crime

2nd man referred to prosecutors over 'Terrace House' star bullying

14 Comments

Police on Monday referred a second man to prosecutors over the cyberbullying of Hana Kimura, a cast member on the now-canceled reality TV show "Terrace House" who apparently committed suicide last year.

The Tokyo police said the man in his 30s from Fukui Prefecture posted four hateful messages about Kimura, a 22-year-old professional wrestler, on Twitter such as "Die" and "You're disgusting" in April last year.

The man admitted to the allegations during voluntary questioning, with investigative sources quoting him as saying, "Many hateful messages had been posted, and I followed suit. I'm sorry."

The latest police action came two days before the one-year statute of limitations for the public insult charge expires.

Kimura, who was among six cast members of the 2019-2020 season of "Terrace House Tokyo," was found dead at her apartment in Tokyo in May last year after becoming a target of a barrage of hateful messages on social media. The show has since been cancelled.

Her case highlighted the issue of cyberbullying and prompted calls for more action to prevent and track down anonymous users posting defamatory comments.

Kyoko Kimura, the wrestler's mother, expressed gratitude for the police action before the expiration of the statute of limitations, but added that she "regretted" that not all posters of hateful messages aimed at her daughter had been charged.

"I am keenly aware of the need to seek cooperation from social networking site operators and keep communications logs for a long time so that people will not be pushed over the edge by irresponsible posts," she said.

Last December, a man in his 20s from Osaka Prefecture was referred to prosecutors over the cyberbullying of Kimura. Last week, he was indicted and fined 9,000 yen ($81) for posting malicious comments on Twitter eight times anonymously in May last year, with messages such as, "When are you going to die?," according to the indictment.

The Osaka man admitted to the allegations and was quoted by the police as saying he "couldn't forgive Kimura's attitude on the program."

The cyberbullying of Kimura followed a scene in an episode from the series aired in March 2020, in which Kimura lost her temper at a male cast member who accidentally shrank one of her wrestling costumes while doing laundry.

© KYODO

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

14 Comments
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Justice should come for the victim and surviving family.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I'm glad that they are going after these degenerates for cyberbullying Kimura, but at the end of the day Kimura did not need to read these messages, nor kill herself.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Ooh,and now you want to charge him $81 as well?What kind of justice is that?So sad.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Excuse me, 9000 yen??? 1125 yen per message? Someone died.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

It is not about Kimura's death. There is no bullying on Internet since you are not forced to read anything.

It is about hate speech. No one shall say on the net what they are not allowed to say in person.

9000¥ fine ! The cost for justice to manage the file must have cost 100 times more...

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

It's a tricky case, you have to establish the link between said messages and the death. Are the messages the trigger? Or a specific message? Is it directly link to the suicide? From a pure legal standpoint it must be a headache to establish liability. It doe snot take away the fact that hate speech should be fought and banned from the internet, but the root of the problem is deep...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Another 9000 yen fine?

I have no sympathy for these dimwits, but if writing stupid messages in response to a stupid TV program is an actual crime, please define it and give real punishments, instead of handing out symbolic non-punishments for non-crimes.

The justice system looks as stupid as both these reality shows and their audience.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The infantilization of society continues.

Mean tweets.

How do some people even get up in the morning?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think Japan has other things to worry about than some random guy that made a post on twitter. Japan is getting closer and closer to following suite with China and free speech, and supressing people.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ricky Sanchez

For real though, I think Japan has other things to worry about than some random guy that made a post on twitter. Japan is getting closer and closer to following suite with China and free speech, and supressing people.

Yes, that is what worries me too. Protecting free speach means precisely protecting offensive and stupid speech as long as it is not directly criminal. Non-offensive speech does not need to be protected anyway.

Alas, it looks like Japan is heading down the self-destructive way of Western countries.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No Justice served here. A second unnamed, 9000 yen fined, person suspected of guilt. It's like being fined for mean tweets is the new "chikan" crime. A crime may have occurred, but instead of actually going through the process of of obtaining justice for harassment [the core issue] and holding those accountable, these guys are being threatened and harassed into paying some hush money by the police. This may be cathartic to some, but I just find it wastefully ironic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On the face of it, he sounds like an internet troll. What he said was unkind, but saying unkind things is protected by freedom of speech. He should not be held criminally accountable for her death. She chose to end her life.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

On the face of it, he sounds like an internet troll. What he said was unkind, but saying unkind things is protected by freedom of speech. He should not be held criminally accountable for her death. She chose to end her life.

If I were an internet troll in Japan, I'd definitely be pushing freedom of speech! This must be scary for all the trolls, finding out that suddenly they may have to take responsibility for their actions online.

Taking responsibility for their actions is very, very scary to may people. Mostly useless worthless people. But some are just pathetic.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Can you imagine caring about a reality TV program so much that you want one of the cast members to actually die? And then actually feeling the need to tell it to her directly? A woman you have never met in your life and who has absolutely no incidence on your own existence?

I for one can't imagine it. We live in profoundly stupid times.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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