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Hostage dead after 11-hour standoff in Saitama house


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Lots of questions — why were these three medical workers making a “condolence visit” so late in the evening? And how does anyone in Japan come to own a “shotgun-type weapon” and tear gas?

9 ( +24 / -15 )

Instead in Japan they do knives and fires.

Getting a gun legal in Japan is easy. There was a documentary about.

So the question how someone owns a gun is always possible.

Also after obtaining hunting permits, you can own a gun, although there are many rules to obtain.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

What does a shotgun "like" weapon look like?

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Another person with mental illness and anger management issues.

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

Hoping for a safe resolution for all involved and recovery of those injured. @6:35am still ‘breaking news’ with limited details at this point:

“A man believed to be in his 50s to 70s…armed with a shotgun-type weapon, shot one, took one hostage, a third pepper-sprayed also hospitalized. Police vehicles have closed roads near the suspect's home while news reporters gathered around the area.”

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

What does a shotgun "like" weapon look like?

Like a shotgun, one would think.

17 ( +24 / -7 )

Get the snipers in and deal with this sick maniac.

I hope the poor medical workers come through this with no more injured or killed.

-13 ( +7 / -20 )

People do have guns in Japan they use them for hunting or for protection from bears.

Medical workers making a condolence visit sounds strange.

The hostage sustained injuries of unknown severity and the man was believed to be between 50 -70 years old.

This article is not well written .

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Get the snipers in and deal with this sick maniac.

I hope the poor medical workers come through this with no more injured or killed.

Better to take him alive. You get a 100 times more information 100 times quicker out of a live person than a dead body. In a country which is strict on firearms, it is very important to find out where he has obtained this weapon.

Of course, if there is imminent danger to life, then a swat team will be required to take action.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Of course, if there is imminent danger to life, then a swat team will be required to take action.

I'll give you the tip - there is imminent danger to lives. He is shooting people, and will likely keep doing it if he isnt taken down.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Well done @RiskyMosaic 8:08am, what channel or Japanese network is best ?

- @RiskyMosaic 8:08am: “On live television now (non-pixelated). Seems the perp is in custody”

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Watching Fuji TV right now and they're showing his face in the car. Definitely looks 70s.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Can’t fault Kyodo here as all TV media were saying “50-70” but @RiskyMosaic 8:21am’s correct: “looks closer to 70’s” bald, white hair remnants, grey beard & mustache.

*The hostage is 44, those hospitalized ages 41 and 32, according to FujiTV, one a physiotherapist.
-7 ( +5 / -12 )

He’s 60 but looks 80 so there was understandable confusion if some posters were responding to the first 6:35am edition with limited details. @RiskyMosaic 8:36am, this would be an example of how these threads are organic and evolve as details and headlines are updated throughout the day.

@RiskyMosaic 8:36am: “The hostage didn't make it. SWAT breached the residence, but I think it was too late.”

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

The "family member" who died is the mother of the hostage-taker.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Tragic. More terrible news in terrible times @3RENSHO 9:06am. Some here inferring the stress of the pandemic may be relative to and creating these recent incidents of domestic, intra-family and interpersonal violence: Domestic Violence and Japan’s COVID-19 pandemic https://apjjf.org/2020/18/Ando.html

@3RENSHO 9:06am: “The "family member" who died is the mother of the hostage-taker.”

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Let's hear his side of the story before rushing to judgement, k? Could be that the authorities bungled his mother's care and he couldn't get anyone to take her situation seriously.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

You can get a license for a hunting gun in Japan but the rules are very strict. I just don’t understand why these people would make a house call at 9pm. But obviously the guy was deranged anyway so…

5 ( +7 / -2 )

So many unanwered questions : how does a mentally unstable man get a yearly gun license? And why is a shotgun needed in Saitama?

RIP to the poor, innocent victim. May this horrible man be brought to justice, and never see freedom again.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

A previous poster asked the question “Why is a shotgun needed in Saitama?” To them I pose the question “Why is a shotgun needed anywhere?” If this had been in other certain countries, it would not even have been news.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

And how does anyone in Japan come to own a “shotgun-type weapon” and tear gas?

Buying a shotgun is not too difficult. I know at least 3 people who own one - one of them is my friend from university and another one lives in my neighborhood. Only one of them actually does hunting. What's the problem with that?

The issue that I am seeing is more and more morons on the streets. If they don't have a gun, they'll use a knife. If they don't even have that then well - maybe they throw shopping carts from rooftops or try to set people on trains on fire.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Thursday, apparently to express condolences over the recent death of the suspect's mother.

Now the scenario is clear. But feel sad about the victims.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

as usual, Japanese netizens were blaming foreigners but turns out he was Japanese

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Saitama cops using a Hummer? ダッ埼!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Unbelievable incompetence by the police force in Saitama. Heads should roll...

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

The media seems to have resolved the gun issue which was at first reported as some kind of hunting gun and later confirmed to be a shotgun. The perp's mother had died, and a team came round to offer their condolences (= pray at the temporary shrine offering incense?) but the guy was (still) not happy with this and pulled out and fired a shotgun almost immediately, apparently.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sometimes it's not worth it to be caring to your customers. They bite you back.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Hindsight is wonderful.... Waiting 11 hours probably was not the best option in this case. But I am sure there is much not being made public at this time.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

An act of kindness evolves into tragedy. Unknown as to why.

A slew of comments that range from meaningless to ignorance - discussions about the weapon and lack of accuracy in description and means of acquisition to peculiar criticism of he police and on and on. One comment questions why they arrived so late at night (21:00) - as if that bears relevance. Most of it fatuous.

A physician and a physiologist were immediately gunned down - one died, the other severely injured. Another attending healthcare worker was maced. The assailant, charmingly dubbed a 'perp' in one comment, lingo uttered in movies, was 66 years old and was dedicated to the care of his ailing Mother. That is what is known and verified.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

What does a shotgun "like" weapon look like?

A better translation would have been "what appeared to be a shotgun".

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Iam glad the editor update the facts in the article since this morning.

But I've never heard of a hostage situation where no demands were made.

Its seems or appears the man was blaming the medical workers for his mother's death or upset about the quality of healthcare she received before she died ???

Its still not clear what his motives were for the attacks.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The assailant, charmingly dubbed a 'perp' in one comment, lingo uttered in movies..

Lingo uttered in real life, as well, depending on one's location.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Iam glad the editor update the facts in the article since this morning.

Additional details are always welcome. However, it should be either in the form of a new article, as many of the comments were based on the original article, rendering them moot.

Or, as additional paragraphs added under the heading "Update" along with the new date/time, the way professional news orgs do it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Dr. Suzuki (44) often visited Mrs Watanabe (92) at her home to provide personal health care. He was by all accounts, a kind and compassionate doctor. The worthless unemployed layabout shotgun-owning son, Hiroshi Watanabe (66) had been caring for his bed-ridden mother but had not taken the initiative to move her into a senior assisted-care facility. When his mother passed away, it may be possible that he blamed the doctor for her passing...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

That man must be a policeman.

It would explain the weapon, and the taking hostages.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

When there is some nutter attacking people it’s always in Saitama! Japan is incredibly safe but I would be a bit weary about Saitama simply based on the amount of things that happen there. Very weird.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

One of the rare instances of a standoff going horribly wrong in a while.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Contrary to what the ‘see, hear, speak no evil’ Candide channelers would have you believe, a palpable sense of 厭世 foreboding and ‘save yourself, to hell with the rest of you’ world weariness has taken root. A malevolent spirit is at work unleashing outrages and an excess of macabre depravity, presaging an emerging even darker and more grungy Japan that hardly squares with what we knew, or thought we knew. Stay safe out there people.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The neighbors heard a "BANG" if the police had any intelligence like most policemen in the states if called out to a residence the FIRST THING they do is check on their squad car computers to see if ANY "REGISTERED GUNS" are tied to that residence. If there is more than one gun and certain types of gun you best believe you will see more than one cop show up at that residence. The computer will tell the officer the types of guns tied to that address and how many is in the home. Sometimes there is no gun registered at all, but if the home owner has a gun that he or she did not register that could get them more time in the slammer. In this case if JAPAN says that gun owners "SHOTGUN" owners can have guns if they are registered such a system would have alerted the cops especially if the neighbor said he heard a loud bang. WOW the police waited 11-hour after neighbors hearing a loud bang to stormed the house and they arrested Hiroshi Watanabe for attempted murder. WTF how is that attempted murder when they carried out 3 bodies 2 which were dead?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

When there is some nutter attacking people it’s always in Saitama!

Because of nothing more than your confirmation bias.

Also, a demonstration of how easily influenced someone can be.

Check out the last 2 or 3 pages of crime reports on this site. Now count how many of the those reports specify the prefecture in the headline.

(and if the penny has still not dropped after that, do a quick poll of the prefecture where the other crimes took place)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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