crime

Californian student remains in detention 8 months after breaking lamp in Tokyo bar

143 Comments
By SoraNews24

Recently, Japan’s legal system has been in the international spotlight following the arrest of former Nissan chief, and chairman of the three-way alliance between Renault SA, Nissan, and Mitsubishi Motors, Carlos Ghosn.

While Ghosn is likely to remain in pre-trial detention at the Tokyo Detention Center for months to come, he’s not the only foreigner who’s been caught up in Japan’s strict legal system lately. Californian student Julian Adame has also been detained at the same detention facility after he was arrested during a drunken night out in May last year.

Adame’s case has been making news around the world, as he now approaches nine months in jail awaiting trial.

According to reports, the arrest occurred on May 22 after the University of Redlands student, who’d travelled to Japan on a study abroad program, had been bar-hopping with two people he’d met at his hostel. Adame’s mother, Leah Smith, maintains that her son fell asleep at one of the bars after three beers and when he awoke, his companions had gone and police were informing him that he’d have to pay for a lamp he’d broken, which was worth 100,000 yen.

Smith says her son had been warned about Japanese gang members who “dress up like police officers, ask for your passport to commit identity theft, and extort and kidnap you.” So when the police officers asked to see his passport he refused, which resulted in him being taken to a local police station.

Despite being in Japan, where the emergency services number is 119, Smith says Adame panicked and called “911” 13 times. Police officers took Adame back to his hostel to obtain his passport, but when one of the officers attempted to handcuff him, he refused arrest. Police then charged him with the Obstruction of the Performance of Official Duties, and he has been detained on this charge ever since.

Smith has set up a GoFundMe account to help cover translator fees, the cost of the broken lamp, and a flight home for her son. She also made a plea for help on U.S. television, saying “I just want him home. This is ridiculous, he’s not a criminal.”

Reports say Adame has pleaded guilty to the charges, which come with a maximum of three years imprisonment or a fine of up to 500,000 yen. His trial has been postponed until mid-February.

Reactions to Adame’s arrest have been mixed. While many are able to sympathise with his plight, others believe some details of the story, including claims that he punched an officer, are missing. Smith did admit to radio station KTXL that “At one point the police officer grabbed his arm and it snapped back and hit the officer in his chin.”

Sources: GoFundMe, Yurukuyaru via My Game News Flash

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Foreigner attempts to fend off six Japanese police officers at Tokyo Starbucks 【Video】

-- 49-year-old Japanese shut-in spends weeks living with corpse of mother who died at home

-- Civil servant spends 20 minutes hitting on schoolgirl in Japan, gets arrested instead of a date

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

143 Comments
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Good luck Tokyo 2020! Japan is desperately trying to hide its reality as seen in combinis getting rid of sex mags (for the duration of the Olympics only?) Maybe they can release this dude and Carlos Ghosn....(for the duration of the Olympics only?). I could say 'tatemae and honne', but that would be so old stereotype....oops, I just said it.....

7 ( +30 / -23 )

"he’d have to pay for a lamp he’d broken, which was worth 100,000 yen." (£690) well that seems a lot for a light, was it a very special light? If I was in that situation I would offer to pay for a new one, but I would pay for it at the place where they supply the lights, not just to the bar owner, as it seems that he could be racking up the price, was there any CCTV footage of this guy braking the light? was there any witnesses? and as for demanding his passport, I don't think that the police are entitled to do this as the passport is a government document that is owned by your government. “At one point the police officer grabbed his arm and it snapped back and hit the officer in his chin.” uuuum, good luck with that story.

15 ( +27 / -12 )

Reminds me of the student arrested in North Korea for taking a propaganda poster. 9 months detention, and of course he has confessesd, that's what detention is for in Japan.

Hope he can leave Japan without having become a mental mess. Must have been a nice lamp? Restitution and a fine would probably have done it. 9 months detention seems excessively draconian. Incidents like this will skyrocket during the Olympics. Hope the MOJ have had several meetings about requesting an extra budget to train more interpreters or as it's such a "great" system why bother. After all they always confess in the end.

13 ( +21 / -8 )

Who falls asleep after 3 beers?

29 ( +40 / -11 )

It's a tough lesson for him. His companions weren't his friend, just leaving him there, if it is true he was with them. As for his passport, foreigners are required to either have their passport or resident's card with them at all times. However, even after pleading guilty, he remains in detention for now nine months, quite a long haul. Hopefully, he will be able to just pay the 500,000 yen fine with the help of his mom's go-fund-me efforts and leave Japan. He definitely learned a lot on his Study Abroad Program.

25 ( +27 / -2 )

The US can speak of its criminal system that has innumerable loopholes and where people have been killed with the death penalty and over time it has been shown that they were innocent.

There are Americans who believe they are the kings of the world, if one is wrong, they will pay the consequences.

I have traveled to Japan 3 times and I have never had a problem, of course, I behave civilly. They have a wonderful country, I am amazed when I read some very hard comments with Japan, maybe some of you would have to travel to Europe or the US to see the reality that we have there.

-19 ( +21 / -40 )

and as for demanding his passport, I don't think that the police are entitled to do this as the passport is a government document that is owned by your government. 

The Japanese police can and do have every right to ask for your passport according to Japanese law. Its illegal to travel in Japan without a passport being on your person. That means, every time you leave your hostel, you have to legally bring it with you. OR if you are a long term residence, a residency card. Failure to do so can lead to a big fine or jail time ( though it rarely does). Better to be informed before saying any nonsense like this.

I feel like there is a lot to this case that his mother isn't telling the world. They won't arrest you just for breaking a light if you pay for it. My guess is drunk American doesn't understand how the rules work in Japan and breaks them. Again, ignorance of the laws and rules of society isn't a get out of free card.

He made some mistakes, he needs to deal with them as an adult. 22 years old, he should be more than capable of that.

20 ( +27 / -7 )

Ksteer....that's just it! I feel there is a lot to this case his mother isn't telling the world....and the police not telling, and the prosecutors not telling, and media not telling, and Japan Today not telling....also, why, in Japan, except for the most notorious crimes, do we never hear what happens after an arrest???

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Totally unfair treatment.

I've been living here nearly twenty years and never heard about these gangs claiming to be police and trying to steal your identity. Sounds like a bit of a paranoid delusion to me.

And, a note to any of you young travellers who want to make trouble by not having your passport. Just carry a photocopy of it. Once the police prove your identity they cannot detain you without a charge.

8 ( +21 / -13 )

The article's title is deceptive, in leading readers to believe that he has been in jail for 9 months only for breaking a lamp.

But then in the article (which people will read or remember less often than the title), it says he is also charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.

So, the media should be more honest in their article titles.

At the same time, I don't think it's good that he has been held for 9 months over this. Japan's criminal justice system is not one of an advanced, civilized country.

18 ( +25 / -7 )

Pardon me for going slightly off topic here but, why does Japan have such draconian laws and why are they super strict on foreigners? If a Japanese broke that lamp, he'd just use his "i was drunk and couldn't remember jack" card and he'd get off with a light fine whereas god forbid if it was a foreigner. To answer beerdeliveryguy's question, maybe the beer had something more than beer in 'em, you know, being in Tokyo and all that.

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

I empathized until the last sentence. You hit a cop you will be severely charged in any country. That being said I suggest he confess and at trial cry like a baby and hope they just deport him.

I did fall asleep in a bar on my first trip to Japan and it was locked up with me on a bench. I tripped an alarm trying to get out and the building janitor shat his pants when he saw me on Sunday morning. The cops took me in a police car to the station where they copied my id and let me go without any fighting or punching. It did make the news the next day but they did not use my name. This happened in Oita in 1993.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Pardon me for going slightly off topic here but, why does Japan have such draconian laws and why are they super strict on foreigners? If a Japanese broke that lamp, he'd just use his "i was drunk and couldn't remember jack" card and he'd get off with a light fine whereas god forbid if it was a foreigner. To answer beerdeliveryguy's question, maybe the beer had something more than beer in 'em, you know, being in Tokyo and all that.

Japan isn't any stricter on foreigners than it is on Japanese people. Its strict for everyone. The difference being that Japanese have a tendency to admit guilt rather than foreigners who have a tendency to question everything. If a Japanese person was arrested for Obstruction of Official Duties and also punched a police officer they would be in the same boat. We just wouldn't hear about it. Considering my roommate in Japan is a police officer, I hear tons of stories about these things.

When the police arrest you in Japan, its because you have done something wrong (the perception in Japan), where as for foreigners if the police arrest you its not necessarily because you've done something wrong and you have a duty to question it (the perception outside of Japan). Therefore, Japanese people apologize and accept what they did is wrong before trying to fight it.

10 ( +21 / -11 )

Commenting on this story is difficult because we don’t know the full story.

Maybe they would like to charge his friends and his unwillingness to identify them could also culpable for obstructing justice.

Many pieces of the story does not add up.

Also, he was drunk and from very well known stories in America, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer are things that are not taken lightly. Even if you are falsely accused and in the right. Those things will still make matters worst for you.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

My assumtion with apologies if I’m wrong, is that a rich privileged California boy gets hammered before going to his terminal bar of the night. Things get rowdy, and he breaks a wall fixture lamp by hanging off it causing 100,000Y in damage to the wall and light.

He then passes out, and as bar owners usually do when drunks don’t go home after closing time, they call the cops.

Drunken Caliboy resists arrest and punches a cop. While in detention he acts like a typical entitled brat, which Japanese cops have little patience for, and they keep him in detention while pending trial.

7 ( +19 / -12 )

Even if this kid is guilty of what they say (I reserve judgement either way), this is another example of the travesty of the Japanese "justice" system.

4 ( +16 / -12 )

 Its illegal to travel in Japan without a passport being on your person. 

Not unless you have a residence card!

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

I have been living in Japan for as an international student for 6 years now and in some way can relate to this story. I literally stopped working part-time to the supermarket on the next station, because people dressed like police officers will target me each time and ask for my documents, sometimes 4 times or more a month which is crazy. They looked really suspicious or at the best unprofessional to me. since I speak Japanese, they would lost interest and let me go quickly but still sometimes make me go late for my job. Later, I started asking friends around and some of my foreigner friends at my university also experience the same. It seem they were targeting foreign girls for fun which is creepy. I even though reporting it to police, but my Japanese friends said it wasn't a good idea...

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Well obviously he made a crappy situation much worse didn't he. Feel sorry for him being locked up for that time but he did resist arrest after all, even when he knew they actually were proper police! (if you believe the fake police story)

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Adame’s mother, Leah Smith, maintains that her son fell asleep at one of the bars after three beers 

That's hard to believe, even for a university student. From his photo, I'm sure he can handle much more than that.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The US can speak of its criminal system that has innumerable loopholes and where people have been killed with the death penalty and over time it has been shown that they were innocent.

There are Americans who believe they are the kings of the world, if one is wrong, they will pay the consequences.

I have traveled to Japan 3 times and I have never had a problem, of course, I behave civilly. They have a wonderful country, I am amazed when I read some very hard comments with Japan, maybe some of you would have to travel to Europe or the US to see the reality that we have there.

Nothing to add other than I agree with your every word.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

My old friend once said to me, "If you get into trouble in Japan, God help you. Because nobody else will."

It's the sort of story you expect to read about Bangkok or Bali. Minor incidents like this should be cleared up quickly no matter what country you are in. Apparently his mum has been able to visit him, but naturally they are not allowed to converse in English. Shambolic.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

The Japanese police can and do have every right to ask for your passport according to Japanese law. Its illegal to travel in Japan without a passport being on your person. That means, every time you leave your hostel, you have to legally bring it with you. OR if you are a long term residence, a residency card. Failure to do so can lead to a big fine or jail time ( though it rarely does). Better to be informed before saying any nonsense like this.

The police are first required to show their own ID.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

If they were really gang members the lamp won't just cost 100,000yen, it would be nice to know which bar so people can be wary.

This is probably an expensive lesson, when you drink with people you just met don't expect them to take care of you when you are drunk.

The police are literally just doing their job in this instance, unfortunately getting drunk didn't help in this situation. With the lack of information we do not know if the bar produced evidence of the damage and actual records regards to the price of the lamp.

That said i don't see why he needs to be detained, i think based on the situation he shouldn't be a danger to himself or others or that he's going to escape from such a minor crime.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

As an American, there are far too many atrocities committed by the American justice system to Americans and illegal immigrants.

I think the Japanese justice system isn’t the best. But I’m more confident of facing fair treatment there when I and another American are in trouble as opposed to America.

As a black male, the same crimes committed by me and someone else may not be handled equally. In Japan, foreigners are the same in the legal system.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Oh dear, what should be a civil case is turned into a criminal one when the J cops start pressing their point home by wanting to arrest the guy!and and manhandling him!

I don’t propose resisting arrest but the result so far, in this case is 9 months detention-many times the cost of the lamp.....

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Also the current American legal system has held many people, even Americans, in prison for months and even over a year. Trials get furloughed all the time. IF you are convicted then the time you were held will be considered part of your time served. If you are found innocent it becomes an apology.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

If he were Japanese he would have said he was drunk and couldn't remember and would be let off with a slap on the wrist, but for the gaijin, no such leniency ...

just like with the imprisonment of Ghosn, this is racism by the Japanese police and prosecutors.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

@ksteer - Japan isn't any stricter on foreigners than it is on Japanese people. Its strict for everyone.

A total untruth! The Japanese legal system and police are much more strict on foreigners than on Japanese. I know of many cases involving foreigners being unfairly detained and treated as criminals for no reason. I also have a personal experience of unfair treatment. About 8 years ago, I caught a creep taking a video up the skirt of a high school girl on an escalator at a train station. I grabbed him at the top of the escalator and told the girls to get the station staff. They were actually my students at the private high school I was working in at the time. This pathetic creep started screaming like a little girl, all the while trying to delete the video from his phone. The girls came back very quickly with the station staff and I was sure he had not deleted the video. We both went to the station office and awaited the police. The cops came about 15 minutes later and put us in separate rooms. They asked me what happened and walked out. I could here them interrogating the creep in the next room. He was screaming like a little girl again and claiming his innocence. He also made a lot of anti-foreigner comments and stated that I had punched him, which was total BS. After about 20 minutes they let him go. To my knowledge, they didn't even look at his phone. Then, they came back to me. They checked my ID, called the school I was working for, called my wife and requested a copy of my passport, even though they had my gaijin card. They detained me for two hours at the train station. Then at the end of it one of the cops came up to me and said to me in English, "Stay out of Japan business." Please tell me how that is not treating foreigners different to Japanese.

21 ( +31 / -10 )

The Japanese police can and do have every right to ask for your passport according to Japanese law.

Yes this is totally true!

Its illegal to travel in Japan without a passport being on your person.

No you do not need to travel within the country if you have a residence card, long time resident or not. If you have the card that is ALL you need when travelling!

That means, every time you leave your hostel, you have to legally bring it with you. OR if you are a long term residence, a residency card.

Hostel, hotel, residence, where ever, long term, short term, no matter, if you have a residence card you do NOT need to carry your passport!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Nothing wrong with justice, but it should be fair and rapid. There is no excuse for dragging this on so long. He has a right to a fair trial. Japan needs to come into the 21st century!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

How come the "I was drunk" defence doesn't work for him? In the case, he was clearly drunk, and there seems to be no proof that he was the one to break the lamp (at least none is presented in the article).

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

How come the "I was drunk" defence doesn't work for him?

Maybe because such a defense doesn't actually work?

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Reports say Adame has pleaded guilty to the charges, which come with a maximum of three years imprisonment or a fine of up to 500,000 yen. His trial has been postponed until mid-February.

One of the main differences between the Japanese and American justice system is that even if you plead guilty in Japan (or sign a police confession) a full trial still needs to takes place where all of the evidence gets presented to a judge. You can't go straight to a sentencing hearing later that afternoon as in the US. This is because Japanese law explicitly states that a confession alone (which includes a guilty plea) is never enough to convict a suspect.

Some people might find this hard to accept but Mr Adame is in detention awaiting trial because of laws intended to protect him from confessing to crimes he didn't actually commit. If the judge who hears the evidence thinks no crime has been committed (for whatever reason) he will be able to disregard the guilty plea and acquit Adame. This sort of protection doesn't exist in America, where there is no judicial review of the underlying facts once a suspect has been coerced into entering a guilty plea. Just something to think about.

This requirement for a full trial, even where the suspect pleads guilty, is also one of the reasons for Japan's high conviction rate compared to the US since the US does not count guilty pleas as convictions.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

The Japanese police can and do have every right to ask for your passport according to Japanese law. Its illegal to travel in Japan without a passport being on your person. That means, every time you leave your hostel, you have to legally bring it with you. OR if you are a long term residence, a residency card. Failure to do so can lead to a big fine or jail time ( though it rarely does). Better to be informed before saying any nonsense like this.

Not really you, should check that actual law or check debito.org .

But for this case since that bar report property damage to the police, police will check reported individual ID and they'll check ID even if he were Japanese in case responsible for property damage.

he’d have to pay for a lamp he’d broken, which was worth 100,000 yen.

At one point the police officer grabbed his arm and it snapped back and hit the officer in his chin.”

100,000 yen since bar will use professional service to fix it, that number is quite reasonable. If he paid that and ask for forgiveness to bar owner avoid getting any fight he wouldn't be in jail now.

Adame was having beers with friends when "the alcohol and in combination of him traveling" made him fall asleep

It more than just three beers.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

In a few years time he will look back on this experience and recognize it as the best thing that ever happened to him. Unless he’s really stupid and does similar things when he gets back to the US.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Seems like he hit one of the coppers---not a smart move in any country---anything might happen---coppers are inclined to take a dim view of it---which may be one of the reasons why he's still cooling his heels in the slammer. The screws could well be good friends of the cops.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"he’d have to pay for a lamp he’d broken, which was worth 100,000 yen." 

How much have the taxpayers spent keeping him in detention? As a taxpayer this really pisses me off to no end.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Hey, Disillusioned

Back in the day, I lived in an apartment bld in tokyo, on the fourth Fl near the end of a long dark hallway. There this creepy old rt wing nut a couple doors down, from me who would be hatin like a mad hatter, giving me the mean mug , whenever he saw me , ohh I wanted to serve him up something proper, but my hand s were tied in J-land. Anyway the only small light/lamp near my apt mysteriously came up broken with its pieces on the floor near my door one day. I could barely make it to my apt because it was dark. I called the j-stones, and they reluctantly came and took pictures. They told me to come with them to the cold ban, and they finger-printed me. I was like wtf, but complied cause its j-land, I wish they had cameras like now.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Three beers is not enough to wet the whistle, let along fall asleep in a bar.

OK, he probably had about 10, but really, why is he still locked up?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Sorry, dont believe a single word of what he is saying

J police are lenient to drunks, especially American ones.

I would assume he was drinking way way more than 10 beers, did bar hopping, broke some stuff, and then violently resisted alert. Slam him in for 3 years just to teach lesson to others that think all asia is Thailand...

2 ( +8 / -6 )

had been bar-hopping with two people he’d met at his hostel. Adame’s mother, Leah Smith, maintains that her son fell asleep at one of the bars after three beers 

I think the key word here is bar hopping. 3 beers at THAT bar probably.

Resisting arrest

Refusing to show his passport

possibly hitting a cop, even by accident

The stories don’t jive.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for a lamp???????? lets assume that the boy was drunk, and he really hit the police man, does he deserve a 9 months detention?????????????? he is only a boy!!!!!!! is this a nightmare? when it will end. 

Come on this is Japan and not one of the underdeveloped countries.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

OK, he probably had about 10, but really, why is he still locked up?

He may just have been really tired, or maybe he did have 10 beers. The bar probably has proof of how many he had, if they can be trusted. I think it all comes down to him hitting one of the 'j-stones' as @pudus brilliantly called them. “At one point the police officer grabbed his arm and it snapped back and hit the officer in his chin.” If he did that deliberately, he's in bother of his own making.

A j-stone once flung me over his car because I refused to show him ID (I'd done nothing wrong, I was walking home from the pub mildly dominoed). Looking back they could have made life difficult for me, but in the end they got bored and went for some donuts of mochi or whatever it is the j-stones eat.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Imagine if this was in the US and scuffing a police in the chin and saying he thought the police were gangsters. He'd be tased or worse, shot. Saying he thought police was gangsters trying to scam him isn't gonna help neither. He is lucky he is in Japan.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

“Hit him in is chin”, ouch, got to hurt in Japan.

Nearly 9 mths? He was drunk, where’s the leniency that the locals get?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

As someone who is a foreigner and has been picked up and detained by the Japanese police, the best thing you can do is cooperate. They will process you, get all the paper work in order, and then get you back out the door.

If you cause trouble like the knot-head in this article, then they simply leave you in until you cooperate.

By this report it sounds like Mr. Adame hasn't been very cooperative.

Just pay the fine. Cooperate. Stop dicking around. Obey the rules of the host country you're in.

And although it's sometimes not that simple, Japan is pretty by the book in this regard.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

He's still locked up because he resisted arrest when he fully knew they were the Police and probably because he does not have the money to pay the various fines. Once he pays the fines they'll probably let him go. I'll bet this idiot really gave the Cops a hard time and now its pay back time. I find it hard to believe that they cannot come up with the money to get him out. Who paid for his trip to Japan in the first place.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I guess he just rubbed the wrong lamp.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Whether he did what he is accused of or not to a degree is irrelevant, the courts will sort that out. The problem for Japan and why his mother is gaining the attention she is, comes down to the unjust and lengthy incarceration inflicted by the system on someone not yet proven guilty of anything. Had Japan a 21st. Century system that arrested him and bailed him (if he is a flight risk hold his passport) there would be no story.

500000 yen (about £3.4k) is not a huge sum, though not something you would be happy about or pay out lightly but this family can afford to send him on a nice trip to Japan but is expecting other people to pay up when he gets him self in to trouble?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Who falls asleep after 3 beers?

In Japan people fall asleep on trains after no beers.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

21st Century Justice system? I guess my home country of America must also be lagging behind the times. America has held Americans and Non Americans in Jail for years awaiting trial. America is rather famous for violating people's right to a speedy trial. They have even let murderers get away free because of this violation. They held one guy in jail for over 20 years awaiting his trial.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

he is only a boy!!!!!!! 

Can’t figure out if this is sarcasm or not.

Anyway, i haven’t found his age so can we add drinking under age to the tab, ya know, cause he’s a boy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The lamp is probably not worth half of ¥100000, unless of course you are a foreigner.

Under Japans unofficial apartheid system, it is worth ¥100000 for an American or any other western country person who the Japanese perceive as rich.

The value for other persons is probably worth about ¥60000.

Let's all hear in "court" it's true value, for the locals or. Japanese.

A classic Japanese opportunist scam, and it's legal in Japan.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

The US can speak of its criminal system that has innumerable loopholes and where people have been killed with the death penalty and over time it has been shown that they were innocent.

But in the US you are always allowed to see a lawyer or speak to a family member. No one said our justice system loophole free, I’ll be the first one to admit that, but we do have certain that if they are violated, we do have some recourse action we can take.

There are Americans who believe they are the kings of the world, if one is wrong, they will pay the consequences.

There are many people that think they are Kong’s of the world, has nothing to do with America.

I have traveled to Japan 3 times and I have never had a problem, of course, I behave civilly. They have a wonderful country, I am amazed when I read some very hard comments with Japan, maybe some of you would have to travel to Europe or the US to see the reality that we have there.

Most of us that live in Japan and behave ourselves, we all know about Japan and their archaic system when it comes to judicial matters, but regardless of what the guy did, he shouldn’t to go through. I mean, 9 months waiting for an arraignment is pretty long if I do say so myself. Granted, you should never punch a police officer, but even that shouldn’t be reason enough to hold him for so long. This is just crazy.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

I would love to know which neighborhood he was bar-hopping in, the name of the bar where this happened, and the police station the police officers were from. Only because that info might be relevant.

So, it's not as though this guy is completely innocent.

-- Clearly he had drunk more than 3 beers, as he had been bar hopping and had consumed 3 beers at the last place. So, that is a recipe for trouble.

-- I don't know about the lamp, but it is possible. Although one wonders if that was a scam by the bar.

-- Undoubtedly he was belligerent with the police.

-- Then there is the resisting the handcuffs.

-- Finally, there is the hitting a police officer.

Look, I know a guy who came to Japan regularly on business who got drunk one night and caused a scene at a bar. The bar called the police and they were just going to escort him outside. But then he ended kicking one of those lit up signs outside of bars and damaging it. He ended up in detention for a week.

But, with all of that said, there is a major systemic problem here:

-- So many people are held in detention in Japan that should be out on bail if they are going to trial. Like this guy.

-- The whole bail system and use of measures to make it work is very poorly developed.

-- This is by design because this works to the police and prosecutors favor. They WANT to be able to detain suspects indefinitely so that they have the power to interrogate them and basically ensure they can get a guilty verdict.

-- The police and prosecutors have vigorously fought any efforts to make the system more fair for suspects / defendants,

And that is my issue here. There is no way this guy should still be detained, based on the facts in evidence. If he is found guilty, he should pay his fine / do his time, but until trial, he should be released on bail.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If you try to hit a police officer in USA or France, you'd be shot.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Doesn't pass the sniff test.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

They are waiting for him to apologize and take responsibility for his actions. In that sense they are trying to be lenient with him, but he is being very rude in return. They probably don't want to sentence him to 3 years in prison.

If you have any trouble in Japan be very respectful to the police. If you aren't then your troubles will multiply. It is the same in any city or town in any country in the world.

Foreigners have to carry their passport at all times in Japan. If you don't want to for some reason then at least carry a photo copy of it and the landing stamp. But be prepared to show the police the passport and write an apology letter for not carrying it if you meet the police.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Not really you, should check that actual law or check debito.org .

Considering I know Debito personally, I don't need to check his site. Also, it is the actual law.

Immigration: http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/zairyuu/ryoken.html

Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act Article 23: http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/law/detail/?ft=1&re=02&dn=1&x=60&y=6&co=01&ia=03&ky=passport&page=16

A Foreign National staying in Japan must carry their Passport with them at all times (for a Foreign National listed in one of the following items, the document specified in the respective item); provided, however, that this does not apply if the Foreign National carries the residence card as provided for in the following paragraph: .

4 ( +5 / -1 )

He doesn't deserve any sympathy. The Japanese can be rotten and discriminatory in a lot of ways, but officials are usually pretty decent. Immigration, the police and city officers are pretty fair and will often give a foreigner a break when a Japanese would have trouble.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

A total untruth! The Japanese legal system and police are much more strict on foreigners than on Japanese. I know of many cases involving foreigners being unfairly detained and treated as criminals for no reason. I also have a personal experience of unfair treatment. About 8 years ago, I caught a creep taking a video up the skirt of a high school girl on an escalator at a train station. I grabbed him at the top of the escalator and told the girls to get the station staff. They were actually my students at the private high school I was working in at the time. 

....

They checked my ID, called the school I was working for, called my wife and requested a copy of my passport, even though they had my gaijin card. They detained me for two hours at the train station. Then at the end of it one of the cops came up to me and said to me in English, "Stay out of Japan business."

So 8 years living in Japan I assume? The cop is right though you made the biggest mistake you could in this situation. You grabbed the Japanese dude. That's not how Japan works and as such made the situation more difficult for the police. His attempt to speak to you was more likely a warning, as to save you from the trouble of your own actions and less of a threat, which apparently you seem to have interpreted it as.

That's not to say that the police in Japan are all angels, of course some people don't like foreigners very much. But in the eyes of the law, you are equal to the Japanese guy sitting next to you on the train on the way to work, personal experiences or not.

As for the passport copying? They are obligated to do so, as well as your residency card. A residency card doesn't necessarily mean a valid passport. That is something they have to check as per the Immigration Act of Japan.

Like I said, I live with a police officer as my roommate. I also have about 8 police officer friends. They are all great people and don't treat foreigners any different. The only difference that YOU seem to not be able to get through your head is that this is Japan and as such, you need to live here like a Japanese person would.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Whenever I'm staying in a foreign country, I carry a photocopy of my passport with me unless I'm just entering or leaving the country. Every country were I've travelled requires keeping a passport with you if you aren't a resident.

It doesn't seem like this kid is "rich" if his Mom setup a Go-Fund-Me donation page.

Let's say that he did break the lamp and did assault a police officer without any weapon, wouldn't 1-2 months in jail and deportation be the penalty?

People you meet in hostels aren't your friends any more than someone standing in line to buy something is. They are purely for entertainment and convenience. Certainly, don't expect them to testify on your behalf or take any blame.

Falling asleep could just mean that he'd had a long day and was bored. I do it all the time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"At one point the police officer grabbed his arm and it snapped back and hit the officer in his chin.”

Or maybe he cuffed him on purpose. We'll never know.

His trial has been postponed until mid-February.

Sure, why not waste two more weeks and more taxpayer money? I think he's done way more than enough time for what he did. Send him home.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Although it's unconscionable that he spent all that time detained for a broken lamp (supposedly).....what's with this ragging on having to carry your passport? For God's sakes, I carry my passport, zairyu card, drivers license, and credit cards everywhere I go! Why would I leave them at home? My Japanese wife might get them!!!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Japanese legal system is pathetic! Keeping someone in detention for 9 months without taking him to trail is just aweful!

All those commenting here saying otherwise, I just hope that you are in a similar situation someday and then you experience this insane legal system of Japan that the Japanese police and prosecutors dish out!

@Disillusioned... reading your experience it really shows the real Japan and how foreigners are treated here. People don’t know about this until they are in this situation! Some people just travel to Japan for a short time on vacation and seemingly everything looks perfect but in reality if you stay in Japan for a while then you’ll find the dark reality!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Was watching my daughter in the kid's play area at a Japanese department store when I saw a little girl wander off behind a rack of clothes. Her mother began looking for her. The kid would go right and the mother left. Mom would look one way and the kid would go another. Soon the mother grew frantic and took the escalator up to the next floor. I could see "my daughter has been kidnapped raped and murdered and I will never see her again" written on her face as she ascended to F3. I could have taken the little girl's hand and led her to her mother, but I wasn't taking that chance. Instead I went upstairs, found the mother and told her her daughter was downstairs where she had been all the time. I got no thanks.

Another time, in a bar, I watched a drunk Japanese man go through the pockets of my jacket that I had left on the back of a chair. I knew they were empty and I also knew that if I said anything I would be the one who would get into trouble.

I could write of a few more similar tales but I will leave you with my first encounter with the Japanese police: once I saw a man laying on the sidewalk near Mister Donut being beaten in the head by another man with his own shoe. I walked over to a Koban in sight and pointed it out to an officer. The policeman took one look at the pair of them and the expression on his face said, "I can't be bothered with these two losers" and he began walking back to his post but not before he asked me for my ID and what I was doing there.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The Japanese police can and do have every right to ask for your passport according to Japanese law. Its illegal to travel in Japan without a passport being on your person. That means, every time you leave your hostel, you have to legally bring it with you. OR if you are a long term residence, a residency card. Failure to do so can lead to a big fine or jail time ( though it rarely does).

What you're saying here makes sense. The local police ought to let this foreigner pay his fine and release him. He just made a dumb mistake. It ain't like he smuggled dope into Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

While i sympathize with her son being in detain for 9 months,but the things she said is totally lying through her teeth. 3 beers and falling asleep? Think the police is fake and that's why refusing to cooperate? An then also refusing arrest while claiming he didn't do nothing? What kind of nonsense is this? Him calling 13 times the wrong number already indicated the guy is clearly drunk as hell and doing stupid things in the process.

Just pay already,apology in court and be done with it. They are just making it difficult.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"he’d have to pay for a lamp he’d broken, which was worth 100,000 yen." (£690) well that seems a lot for a light, was it a very special light? If I was in that situation I would offer to pay for a new one, but I would pay for it at the place where they supply the lights, not just to the bar owner, as it seems that he could be racking up the price

I wonder what breaking the lamp entailed? If he swung on it and pulled it out of the wall, the ¥100,000 could include the cost of fixing the hole and repapering the wall, as well as the cost of replacing the lamp itself.

And as others have mentioned, in some countries even attempting to hit a cop could get you shot.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Reports say Adame has pleaded guilty to the charges, which come with a maximum of three years imprisonment or a fine of up to 500,000 yen. His trial has been postponed until mid-February.

So, did some checking.

-- Seems that this is a done deal.

-- He will go to court in February and plead guilty.

-- He will be ordered to pay for the damaged lamp and pay a fine.

-- Once he does that, he will be released and immediately deported.

-- Seems that, at this point, the process and outcome is fixed.

-- Also, the length of his detention is not because February was the earliest court date. Evidently the date has been rescheduled several times.

Da sou desu.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So, property damage and (possibly) assault police. This would be done and dusted here (he’d be out on bail and not locked up for such matters here) in about 4-6 weeks. Honestly, I don’t know why it takes so long in Japan - court backlogs??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For those questioning how he could have fallen asleep after three beers, he apparently was jetlagged. This article doesn't make it as clear as others, but he wasn't a student in Japan he was a student in Bali and was on his way to Thailand when he decided to stop briefly in Japan. A lot of the cheaper flights from Bali to Tokyo are red eyes, so if that was his first night in town I can definitely see falling asleep after a couple of drinks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of course mom thinks her son didn't do anything wrong. News flash mom, your kid is a drunk idiot that wasn't smart enough to not fight with cops in a foreign country.

Your son just 'fell asleep after only three beers'? Three beers at that bar, maybe. What does she think he did at all the other bars he went to? I guess mom might not be familiar with the term 'bar-hopping'...

Typical drunk belligerent American. As usual, making the rest of us look great. Why is it so hard to behave civilly while you're visiting a foreign country?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I'm all for the rule of law, but let's have a bit of balance here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He deserves every ounce of his punishment. He gives Americans a gad name.

Gotta play by the rules when you are a guest in Japan, pal : )

It’s good to make him an example.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Others believe some details of the story, including claims that he punched an officer, are missing. “At one point the police officer grabbed his arm and it snapped back and hit the officer in his chin.” - the guy makes it sound like everything happened by accident and he is not to be blamed... anyways he'll need to serve his sentence and Japanese will not commute his sentencing (1-3 yrs max.)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sorry,,,but the kid's an idiot. I hope he learned his lesson. And yea, he makes us look bad. Alot of people have punched cops in the US. And they haven't been lucky enough to just be detained. Serve the sentence, pay the fine, come out smarter than when you went in.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japanese cops are much less arrogant to tourist from foreign countries but sure not there for "omotenashi"

Try not to get on the wrong side of the law period

2 ( +4 / -2 )

There's an old expression that goes "stupid should hurt". Well, this kid would be in a lot of pain.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Every country were I've travelled requires keeping a passport with you if you aren't a resident.

And the vast majority of those I travel to do not have that requirement. We do agree that Japan does require it, so I follow the rule there.

His mistake was resisting arrest and hitting the police officer.

I see a poster has mentioned that one difference between Japan and USA is that a guilty plea in Japan means you still end up in front of a judge who hears the evidence. Assuming one has signed a guilty plea, how many judges end up deciding that the plea is incorrect or coerced and that you should be found innocent? My guess is that virtually never happens, but ....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This story is very strange. It is very ,very strange. Every news site that carries it has the exact same vague story. Why wasn't his arrest news in Japan? We read about people that steal a necktie or write on a wall.

I think this is a joke or fabrication.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why wasn't his arrest news in Japan?

You wouldn't have heard about his arrest, because not every arrest is reported in the news. At the time, he was a drunk kid who broke a lamp. That's not something particularly newsworthy.

We read about people that steal a necktie or write on a wall.

You read the random stories that sometimes end up in the news. That doesn't mean that all such stories are reported in the news.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I’ll admit, when I was younger, about this guy’s age actually, I passed out at a bar once and woke up with 3 cops around me. They just wanted to escort me out and make sure I paid my bill. They even offered me a ride to the next station as the last train had gone.

He more than likely tried to act tough to the cops who just wanted to assess and mediate the situation.

I don’t believe this guy’s “gangs dressed as cops” excuse at all. Sounds like something that would happen in Central America or the Middle East.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The Japanese justice system. Keep him in jail until he produces the admission in the form the police want. People should think carefully before attending the 2020 Olympics, especially if they plan on partying.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

100,000 Yen lamp? Sounds like Roppongi... It's best to avoid that area. There are too many scammers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Too bad. There’s probably more to the story that reported here.

The best defense is to not get drunk especially with people you don’t know in a strange place.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This kid seems like a real angel. Studies abroad in Bali, an area not best known for its educational quality, stops in Japan on his way to party in Thailand, immediately goes out with a bunch of people from his hostel, supposedly blacks, doesn't believe the police even after they take him to the koban, and "accidentally" punches an officer? Uh huh, but I'm sure he's really a good boy and these were just a bunch of misunderstandings! I'm surprised the mother didn't add that he only reason he was staying out all night is because he was afraid he'd oversleep and miss going to church the next morning.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Despite being in Japan, where the emergency services number is 119

I once called 119 to complain about the noise the police were making. After listening patiently for some time the guy explained that 119 is for fire and ambulance: the police phone number is 112.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This kid seems like a real angel. Studies abroad in Bali, an area not best known for its educational quality, stops in Japan on his way to party in Thailand, immediately goes out with a bunch of people from his hostel, supposedly blacks, doesn't believe the police even after they take him to the koban, and "accidentally" punches an officer? Uh huh, but I'm sure he's really a good boy and these were just a bunch of misunderstandings! I'm surprised the mother didn't add that he only reason he was staying out all night is because he was afraid he'd oversleep and miss going to church the next morning.

So you've decided this kid is an absolute devil, and that his mother thought he was an absolute angel.

Not like we live in a nuanced world or anything. Everything is always the extremes.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

If a Japanese person was arrested for Obstruction of Official Duties and also punched a police officer they would be in the same boat.

didnt a member of SMAP do just this a few years back, got drunk and hit a police officer? dont recall him spending any time in detention for it. just the magic apologetic bow, paid a large amount of cash, then a group remorseful song together and all was fine

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The best defense is to not get drunk especially with people you don’t know in a strange place.

oh i dont know , it seems to work for most Japanese, declare you cant remember because they were so drunk, then get a suspended sentence

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

didnt a member of SMAP do just this a few years back, got drunk and hit a police officer? 

No he got drunk and stripped down in a park. When the police arrested him he said “what’s wrong with being naked?”

the guy explained that 119 is for fire and ambulance: the police phone number is 112.

It’s 110.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What does a drunk kid in Roppongi/Kabukicho, a 100,000¥ lamp, and the Japanese justice system have in common? They're all stupid! Unfortunately without really knowing all the details, its pretty tough to say which side I emphasize with but I'll probably go with the kid. Mostly because anyone who buys a 100,000 yen lamp and puts it in their bar is probably a d!*khead. Also, 3 beers and out? Sounds like he could have been spiked. There are signs up in the area now warning people of "spiked drink robberies". Stay frosty out there people.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Reminds me of an old Japanese proverb (translated):

He who meddles in the muck uppeth, becomes the muck uppeth in which the muck meddles.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So much ignorance and stereotyping, and such a lack of understanding of the corrupt Japanese legal system in these comments. And most comments made from an armchair in a distant nation by people who know little about life in Japan and (apparently) justice. Someday when you are finally singled out, you might see things differently.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

“who’d travelled to Japan on a study abroad program,”

I certainly got the impression he was planning or already studying in Japan. Is it true, as some are saying, that he was studying in Bali!?! I’m too sleepy/lazy at the moment to go searching for other articles (and why should I need to anyway?).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don’t believe this guy’s “gangs dressed as cops” excuse at all. Sounds like something that would happen in Central America or the Middle East.

Yet it has been known to occur in Japan regardless of your beliefs...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I once reported at a police station that my bicycle was stolen. Stupidest thing I ever did. The police acted like it was my fault. That was an old policeman.

On the other hand, I was stopped once going home from work at 1AM and took a detour around town just because. The police were very apollogetic and explained they were patrolling that area. These were a young man and a lady.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Five or six years ago, I was stopped by a couple guys in plain clothes claiming to be undercover cops. It was 8:30 in the morning and I was leaving a train station in Kyoto on my way to work. The guys demanded my passport, but presented no identification themselves. I told them we could go to a Koban or I could just walk away, and that was the end of it. They never got to see my ID.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

it seems to work for most Japanese, declare you cant remember because they were so drunk, then get a suspended sentence

I don't believe that to be correct. People make this claim all the time, but it never actually pans out when investigated.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

again for comparison - while walking home in Meguro in a clearly painted pedestrian safety lane a Japanese man stalked me from behind in his car, knocked me down, jumped out and repeatedly kicked me in the head and face as hard as he could like a soccer ball in front of Japanese witnesses and drove away. Meguro police detained him just long enough to make a statement not one minute longer. He did not miss a days work. I was treated like I was the perpetrator ridiculed and insulted. I sued assailant now am suing MOJ and NPA for complicity in sheltering a convicted criminal. I am one lone gaijin vs entire Japanese government, do you think the outcome will be fair?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The kind of news gives a good chance for persons with guilty conscience to blame Japanese Justice system. This is too funny to advise you all to behave yourself in public.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I was treated like I was the perpetrator ridiculed and insulted. 

I know another gaijin who had the same experience and he was helped a lot by the police and gas given 1M Yen. He just slammed you with the car? No attempted murder charge?

do you think the outcome will be fair?

Is it a real story?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A Foreign National staying in Japan must carry their Passport with them at all times (for a Foreign National listed in one of the following items, the document specified in the respective item); provided, however, that this does not apply if the Foreign National carries the residence card as provided for in the following paragraph: .

Yes it is written there it’s in the law but please read again it doesn’t mentioned who authorize to check, under what circumstance. So any Japanese can do it? That’s why you should check debito.org in addition from that official website.  From debito.org you also can get explanation, why there are cases when foreigners refused to show it but still they can go freely without any penalty. 

As for the passport copying? They are obligated to do so, as well as your residency card. A residency card doesn't necessarily mean a valid passport. That is something they have to check as per the Immigration Act of Japan.

Passport no they don’t, again it’s depend on circumstance but in ordinary incident report, they only can ask for a valid ID, any ID just fine, same thing apply to Japanese.

Like I said, I live with a police officer as my roommate. I also have about 8 police officer friends. They are all great people and don't treat foreigners any different. 

That’s pretty bias as you can see some comments in here say the opposite thing about their encounter experience. Also it doesn’t mean that you know the actual law, you only know their partial of their experience. There of law enforcement practice in Japan that not in accordance even with Japanese law. Why they can keep doing it because only few people really know it and challenge it, as you can check debito.org 

The girls came back very quickly with the station staff and I was sure he had not deleted the video. We both went to the station office and awaited the police. The cops came about 15 minutes later and put us in separate rooms. They asked me what happened and walked out. I could here them interrogating the creep in the next room. He was screaming like a little girl again and claiming his innocence. He also made a lot of anti-foreigner comments and stated that I had punched him, which was total BS. After about 20 minutes they let him go. To my knowledge, they didn't even look at his phone. Then, they came back to me. They checked my ID, called the school I was working for, called my wife and requested a copy of my passport, even though they had my gaijin card. They detained me for two hours at the train station. Then at the end of it one of the cops came up to me and said to me in English, "Stay out of Japan business." Please tell me how that is not treating foreigners different to Japanese.

I only can imagine when the situation was opposite what if a foreigner did that thing to poor girl, they just wouldn’t let that foreigner go away.

I could write of a few more similar tales but I will leave you with my first encounter with the Japanese police: once I saw a man laying on the sidewalk near Mister Donut being beaten in the head by another man with his own shoe. I walked over to a Koban in sight and pointed it out to an officer. The policeman took one look at the pair of them and the expression on his face said, "I can't be bothered with these two losers" and he began walking back to his post but not before he asked me for my ID and what I was doing there.

Heard that similar things like that before, when a foreigner becoming victim or try to report something but what happened is they were treated like criminal instead.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Adame’s case has been making news around the world, as he now approaches nine months in jail awaiting trial.

This story was broken by one staff writer in the US. To date, it has not been covered by Japanese language media. Why is that?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Adame’s case has been making news around the world, as he now approaches nine months in jail awaiting trial.

This is a bit of an overstatement by the author. I’ve tracked less than a handful of unique stories on Adame’s plight, and they were broken originally by a San Francisco reporter. The local Japanese press hadn’t covered this story at all because Adame has been a phantom here with no champion in-country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So much ignorance and stereotyping, and such a lack of understanding of the corrupt Japanese legal system in these comments. And most comments made from an armchair in a distant nation by people who know little about life in Japan and (apparently) justice. Someday when you are finally singled out, you might see things differently.

As an American male, I'm pretty confident in my assessment of American males and their drunken behavior. This kid is full of crap and brought this on himself. He didn't want his mommy to think less of him so spun a bullcrap story about how her sweet innocent little boy has been framed and falsely imprisoned by the Japanese government.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

in Canada people have this view that getting drunk makes you unable to control yourself and allows you to become violent and rude. It’s part of the cultural belief that everyone believes. Beat your spouse “ I was drunk “ , beat your child , damage public property , kill someone , rape someone and everyone thinks you couldn’t help it because you were drunk . I won’t go near people here in Canada when they’re drinking because of how many times I’ve seen them become violent . Born and raised in Canada and disgusted with the attitude of people here about condoning bad behavior while drunk .

im sure this applies to this American boy too. You get drunk and are allowed to act like an ass .

4 ( +5 / -1 )

im sure this applies to this American boy too. You get drunk and are allowed to act like an ass .

I think this is universal, but Americans seem to enjoy doing it all over the world.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

He deserved it. Let him learn to behave next time.

Why would Japanese press bother to cover a story of an idiot?

He broke a lamp, resisted arrest and most likely had a go at the police.

You can't get drunk and think you got an excuse.

In the US resisting the police is likely to trigger a taser or a stray bullet!

In Japan police still don't overact

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Sounds like the little punk is getting what he deserves.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why would Japanese press bother to cover a story of an idiot?

Well, gee, I don't know. It just seems to be ripe for discussion given the fact that a US tourist has been detained for NINE months without a trial. You've got a nobody in prison and Ghosn getting headlines. This particular Adame story was picked up by Japan Today, which is certainly tracked by Japanese language press. So, regardless of many throwing stones at Adame, there are THOUSANDS tourists planning to come to Japan in 2020 for the Olympics, and they might take pause with Adame's plight. So, yeah, IMO this is not only Japan-newsworthy, its global newsworthy, and timely. SMDH

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not enough clear evidence provided here. Who are the witnesses?? What Bar lamp cost that much?? SOunds very fishy to me. However, the Japanese legal/law enforcement system (Note I don't call it a Justice System), is very different than in the USA. In may cases it's very unfair and well behind other modern countries. Japan does not have a Bill of rights like in the USA and being held without charges for 10 to 14 days is very common.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The US can speak of its criminal system

Any excuse to rant against the US, eh?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This story is obviously being exaggerated. I wouldn't be surprised if the writer changed the student's story to make Japan look bad, but either way it is pretty comical: "police officer grabbed his arm and it snapped back and hit the officer in his chin", LOL.

That being said, we'll probably see more of these stories as the Ghosn thing drags on.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

That so-so-so stupid!!!!!!!

Please tell to the morons who keep him that I will pay for his lamp so they can let him go home to his mother. That is totally inhumane to treat somebody such way for breaking a lamp. Abe and his wife defrauded for hundred of thousands of dollars and they are free eating caviar...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Sounds like an inmature 22 yr old adult who’s mother believes his stories and continues to bail him out. If you’re in another country you must, regardless of where you are from, follow their laws. Otherwise stay home or man-up and take your punish.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

These "police" officers and their ever-changing-to-fit-the situation-laws. If they were to be asked 'What are his charges for his lenghty detention?", I'd LOVE to hear the made up, "chumped-up", embicilic charge.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This whole incident really is North Korean style "justice".

I have to say, after all my years involved with Japan that there is less and less to separate Japan from China and North Korea these days. The main thing separating what's left if the US influence on Japan.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Being from California, I feel the for the kid and his mother. However, he was here to study correct? His story seems a little off.

1)Picked up to companions at his hotel! Translation: Two escorts or hostesses.

2) After 3 beers he is knocked out in a bar and wakes up and the "companions are gone". He broke a lamp that cost 100,000 yen! Translation: Taken to a hostess club where they have expensive stuff.

3) Her son had been warned about Japanese gang members dressing up like the police? Translation: Watching too much anime or bad TV.

4) Refused to show these policemen his passport. No translation needed here as this is the main reason why he is still in jail. You need to cooperate with the police. Plus when they take him to get is Passport then he starts to fight them off and resist! What was he thinking? Ohh, I forgot, he is from Northern California. Maybe the police are softer up there but down in LA, you know the deal or your ass will get shot and then ask questions later. Let this kid study in the cell until May. That will be his 1 year study aboard program he will never forget.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Smith did admit to radio station KTXL that “At one point the police officer grabbed his arm and it snapped back and hit the officer in his chin.”

I'm not sure what the procedures are arresting someone here are but the police should be required to voice thier intent before putting hands on you. Grabbing someone is a violation of their personal space and can be interpreted as a hostile act if it's not expected. I don't think anyone here knows how they would act if someone grabbed them unexpectedly.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As a black male, the same crimes committed by me and someone else may not be handled equally. In Japan, foreigners are the same in the legal system.

So your OK with being treated like crap as long as everyone else is being treated like crap with you? In US you have due process, the right to a speedy trial and a presumption of innocence. Even if you do get screwed over you atleast had a lot more tools at your disposal to defend yourself.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Completely looking down on Japan and its society. Why does he get special treatment because he is an American? They make Japan look like a corrupt developing country because the legal rules are different from the US.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don't think anyone here knows how they would act if someone grabbed them unexpectedly.

100%!!!

Add to that the confused state he must have been in. As usual, many hysterical people here low on empathy but high on judgment.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I'm not surprised mum is angling for the "Japanese are xenophobic hate mongers who unfairly target foreigners" routine.

This guy even admitted that he struck a cop. I have zero sympathies for his situation, and I doubt any police officer in the world will treat lightly someone that strikes them in the face and is unruly.

Keep nationality out of this, this guy acted in a way that deserves his current situation.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Misleading article. He is not in jail for breaking the lamp but for punching a cop.

About the 100.000 yen lamp, I supposed he followed some of those instant Nigerian best friends that every visitor to Roppongi or Shinjuku makes immediately to their gentlemans club?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

So he attempted to call "911" while in Japan - what was he expecting - for 911 to send out the LAPDs to come and rescue him? Wow, this level of stupidity is unbelievable.

Dude must have thought: "Well, lemme call 911 so that they can sort out these non-American corrupt policemen."

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I’m guessing many commenters on this article don’t live in Japan as residents or permanent residents. 

To expect that a stopover tourist be knowledgeable of Japanese law is ridiculous. To detain a stopover tourist for nine months is unconscionable. 

Julian Adame speaks no Japanese, has no knowledge of Japanese law, and has no foreign friends living in Japan. 

He’s spent nine months in what is essentially solitary confinement. He gets 15 minutes outside his cell on a daily basis and gets to body bathe once a week at what is essentially a group water sprinkler. He’s wearing and sleeping in the same clothes he came to Japan with, maybe. 

He’s lucky to be young and in good physical shape; that’s about all that is in his favor. 

Adame will be likely summarily deported after trial. He’ll get no apology or compensation for his suffering.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Where is he held? Can he receive visitors?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The good news is.....

He will not be allowed back in Japan for many years after he is deported. As far as I'm concerned, he should rot in his cell for a little longer. The Go Fund Me is offensive. He or his family should be responsible for paying damages and fines. They shouldn't be begging from strangers.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The thing is that there are people out there that dont respect others when they travel. You see it here when you even get on an airplane. I travel overseas sometimes and there is several things to remember. I personally dont drink unless you are with trustworthy people or family, no drugs, dont get involved with any type of politics. I think students and other should have mandatory travel safety courses before they travel overseas. I seen too many people take off to international countries and know nothing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sure, the guy wasn’t so smart when he went out with new “friends”. Sounded like a set-up.

Sure, striking a policeman was an offense. Again, this guy wasn’t so smart, but he may have been intoxicated at the time. That should have been a mitigating factor.

Sure, he’ll be deported with no re-entry for some time. That’s the law.

However, this story - and similar ones in the past - brought out the vitriol (and possible ethnic or racial prejudices) in many of JT’s readers as if Julian Adame had committed an offense against them.

Cool off, people. He’s in jail, not you.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Michael Schoolnik

You study at least the basic set of laws relevant for you before you visit the desired country. It's common sense. Everything else is ignorance. So his punishment is well deserved and his mom should stop playing a beggar.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

FWIW, here is Julian Adame in his own words: https://abcn.ws/2TsVaM6

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“You study at least the basic set of laws relevant for you before you visit the desired country.”

What are these basic set of laws?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan has something crazy like a 98% conviction rate. Unfortunately once you get caught up in their system you simply have to own up to what you did and hope they'll let you out soon. The more you fight the legal system in Japan the longer you'll stay. This is the same standards for everyone. In the US you would have went to jail for a couple of days and trail. In Japan the minimum sentence is 90 days even if you did nothing at all. He was misinformed by his friend at the hostel and unfortunately this situation is going to take a while to get out of.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Anonymous

Cooperate with the police.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

This is nuts. Let this kid go.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Still there? If he stays much longer he might not want to go home!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Melody:

“You study at least the basic set of laws relevant for you before you visit the desired country.”

@Anonymous:

What are these basic set of laws?

@Melody

Cooperate with the police.

I certainly agree that cooperating with the police is a wise course. However, if the police want cooperation it is incumbent on them to identify themselves as policemen. Perhaps they did in this case, but if the guy had actually been drunk that would have been useless and should have been taken into consideration.

What actually happened is still disputed. One witness seems to have contradicted Julian Adame’s version of the incident.

If someone doesn’t properly identify himself as a policeman, it’s still a good idea to be polite, but not turn over a passport to a stranger. It’s been tried on me and the other party just walked away. But, he was alone and I was sober.

BTW, Julian Adame’s trial is set for mid-February. If convicted, I hope he gets full credit for time served.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Michael SchoolnikJan. 31  12:22 am JST

Adame’s case has been making news around the world, as he now approaches nine months in jail awaiting trial.

This story was broken by one staff writer in the US. To date, it has not been covered by Japanese language media. Why is that?

Because a Japanese person, if stupid enough to resist arrest and assault a police officer, would be treated in exactly the same way.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The punishment should fit the crime. Seems like he has done that.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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