading JT I imagine they'll be "sending papers" every day.

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Seems a total waste of taxpayer money to investigate and prosecute these people. Even more so when we know they'll bow and receive suspended sentences. FAIL.

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The saying that comes to mind is "While Rome Burned." Really, don't the police have more important things to do with their time? Issues like drugs, underage prostitution, murder, etc. all come to mind. However, based on what is written here, its seems that the police would rather waste tax payer money, etc.

PS. If the murder case in question happened way back in 1988, would it be safe to assume that the statute of limitations (a really stupid concept) has run out anyway?

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Razor, I agree with you in principle, but I think if people use their real names to post and the posts are true then the comedian is fair game. The two posts that the article uses as examples are slanderous as he has never been convicted for being a murderer. But in Japan they tend to "want to" go after people for opinions too...

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Suspended sentences for all?

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Thsi Justice system is crazy - yesterday I read that someone received only 7 years for the MURDER of 2 people adn today I am reading about prosecuting 18 people for messages on a blog. He knew the consequences of starting a blog. FREE THEM ALL.

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His name is Smiley Kikuchi.

This Japanese Wikipedia entry discusses the case, including today's news: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%B9%E3%83%9E%E3%82%A4%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC%E3%82%AD%E3%82%AF%E3%83%81

Here's his blog: http://ameblo.jp/smiley-kikuchi/

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What? It is illegal now to insult Japanese comedians? That is a whole new dimension to les majeste...

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Smiley? Obviously another loud not so funny person. He must have a manzai partner. 18 people.? That is a hell of a lot of cardboard boxes for the police to be carrying out of the house. One box for the keitai battery charger, one for the spare battery, one for the keitai, one for his computer board...etc. etc. and the list goes on.

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I guess Japan doesn't have the first amendment... oh well.

Japan does not have the first amendment. The Japanese constitution has no amendments. It does, however have Article 21, which guarantees free speech.

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if the comedian makes racistic jokes can i sue him aswell?

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Neither libel (or slander) nor threat are protected by the first amendment. Stop crying first amendment at every turn. It's also unlawful to incite people to riot, etc. Freedom of speech does not equate to libertinism.

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There is a whole bunch of Japanese politicians who have made public defamatory comments about my race and culture..... could I sue?

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Not cool

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There is a whole bunch of Japanese politicians who have made public defamatory comments about my race and culture..... could I sue?

Go ahead. Make a fool out yourself by going public with your lawsuit so that we can make more defamatory comments about you on this site.

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"If the police start reading JT I imagine they'll be "sending papers" every day."

What makes you think they don't?

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Why is this article longer than the article about the 57yo guy stabbing his wife and disabled son in the neck?

Is the career of a died out comedian that "might have" killed a high school girl more important than 2 people who were actually killed? For japan, Yes!

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Was he supposed to be involved in the concrete schoolgirl murder?

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Internet is the last place where we can have freedom of speech.

Even though I am not happy about stuff like stormfront, 2chan coward flamers, various criminal blogs etc... that is the price to pay to keep the internet free.

If you start a blog, then you'll have to expect the consequences and deal with any kinds of comments: could be keeping them, replying or deleting them; but suing people is a b#### move.

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Hopefully at 37 he can handle a some ignorant people ranting. He could also block them from his blog. I don't know if somehow your name gets mixed up with a murderer than you want to make a brief not somewhere that you weren't ther person in question.

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"Insulting a comedian" an oxymoron.

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I wonder if his over-reaction is latent guilt. Perhaps he doth protest a bit too much.

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You must be kidding me. And when comedian is making fun out of us, he never gets prosecuted. Not only comedians are comedians, 'WE ARE ALL COMEDIANS,'

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I wouldn't be too worried about it the way the police over here bungle up everything.

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Im against threatening someone and slander etc...but let's face it, Japanese people care way too much about what others think of them. They tend to have a complex that resembles what a 12 year old would have.

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But in Japan they tend to "want to" go after people for opinions too

except that for all we know so far, these opinions sound like serious accusations.

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You must be kidding me. And when comedian is making fun out of us, he never gets prosecuted. Not only comedians are comedians, 'WE ARE ALL COMEDIANS,'

Really? When is the last time that a comedian joked about someone being a murderer, especially this murder, which is one of the most deranged and disgusting murder/rape/kidnap cases one could possibly hear about.

PS. If the murder case in question happened way back in 1988, would it be safe to assume that the statute of limitations (a really stupid concept) has run out anyway?

The murder was committed by four juveniles, so their names and pictures were never released to the general public and have since then be a point of gossip.

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The murder was committed by four juveniles, so their names and pictures were never released to the general public and have since then be a point of gossip.

Watch out Good Jorb, a mighty J-blueman cop already read your comment and is ready to strike your home.

Internet is what it is. If you have the guts to show your face, be ready to be bashed, humiliated, ridiculized or whatever. Japan's internet is probably the harshest. If you don't have the shell for that, then don't hold a blog. Period.

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if your a comedian with a blog, your put yourself out there for ridicule. after all he did say he was an ex-hoodlum. I understand Japan's freedom of speech if limited. Its funny though how in 2000 during the sydney olympics on NHK news, it opened up with fireworks, and a voice saying something to the affect "its the f-ing olympics" but my friends cant put out a song that has the word p*ss in japanese in the title. The point is, for a comedian, someone who is supposed to be able to take what he dishes out, he folded really quick even for an ex ho0dlum. I understand he was called a murder, but ive been called a murder, and i didnt cry, i just ignored the comment(s).

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I don't think a 17yr old girl from Sapporo should be held accountable for making a 37yr old comedian cry. Everyone knows their is no crying in comedy.

-what's next? - jailing the hecklers at sporting events.

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This is proof the police are inept at solving real crime.

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What's next? Banning people from JT because they don't say things that won't make some cry on this Blog of a website?

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What a waste of tax payer money and police resources...

If the guy was offended, why not just delete or lock-out those people making the posts... End of story...

Now, even people like me, who have no interest what-so-ever in this comedian guy, would love to post something defamatory... Just because....

Come and get my SOFA ass JN police and charge me with defamation, they'll laugh you out the door...

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Read this paragraph. This is what's gonna happen to an individual who's singled out by internet stalking unity as a defame target. People not from Japan will never understand what it's like to be a target of such kind.

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...I agree with paradogs. These messages must have been really bad!

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Doesn't matter how bad they are, these arrests are unconstitutional, because they infringe on the Freedom of Speech, even if that includes hate messages. Yet this 'comedian' got paid to make fun and say defamatory things about anyone he wanted to. Another day in Japanese paradise is all folks.

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Absolutely, Youdontknow

This is what you would expect in China, if you Talked bad about the government there...

The only possible way these people could have been arrested in any "CIVILIZED" country, would be if they all 40 of them posted Death Threats... This would be a crime.

Telling somebody they suck online, amounts to kids play...

Come guys, paradogz and airrunwesker don't they teach critical thinking in Japan...?

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Okay, so, if someone believed this crap about him being the murderer in a famous case, and someone vigilanteed him for it, would the people suggesting he laugh it off still hold that line?

Every city has thefts and break ins. Go find out about some unsolved ones in your town. Then tell everybody your neighbor did it. See what happens.

Some in the thread have been trying to tell you that slander will net you big trouble. And I will give an extra hint: the word slander is not a loan word from Japanese.

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ohhh man what have you earthlings done?! good bye freedom of speech.... :(

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