crime

19-year-old man held over attack on Otsu education board head

33 Comments

Police on Wednesday arrested a 19-year-old man for allegedly trying to kill the superintendent of the Otsu Board of Education in Shiga Prefecture.

According to police, the suspect, who cannot be named because he is a minor, attacked Kenji Sawamura, 65, with a 30-cm-long hammer in his office shortly before 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Sawamura suffered a gash above his right eye, police said. Office staff subdued the suspect until police arrived.

The suspect was quoted by police as saying he wanted to kill Sawamura because of the way he covered up the bullying incident that led a 13-year-old boy to commit suicide last October, TV Asahi reported.

Police reported that the suspect is from Saitama where he attends a university. Besides the hammer, he also was carrying a piece of wire about 70 cms long, with small pieces of wood attached to each end, TV Asahi reported.

Sawamura and the education board came under heavy criticism last month for their handling of the bullying case at the school.

The father of the boy who committed suicide has filed a damages suit against the school and board of education which initially said there was no link between the bullying two weeks before the boy’s death, even though two questionnaires given to students after the boy’s suicide revealed that at least 60 students had witnessed the bullying.

After the questionnaires became public knowledge, both the school and board reversed their stance and said they believed bullying led to the boy killing himself by leaping from a building.

Sawamura was also criticized for going on a 5-day business trip to Australia last Nov 6, which was two days after the board received the results of the second questionnaire on bullying.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

33 Comments
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now you know how it feels like to be bullied sir. And please uphold your motto, to protect the bully too. So funny.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

So they (school board) call police when the superintendent gets assaulted but not when the boy was bullied (assaulted) .

16 ( +16 / -1 )

If he's a "man" then why is he considered a minor?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

the head of Otsu Board of Education was the principal of the school involved when somebody died due to bullying few years ago...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

^ Yeah, we know that, it's stated in the article

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What goes around comes around. He didn't care when the boy committed suicide after being bullied for months, so we shouldn't care about him either, at least he is still alive.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The whole attitude to the treatment of offenders in Japan has a lot of flaws, some of which are addressed in this report. The age of majority is 20, so it is a legal obligation to refer to the student as a minor. Similarly, bullies in schools and other educational institutions are minors in the eyes of the law (until they turn 20). This is often at odds with the severity of offences where violence is concerned. By the time some "children" reach 16, 15 or even 14 they are physically capable of inflicting damage as much as an "adult". This should be taken into consideration regarding punishment. Offenders shouldn't feel "protected" by the blanket of minority - offenders must take responsibility for their actions. As for the student attacking the Otsu Board of Education Chief - vigilante revenge cannot be tolerated; he is no better than the bullies who sparked his ire.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Excellent news.

It is refreshing to see someone actually fighting back and standing up to outdated and stubborn system. If more take a stand, hopefully 'change' just might have a slim chance of materializing...

I do not agree agree with the physical violence, but I am very impressed with his actions. Which hopefully have attracted more National attention and awareness to the underlying problems, which historically have been quietly ignored or tolerated....

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Vigilante? Crazed brute? The peanut gallery must decide this one!!!

How odd however that beating an esteemed educator with a hammer elicits police sirens wailing, but beating a 13 year old kid elicits cover-up... Peanut gallery, any comments???

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think this 'youth' (not man) has a few screws loose. He had nothing to do with the bullying but went after the BOE head anyway. I'd take a stab in the dark and suggest he was also the victim of bullying, which lead to his screws becoming loose.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

some great comments from a Japanese board about this:

“An arrest is taking things too far for this sort of rough play.”

“They were just playing at pro-wrestling.”

“I believe this principal had certain family problems.”

“He’s just staging this to attract attention.”

“Whether there was an attack will need to be established through a questionnaire.”

“It is not clear that there was any connection between his wounds and this assault.”

“His attacker is a youth so we must consider his human rights.”

“Who’ll take responsibility if his assailant commits suicide?” continuously day after day for months – there’s no way a single attack would make him understand.”

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The superintendent is not at fault of that kid committing suicide. The boy supposedly committed suicide because he was being bullied by three other boys.

This 19 years old "minor" is a criminal and should be put behind bars. Sane people don't just walk into a place an try to kill others.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

This 19 years old "minor" is a criminal and should be put behind bars. Sane people don't just walk into a place an try to kill others.

So he's insane, then? In which case, he's not a criminal, according to the laws of any civilised country.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is not funny at all. And to think one wrong will be corrected by another wrong is stupid. Although it is hot outside let us keep our cool and control our feelings. If people start taking the law into their own hands, nobody will be save anymore.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Like I said above, this is good only because the bullying problem gets a little more air time before being swept under the carpet again...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This doesn't solve anything. Taking the law into your own hands is never a good idea.

Why don't the Japanese try to get him to get tried or something? Change the bloody system instead of hitting some guy with a hammer.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Vigilanteism is not the answer when you're supposedly fighting on behalf of people were bullied. The 19-year old 'kid' was wrong in that regard. However, Sawamura needs to know that as long as he lies and denies what happened he's got this kind of target on him.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I bet Sawamura's trip to Australia was all about teeing up a homestay to whisk the offenders out of sight, out of mind.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Changing a Japanese system has historically amounted to "hitting some guy with a hammer". They won't acknowledge that there was a problem with the 13 year old. You think they'll acknowledge it now? Will it matter to the abuse victims?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Thomas Anderson

"Why don't the Japanese try to get him to get tried or something?"

The police are investigating the bulling incident. But the legal justice takes months or years. Street justice is quicker

3 ( +3 / -0 )

he also was carrying a piece of wire about 70 cms long, with small pieces of wood attached to each end

A garotte. Not a nice way to die. My guess is he intended to knock him unconscious with the hammer, then strangle him to death.

No, this isn't particularly funny. Ironic, yes. Funny, no.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Glad the man wasn't killed but I hope they're learning the lesson that if those "in charge" won't protect the people, then the people will take things into their own hands, with ugly consequences.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bullying and alienation are the main causes of one million hikkikomori and psychos wielding knives in Akibahara. Japan needs to do something to stop these and encourage more acceptance of those who are different from the mainstream.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“It is not clear that there was any connection between his wounds and this assault.”

Gotta love the black humour of this country sometimes.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Older brother/ cousin striking back?

Friend of the kid who was bullied and died when this super was a principal?

Some kind of revenge, no doubt. Those above saying psycho, maybe, but I think revengs.

Great post by Aizo Yurei of jpns comments about it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I know nothing about the circumstances that led up to this situation so "no comment."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cunning guy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's a good idea to "knock" some sense into the school board, but dialogue works far better than a hammer. Up goes more cameras, neighborhood watches, PTA guards, and police patrols. However, the bully is never seen or caught.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If he's a "man" then why is he considered a minor?

Because the opinion of the lawmakers of Japan does not match the opinion of the writer, or me even. Also, the word man is not a legal term. The word minor is. Do you think he is a boy at 19? No? Do you think he is a man? No? Then what is he? Well, whatever you decide, don't let the Japanese Diet decide for you! I have little doubt that should the need arise they will pack him off to war as if he were a man, even if they decided he is not old enough for a beer!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This doesn't solve anything. Taking the law into your own hands is never a good idea.

I beg to differ. A wake up call is sorely needed. Everyone involved in trying to bury this have themselves to blame as much as anybody.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Then change the system rather than hitting some guy with a hammer.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Then change the system rather than hitting some guy with a hammer.

Unfortunately, this is often where change starts! The people who decided to bury this were in the PTA as well as the BOE. They are the ones in control of everything. Breaking that sort of power is not easy, and often requires a hammer unless you are going to dedicate your entire life to creating a secret organization to infiltrate the BOE and PTA and set things right in a decade or later.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

AlternateUniverse - your last two comments are spot on.

In the 'dark old days' there was lawlessness, and the weak were at the mercy of the strong. Then authorities were formed to bring order and law. The common people will abide by these laws if they are protected, but if authorities fail in such a manner as we have seen to keep their promise to protect the weak, there comes a time when lawlessness returns, even when its intention is to right wrongs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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