crime

69-year-old Tokyo man arrested for driving without a license for over 50 years

26 Comments

On May 15, a passenger car was driving through Higashimurayama, Tokyo, when it was suddenly struck from behind by a Harley Davidson three-wheeled motorcycle. However, rather than following the proper procedure and notifying the police of the collision, the motorized tricycle sped off.

No one was injured in the crash but it left a dent in the car that cost 400,000 yen to fix. So, the owners of the automobile reported it to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police who launched an investigation into the hit and run and used the car’s dash cam to identify the vehicle.

It wasn’t until about two months later that the same silver bike was spotted by a patrol car in Kiyose, Tokyo. The officer told the suspect to pull over, but he sped off down a narrow path that the car couldn’t enter. One of the officers jumped out of the car and followed on foot, eventually catching up to the motorcycle at a dead end.

When the police asked to see the biker’s license, he told him that he left it at home. However, upon further questioning the rider, 69-year-old Tatsuo Matsumoto, finally broke down and admitted that he never had one, and was arrested for driving without a license.

Further investigation revealed that Matsumoto had been operating motorbikes without a license for over 50 years. He explained that he had attempted to get a motorcycle license six times but couldn’t pass the written test issued by the police, so he gave up near the end of the Showa period, which is around the late 1980s.

Despite that, he had been riding motorcycles since he was 17 years old and was taught by a senior classmate when he entered high school. He had been caught and fined once for driving without a license around that time, and then once again when he was in his 50s.

The three-wheeled Harley was purchased four years ago from a dealer in Saitama Prefecture and had about 30,000 kilometers on it. He told police that he rode it every day except during bad weather and that he gave the dealer the same line about “forgetting” his license when he purchased the bike for about six million yen.

In Japan, a three-wheeled motorcycle can be driven with a regular car class driver’s license rather than a motorcycle license, but Matsumoto had no license to speak of, so it’s a moot point in his case. Although the biker’s actions were brash and reckless, many readers of the news were more surprised that he managed to slip through so many holes in the system to get as far as he did.

“How did he get past the safety inspections?”

“I think it’s a big problem that you can buy a vehicle without showing a license.”

“There should be stricter penalties for driving without a license.”

”I realize this is my own prejudice, but…really? A three-wheeled Harley?”

“If he admitted to driving almost every day without a license, shouldn’t he be fined for each day?”

“I think driver’s licenses should have a chip inside so that the vehicle won’t start unless a valid one is in range.”

“I question his memory and intelligence if he fails the test six times.”

The amount of the fine issued in this instance wasn’t reported but by law can go as high as 500,000 yen

Then there’s the likely lawsuit and possible criminal charges associated with the hit and run to look forward to, so this is all amounting to a very costly lifestyle choice.

*Source: NTV News, *Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese high schooler fails driver’s license test 20 times, tries to hire someone else to take it for him

-- Getting a driver’s license in Japan the hard way: The first driving test

-- Segways soon to be permitted on public roads and new rules in the works for electric scooters

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments
Login to comment

"He told police that he rode it everyday [sic]..."

Every day is two words; 'every' and 'day'.

Moderator: That has been corrected. Thank you.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Tatsuo Matsumoto is a rebel without a cause.

Did Marlon Brando need a license in "The Wild Ones"?

Did Steve McQueen have a license when he jumped the fence in "The Great Escape"?

However, no license also means no insurance so after the ban, better go to driving school and get that piece of paper.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Yes, it’s again a more and more unfair world. Such a guy could drive decades without a license and I can’t afford a car and driving also the next decades, although having a driver’s license. No problem, I pay now and the world as a whole will pay soon too. No escape for anyone.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

well, he did cause an accident and ran away, and then he again tried to ran away from the police. It is quite possible that during those 50 years he caused other accidents, and he was just not caught. Fined two times for driving without a license, and couldn't pass the exam despite trying a few times, not the brightest guy, and definitely not somebody to be admired.

But I am very surprised he could do the paperwork without the driving license, the dealer will also be in trouble over this. And if I remember correctly, you do need the license in order to get the number plate as well, and the police checks that. Not to say, he was almost surely driving without the compulsory insurance as well

4 ( +8 / -4 )

This is a Harley trike: https://www.harley-davidson.com/jp/ja/motorcycles/trike.html Looks like a sweet ride!

Still, he must be a rather good driver never to have been caught.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A trike has all the disadvantages of a bike AND all the disadvantages of a car.... absolute pile of S....

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Rebel without a license more like!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The opposite to Japan paper drivers

2 ( +3 / -1 )

99.99% of accidents are caused by licensed drivers, so what exactly does having a license do? Money, money, money and control, control, control.

Could you imagine being told that you had to get a license to ride a horse? A samurai would have lopped someone’s head off for being told that.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Without a license, the chances are high that when he does ever hit someone, he wouldn't dare to stick around and instead do a hit and run. And that isn't what we want. Especially if the accident is sever and people got hurt.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

In my 25 years here I have owned quite a few cars and still own two. I've moved to a new area and registered at the licensing office, I've never bought a new car but have bought from dealers, auction agents and privately and I can't ever remember having to produce my driving licence.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Well, 50 years of driving without committing faults or being arrested is a very good experience, give it his well-deserved license..

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Peter Neil

99.99% of accidents are caused by licensed drivers, so what exactly does having a license do?

Isnt that simply because 99.99% of drivers are licensed?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

99.99% of accidents are caused by licensed drivers, so what exactly does having a license do? Money, money, money and control, control, control.

Could you imagine being told that you had to get a license to ride a horse? A samurai would have lopped someone’s head off for being told that.

A horse does not weigh two tons and go 120 kph. What a dopey thing to say.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

zurcronium

A horse does not weigh two tons and go 120 kph.

Neither does a Harley trike.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As long as you don't get into an accident, you can go a thousand years driving without a license.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Isnt that simply because 99.99% of drivers are licensed?

A horse does not weigh two tons and go 120 kph. What a dopey thing to say

I used to think Reddit was the dumbest place on the Internet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The cops stop cars/vehicles for many reasons.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Was he Hispanic?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Peter Neil

FYI you do need at least a moped license in order to ride a horse on the road in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 He explained that he had attempted to get a motorcycle license six times but couldn’t pass the written test issued by the police, so he gave up near the end of the Showa period,

How do you fail a written driver's test 6 times?

It's the most common sense of...............ahhh, that's right. You need common sense. Never mind.

And what does the Showa Period have to do with him failing? Did they have more difficult driving laws and bikes in the 80's?

> a Harley Davidson three-wheeled motorcycle.

you mean a tricycle? the ones 3 year olds ride?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

shogun36

you mean a tricycle? the ones 3 year olds ride?

Same basic design, but quite a difference in size, I would say.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He's been riding for 50 years without a license, and has done very little during that time to draw the attention of the Police. I'd say give him an Honoree License, as he must surely be a good driver !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites