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Aichi man gets 10 months in prison for saying 'I got corona' in electronics store; loses appeal

By SoraNews24

Last month, a 48-year-old man walked into a Bic Camera electronics store in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, and started shouting out, “I got corona!” and was promptly arrested.

According to subsequent reports, the man was angry that he was made to wait by staff. After growing impatient he decided to make his declaration. However, he was also said to be intoxicated at the time and claimed: “I said I was drinking Corona beer.”

Meanwhile, the store itself had to close down for disinfection which is a very costly process at the best of times, let alone on the cusp of a major economic downturn. Because of this economic impact, and to make an example that might deter copycats, the man was given a 10-month prison sentence for his verbal outburst.

With such a long term for simply uttering a few words, the man appealed, but Nagoya High Court Judge Shinji Kano upheld the original sentence, saying: “There is no mistake in the previous judgement that the defendant’s remarks had a great impact on society as a whole, while the spread of COVID-19 was becoming a social problem.”

Readers of the news online tended to feel the sentence was excessive, but many were quick to add that the man’s behavior was unquestionably stupid.

“I don’t pity the guy, but it is a heavy punishment…”

“I’m glad he’s socially distant in prison now.”

“That’s too strict. LOL”

“You can’t even make a joke anymore?”

“Obstruction of business crimes can get up to three years in prison, so he got off rather light.”

“Wow, even killers can get suspended sentences.”

“It’s pretty much terrorism when you think about it.”

Comparing this to other similar incidents around the world. In the Netherlands, a woman was given only four weeks in prison after claiming she had COVID-19 and then spitting in a police officer’s face. In the UK two men were given sentences of six months and nine months for threatening people with a coronavirus that they didn’t have. However, these cases each had additional factors, such as wielding an ax, shoplifting, resisting arrest, as well as also spitting and coughing on people.

It kind of makes one wonder what someone in Japan might get for the added charge of assault in the form of coughing on someone. As bad luck would have it, that did happen, once again in Aichi Prefecture.

Last April, a 38-year-old man was speaking to a receptionist in a government office in the town of Oharu when he got what he called “an uncontrollable urge” to say he had COVID-19 and then start coughing heavily. In this case, he added “I tested positive” leaving no chance of thinking that he was talking about beer. During his trial last July, the man was handed down an 18 months prison sentence, with the judge adding, “personally I think it should be heavier.”

Sources: CBC News, Niconico News, Tokai TV, Daily Mail, Corona 24 News, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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-- Japanese government to start giving newlywed couples a wedding gift of 600,000 yen

-- Life-size Gundam statue in Japan can now move, and it looks incredible【Videos】

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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He's an idiot, but to receive a draconian sentence of 10 months in prison from one of those Japanese "hanging judges" he must be one of those many millions of "faceless" Japanese without any social clout or connections. He'd better hope his new, temporary residence is as "covid-free" as the rest of the country.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I don't understand. He did not do anything against law no ? If you walk without mask in the shop knowing you are positive, are you put to jail ? If so ok if not then what is the issue ?

Disinfection was useless : any customer positive coming without knowing does the same contamination. I hope the shop cleans well everyday and not only when somebody shouts they have corona...

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

If he'd slashed women's tyres to hit on them, he'd get a suspended sentence, as they're private citizens.

Interfere with business and the law comes down like a ton of bricks. Don't mess with the corporatocracy.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

This punishment is the result of the big Ultraparanoia that is going around the world according the Corona Virus, heated up every day by fear mongering people and the media.

This punishment is absolutely crazy!

1 ( +10 / -9 )

This punishment is too strict.

Pranksters who take it too far should be detained in the police cells for a few days, and then let go with an official warning that goes on the record. This is mostly as a deterrent to others. If their "prank" is being filmed for commercial purposes, that shows intent and therefore it should be treated more strictly.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I doubt he even truly spend 10 months in there. Some good behavior and some community service will knock it down pretty quickly. I think he was set as a example in order to make sure other people don't follow his behavior. If he get punish lightly, more will behave like him because they think the punishment isn't too harsh.

Imagine what the people involve must have felt when he spout that kind of lies in front of them. People can be badly effected and shocked that they might have gotten infected.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Is he mentally disabled?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why anybody would think what he did is a good idea I’ll never know. Maybe the punishment doesn’t fit the crime though. Just out of curiosity... there are words that you can’t say at an airport without some kind of punishment being meted out... does anybody know what the punishments might be? I don’t but maybe not as much as what this guy got?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just like the paranoia and hysteria directed towards anyone that looked Muslim a few years ago, corona is now the new 'invisible threat' or boogieman.

Just how the media wanted it!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Maybe 3 month or less prison terms, but the court should have ordered him to pay the store.

Not worth using tax money for long prison terms in this case.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

All he said were a few words. He didn't incite violence, nor did he take action.

The fact that people reacted in this fashion due to their personal fears and their ignorance, in such a way that is detrimental to the rest of his life, shows how far we've fallen in just a short time.

A few words, people!

A gross miscarriage of social and punitive justice, easily alikened to the trials of Salem.

Any one of those shoppers that day could have been carrying the virus that they have far more than 99% chance of recovering from. Most likely someone was, and many more didn't even know they had it at one stage.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

the court should have ordered him to pay the store.

That or have to clean and disinfect the store for his probation. Prison seems harsh, but perhaps the law does not allow for a hefty fine as a deterrent instead of jail time. Yet in other instances involving stalking or sexual harassment the courts look the other way. The world gets crazier by the minute.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

We all got corona at some point. What we didn't get was the specific corona called Covid 19. He wasn't lying.

And BTW we are all treated as if we have Covid 19 now anyway, aren't we?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

To be fair, it was Corona beer, which shows he has some taste. I hope he added a wedge of lime. 'cause he's not going to be able to enjoy that taste for some time. (I kinda prefer Dos Equis or Sol.)

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

However, he was also said to be intoxicated at the time and claimed: “I said I was drinking Corona beer.”

That's a completely new twist on "I was drunk and I don't remember"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What an idiot! He should be forced to sit in the middle of the corona virus section of a hospital without a mask.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Heavy handed punishment. Surely a fine would have sufficed.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Bic Camera sells Corona beer... better not buy any from them you may get arrested.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Jonathan Prin

I don't understand. He did not do anything against law no ? If you walk without mask in the shop knowing you are positive, are you put to jail ? If so ok if not then what is the issue ?

Inducing fear and panic can be and is illegal in most countries. Typically a minor crime that can lead to more serious crimes such as public and reckless endangerment.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

10 months is a bit excessive, TBHWY, I would have said a week to two weeks in prison.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

10 months... LOL

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm glad he got 10 months. These guys, and the Peach Airlines guy who caused the flight to be diverted for not wearing a mask, don't realise the consequences of their actions until it's too late, and need more deterrents like this to teach them BEFOREhand. That said, I believe in this case it was probably more out of pressure for retribution due to financial loss than any kind of security threat or health problem, but still.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

An example needed to be made. This case wrapped up a bit quickly as well. I would have taken my time for about 3 months to get to court, sentence for 15 months suspended for 12 months with time served.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

10 months ?! bloomin harsh

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The guy is obviously an idiot, but the sentence is completely over the top.

I love Japan, there is a real problem with the justice system here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I’ve been tempted to do that a few times but have somehow find a way to resist.

10 months in da slammer, harsh but lessons will be learnt.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

May be he meant to say he just bought himself a Corona Beer!!?? so why was he arrested then locked up?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think a 10 month sentence is too harsh but he was guilty for inciting panic and having the store to shut down to clean everything. Perhaps he should be sent the cleaning bill.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now, if he had said that he has some Corona, it would be party time and he might even score a cool commercial.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

 the man was angry that he was made to wait by staff.

Spoiled prat! These kind of people always demand instant service...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ten months of quarantine and he should be good.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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