crime

Man arrested over abduction of teenager he met online

27 Comments

Police in Yokohama have arrested a 47-year-old unemployed man on suspicion of abducting a teenage girl and keeping her at his home for two weeks.

According to police, Atsushi Iwamoto has admitted to the charge, Kyodo News reported. The girl was found at Iwamoto’s house in Yokohama’s Konan Ward at around 3:20 p.m. Friday. Her parents had reported her missing on July 29.

Police said Iwamoto, whose wife died last year, told them he met the girl on a social networking site on July 28. He said the girl had hinted she wanted to run away from home and he posted a message, saying he understood how she felt and asked if she would like to stay with him for awhile.

Iwamoto met the girl the next day in front of a shop in Konan Ward and took her to his home. Police traced Iwamoto after analyzing surveillance camera footage taken outside the store where he met the girl, and on the street near his residence.

When police visited Iwamoto on Friday, the girl was sitting on his living room floor. She was not harmed, police said. Police said Iwamoto and the girl apparently did not go out during the two weeks, as there was plenty of food in the house.

Iwamoto was quoted by police as saying he felt sorry for the girl who told him she had an unhappy home life.

© Japan Today

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27 Comments

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Okay. She had an unhappy home life. He did, too, after losing his wife. Evidently, or at least from the bare details of the story, he didn't molest her. He just took her in and fed her. Or have we been blindly led down the path of sensationalism? I am quite aware of the fact that a man his age should avoid a girl her age. But they're both suffering mental anguish, and there's more to this story. I don't condone his behaviour, but I can understand it. Hers, too. They both need help, so let's not metaphorically hang either one. A little empathy would help adjust the karma in their favour.

24 ( +28 / -4 )

TrevorPeaceToday  05:04 pm JST

A little empathy would help adjust the karma in their favour.

indeed!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Police in Yokohama have arrested a 47-year-old unemployed man on suspicion of abducting a teenage girl and keeping her at his home for two weeks.

Maybe an abduction in legal terms, but from the story it was completely by agreement, so not what we we call an abduction in daily language.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

"No good turn goes unpunished."

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The previous comments are factually (as near we can tell from this information) all true, unless any molestation has conveniently been left OUT.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don't think they should use the word "abduction" here.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

13,14,15,16,17,18,19? The age matters in both context and legality. A 13 year old running away is a bit more of an issue than a 17 year old running away. The 13 year old can be more easily taken advantage of than a 17 year old, bith physically and mentally. A 19 year old, I believe, would not be an issue as they both agreed to meet and she's a legal adult. Just saying teenager was too vague, imho.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

He could keep scrolling the website page and for sure would find some woman of his same age needing for comfort and company, and add9ng to that he could call the youngster's parents and suggest them to supervise their daughter online activitie. Send him to jail if you don't want to create a unprecedent.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Teenage? 13? 19?

Big difference.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

juminRhee

13,14,15,16,17,18,19? The age matters in both context and legality. A 13 year old running away is a bit more of an issue than a 17 year old running away.

Agree! "teenage" is a very vague term. Inviting an 11 year old is not comparable to inviting a 19-year old. The article should give the age so we know what we are looking at.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Nuno Teixeira da Cunha, you have just negatively influenced your karma by suggesting they send him to jail. I hope for your sake you open your mind a bit more and understand humanity that is a bit different from your blinkered view of life on earth.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I just love how the all-male commenters are defending an adult man who brought a teenage runaway home to live with him, disregarding all social norms and common sense. Reading this comment section on these near-daily posts would be a great way to teach young girls how truly awful men are, and demonstrate quite well why they should never, ever trust a man whom they do not know.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Okay. She had an unhappy home life. He did, too, after losing his wife. Evidently, or at least from the bare details of the story, he didn't molest her. He just took her in and fed her. Or have we been blindly led down the path of sensationalism? I am quite aware of the fact that a man his age should avoid a girl her age. But they're both suffering mental anguish, and there's more to this story. I don't condone his behaviour, but I can understand it. Hers, too. They both need help, so let's not metaphorically hang either one. A little empathy would help adjust the karma in their favour.

smh … too romanticized. ; excuse me, how long until they ( a 47 year-old and a teenager) start having sexual relations (?) ;even if they don’t, we have the parents looking for their missing child and she’s in this (strange, lonely) guy’s house which is scary af. … she needs to learn that life can’t be just about running away from things and someone needs to tell the man to stop being creepy af.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

To make the story “exciting”, JT used the word “teenager”.

She’s 19.

Nothing to see here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@girlintokyo, maybe you conveniently missed the part about her WILLINGLY going to meet. No man twisted her arm or anything. Then, there is this little tidbit:

When police visited Iwamoto on Friday, the girl was sitting on his living room floor. She was not harmed, police said. Police said Iwamoto and the girl apparently did not go out during the two weeks, as there was plenty of food in the house.

Souunds like she was not in any danger. He and the rest of us men are "truly awful" to you but maybe, wait, not maybe but definitely, you just plainly hate men. Luckily for men, there are women out there who seem to like them and this girl is one of them, like it or not.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

justasking

To make the story “exciting”, JT used the word “teenager”.

She’s 19.

Nothing to see here.

Seriously, she is 19? Then why is this even a story? At 19, she is of legal age in most countries, and only year away from that in Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

MocheakeToday 12:06 pm JST

@girlintokyo, maybe you conveniently missed the part about her WILLINGLY going to meet. No man twisted her arm or anything.

Souunds like she was not in any danger. He and the rest of us men are "truly awful" to you but maybe, wait, not maybe but definitely, you just plainly hate men. Luckily for men, there are women out there who seem to like them and this girl is one of them, like it or not.

Are you saying that you'd be okay if a 47-year old man saw a message by your teenage daughter on a social media site and invited her to live with him, then went and picked her up?

You'd assume she went of her own free will, and you wouldn't worry there was coercion or grooming involved?

Also, you wouldn't imagine that a man who shows incredibly poor judgement and a total lack of understanding of social norms in picking up runaway teenage girls would have her best interest in mind, and wouldn't try to harm her, either physically or sexually?

And you wouldn't think anything bad of the guy, only that he's lonely, and that it's good that there are girls like your daughter who are into much, much older men who are single, unemployed, and so weird that he doesn't realize what he did was waaaaay outside the norm and could even be interpreted by the law as kidnapping?

Well, okay then. I guess I just really hope you don't actually have any daughters because I'd be worried about their safety.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

WilliB Today 01:04 pm JST

Seriously, she is 19? Then why is this even a story? At 19, she is of legal age in most countries, and only year away from that in Japan.

She is not 19, or else there wouldn't be a kidnapping charge because in Japan you are an adult at 18. That means she is 17 or younger.

The news sites in Japanese are also saying that the investigation is ongoing and they are trying to determine whether she was sexually assaulted.

And generally speaking, the Japanese media don't always report when a kidnap victim has been raped and will sometimes gloss over that fact out of respect to the victim since rape is so stigmatized. In other words, we don't know what harm was done here and shouldn't speculate either way. The only thing we know is that she is a minor and he is being charged with kidnapping.

What's really funny to me is that the same men who are saying this is not a problem at all are the same men who harshly criticize women who are raped by saying they should not have let a man into their home, or should not have gone to a man's home.

irony
-5 ( +0 / -5 )

At this point there is no excuse for Iwamoto to act as he did, anybody is well aware that inviting an underage girl to stay with him after scaping her house would be treated as abduction and have very serious consequences for him.

If he was worried about the girl there were many other options he could have used to help without having to act illegally. Be it because of lack of even a minimum of common sense or because of a bad intention he will now have to deal with the consequences of his actions. Hopefully other adults that are thinking about doing the same (for whatever reasons) will now consider his example and act much more correctly.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Are you saying that you'd be okay if a 47-year old man saw a message by your teenage daughter on a social media site and invited her to live with him, then went and picked her up?

> You'd assume she went of her own free will, and you wouldn't worry there was coercion or grooming involved?

> Also, you wouldn't imagine that a man who shows incredibly poor judgement and a total lack of understanding of social norms in picking up runaway teenage girls would have her best interest in mind, and wouldn't try to harm her, either physically or sexually?

> And you wouldn't think anything bad of the guy, only that he's lonely, and that it's good that there are girls like your daughter who are into much, much older men who are single, unemployed, and so weird that he doesn't realize what he did was waaaaay outside the norm and could even be interpreted by the law as kidnapping?

> Well, okay then. I guess I just really hope you don't actually have any daughters because I'd be worried about their safety.

I'm not saying anything you said. I posted that it seems she went of her own free will and seems she wasn't harmed so stop reading into what I wrote. You are always up in arms about how 'truly awful' men are in your opinion. The girl is 19, according to what some others have posted and she is of legal age. I would not want any of my daughters going out with a guy who was that much older than her but my main point is she went to meet the guy and she was unharmed. He didn't abduct her at knife point and he probably wasn't truly awful like you think. Her home life could have been worse and maybe even the mother might have been truly awful to her. Wrap your head around it for a minute when you are not out hating on all men. Remember that without a man you wouldn't be in this world but maybe you also hate the man who fathered you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Readers, please note that the girl's age has not been released by police.

MocheakeToday 02:08 pm JST

I'm not saying anything you said... my main point is she went to meet the guy and she was unharmed. He didn't abduct her at knife point and he probably wasn't truly awful like you think.

Okay, I get you on that. But my main point is that you're not criticizing this man's actions whatsoever and in defending him, are acting as if this is not a a big deal and are seemingly taking it much more lightly than you really should be.

Her home life could have been worse and maybe even the mother might have been truly awful to her.

It might have been. It could very well be that she was abused and needed help - but any reasonable person with even an iota of common sense would realize that it is not only inappropriate, but illegal, to take a teen girl into your home all of your own volition without consulting her parents, the police, or social services. Even if this person were a kindly older woman it would still be deemed kidnapping - his lack of good judgment and foresight is mind-boggling, even if he did not have any ill intentions.

And I rather suspect that if this did indeed happen to your own daughter, you would not be taking it as lightly as you seem to be taking it here. He really seems to need psychological help.

Wrap your head around it for a minute when you are not out hating on all men. Remember that without a man you wouldn't be in this world but maybe you also hate the man who fathered you.

I'm criticizing the commenters who are defending and making light of a 47-year old man who was arrested for kidnapping a teenage girl - and from that you posit that I hate ALL men, including my father.

Do you understand how ridiculous that really is?

I normally don't even entertain these kinds of comments, but will respond just to demonstrate how wrong you are to engage in this mode of thinking. My father was an incredibly kind and very loving person, and I loved him so much that to this day, I struggle not to cry when I think about him as he died of cancer when I was 19. I also have good relationships with all of my brothers, as they take after him and are good and kind men, and loving husbands. You can probably thank my dad for who I am today, as he is the person who encouraged me to be independent and never treated me any differently than how he treated my brothers. I also have a number of very close relationships with male friends, as well as a long-term male partner who also calls himself a feminist and thanks me for that.

I hope that dispels your stereotyped assumptions.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

she needs to learn that life can’t be just about running away from things and someone needs to tell the man to stop being creepy af.

The wide age difference still implies something creepy is going on here. She's too young for a guy his age.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

girl_in_tokyoAug. 14  06:41 am JST

I just love how the all-male commenters are defending an adult man who brought a teenage runaway home to live with him, disregarding all social norms and common sense. Reading this comment section on these near-daily posts would be a great way to teach young girls how truly awful men are, and demonstrate quite well why they should never, ever trust a man whom they do not know.

Blatant misandry!

Why the discriminatory attitude based on someone's age? That is a completely irrelevant matter. Further, according to the article, the man had good intentions:

Iwamoto was quoted by police as saying he felt sorry for the girl who told him she had an unhappy home life.

I commend this man, who recently lost his wife, for providing food and shelter for this woman who, according to the police, was not harmed.

At this point there is no excuse for Iwamoto to act as he did, anybody is well aware that inviting an underage girl to stay with him after scaping her house would be treated as abduction and have very serious consequences for him.

The man does not need any excuse. And nowhere in the article does it say the woman is underaged, so jumping to conclusions without facts produces an illogical conclusion,

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I commend this man, who recently lost his wife, for providing food and shelter for this woman who, according to the police, was not harmed.

https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%97%A5%E6%9C%AC%E3%81%AE%E6%B3%95%E5%BE%8B%E4%B8%80%E8%A6%A7

未成年者を略取し、又は誘拐した者は、3月以上7年以下の懲役に処する。

Taking in a minor, without their parents consent, is legally considered coercion in Japan, and punishable from 3-7 years.

While the article does not state the age of the teen, there wouldn't be any reason for pressing charges of kidnapping if she was not a minor and there of her own behest, so I personally think it's safe to make the assumption she was a minor until someone can show otherwise.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The man does not need any excuse

You personally not knowing a detail because of lack of interest to follow the inciden on the many different sources do not mean everybody is the same. To say anybody is jumping to conclusions you first need to confirm this is the case.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You personally not knowing a detail because of lack of interest to follow the inciden on the many different sources do not mean everybody is the same. To say anybody is jumping to conclusions you first need to confirm this is the case.

You are the one who does not know the detail concerning age. So, you are wrong.

And someone else agrees with me:

ModeratorAug. 14  02:19 pm JST

Readers, please note that the girl's age has not been released by police.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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