Elderly couple fined Y300,000 for disposing of cans in freeway service area restrooms


A couple in Gifu Prefecture has been fined by the management company in charge of a service area after they were caught disposing of cans in the restrooms.

The couple, who have been named as 63-year-old Takeshi Horisumi and 62-year-old Hideko Horisumi, were charged with trespassing when it was discovered they had entered the service area restrooms for the purpose of disposing of cans, TBS reported. The couple were also fined 300,000 yen.

A police bomb disposal team was also dispatched to examine the cans, as they were considered suspicious items.

When asked to explain the fine, the company said it took into consideration the "serious negative social effects of such activities," TBS reported.

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How can a private company impose a fine on somebody?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

"A police bomb disposal team was also dispatched to examine the cans, as they were considered suspicious items" Suspicious?, Cans in the trash? Come on now. Next it will be questionable banana peels, or dangerous bread crust.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

A police bomb disposal team was also dispatched to examine the cans, as they were considered suspicious items

How many cans? a truck load or just two?


5 ( +5 / -0 )

cans in the can ? last that suzie quattro song starts to make sense.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


How can a private company impose a fine on somebody?

That's a new one for me too. I would politely decline...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Massive overreaction guess the bomb squad wanted to go for a drive.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Bizarre overreaction. The company gets money for the cans, so what's the problem?

2 ( +2 / -0 )


Usually after a legal dispute, if one party admits to wrongdoing, they typically work out some kind of settlement. Often it comes with the offer to consider the case closed and not pursue the matter any more. In any case, the fine is quite disproportionate to the "crime". Quite unjust

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is weird...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They are rich , Both get good nenkin money , so they can pay back to the government...

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The couple were also fined 300,000 yen. That probably means a total fine of 600,000 yen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seriously, who goes to service area restrooms to get rid of empty cans?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Asahi says they left them in 14 different locations in 5 different prefectures to a total of 41 cans.

The couple said they just wanted to get rid of them. They do look suspicious.

You can see a picture of one here:

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thanks for the link Goals0.

If the cans are harmless, then why scatter them? Just put them in the trash for cans. And, have they been driving around the freeway just to dispose of them?

But yeah, the cans do look suspicious. And the couple's actions can be considered weird as well.

I would like to see a follow-up story on this, focused on the cans and the contents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They look like cans for red beans used in osechi ryori bento. But why spend that amount of time driving from Shiga to Ishikawa just to get rid of them? Dump them all in the first rest area and go home, eh?

But 300,000?

Thanks for the link, Goals0

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This management company in charge should come and set up shop down here and manage all the public parks and areas. So much trash throwing citizens here, lot's of $$Money to be made. My local peaceful park turns into a rubbish dump almost weekly by teenagers, We even have a pond with Scooters thrown in them.

This company can go after them and the parents, seize the house and cars or something if they don't pay up. I think it will be a great idea! This can really work and I can get my peaceful CLEAN park back.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I assume they mean michi-no-ekis, which are themselves a blight on the Japanese landscape, in addition to being a road authority scam: they privatize the profits of the road stations and publicize the losses and costs of building the road. Whoever said there's no free lunch?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They look like those jelled fuel cans some buffets use to heat their dishes

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cans? How large?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's just weird. Connecting the dots to the locations produce nothing -at face value, other than a freeway. Were they just unsure how to sort them properly? Were they testing the system out, like a dry-run for something else? Or are they just mental? Any normal scofflaw would just dump them all in some ravine in the mountains or something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A private company can`t fine people. Probably what the article means is that the company is demanding a 300,000 yen payment as a settlement for any civil claim they might have. Or it might mean that the company asked the relevant government authority to impose the fine (or the police imposed the fine without being asked). Either way it is poorly written.

Im not sure if it is ridiculous or not. If it was just one can, then yes. On the other hand, people dumping huge piles of personal garbage at places like that is a serious problem, so if they just brought a big bag of cans from home and dumped it then Id say it was reasonable.

Its actually a bit unusual though as cans, unlike most garbage, actually have a bit of value to them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@gogo: The cans were 10 cm in diameter and at 5-6 cm in height, they came in the form of paste or liquid or semi-solids. Strange story with all the conbini trashcans, why go through such trouble. Maybe they just wanted to scare people or test how secure Japan was, it became expensive though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I dump my cans at the nearest soda machine and those are not to hard to find.

And on plastic recycle day, I put my nama gomi right in the middle of the bag. It burns out when they burn the plastic to recycle.

I do recycle most stuff though.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This one just pegged the needle on my weird-o-meter.

First, this company managed to track a couple across 5 prefectures disposing of empty cans, Makes Homeland Security look like a bunch of amatuers!

Second, I wonder what the cost of tolls and gasoline cost this dangerous duo?

Third, What is the legal number of cans to dispose of per rest stop?

Fourth, with the combined cost of tolls, gasoline and fines, they should have just thrown them out of the window like everybody else and pay the littering fine if they got caught.

@Mabodofu: Admitting to such a heinous crime on this forum is a dangerous practice.....start running now!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After the Aum sarin episode, they took away garbage baskets from the streets and the parks, apparently because "some terrorist might plant dangerous articles there." Of course, the fact that by this time the dangerous Aum members had been caught wasn't factored into the equation, or the fact that convenience stores seem to be immune from "dangerous article" placement, as many of them have garbage baskets in front of the shops, but maybe there's some secret agreement among terrorists not to place "dangerous articles" in convenience store garbage baskets.

If you compare a society to a single organism, you can see that it's essential to have waste disposal. Cells die and emit waste products, the waste is picked up, processed and dumped outside the organism. If it isn't, the result is disease and eventual demise.

Waste disposal in Japan has become complicated. Garbage has to be divided as to type and certain garbage is picked up only on certain days. Much plastic is burned, adding lethal dioxides to the already polluted air. The garbage disposal system even imposes a charge on certain items. And the amount of garbage in streets, parks and floating around in ponds and lakes has increased enormously.

Fining people does not solve the problem.

Waste disposal in cities should be free. There are homeless and jobless people who would be happy to pick up garbage and haul it to recycle centers if they could get a decent monetary return for it. Better to spend money on keeping streets and parks clear of garbage than going overboard on "defense" spending.

Continuing the analogy, of a society and a single organism, pouring so much money into defense is like building up HUGE stocks of insect repellent against the fear that there MIGHT be insects.

We really need to deal with the problems of waste disposal and pollution as they are an invisible, but very present danger. Let's let the Americans worry about the Chinese, they've got the biggest stocks of DDT.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don´t understand the article. Is there more to it than it says, or is this some joke? 300,000 yen fine for a disposing a can?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

WillB, the couple disposed a total of 41 cans in different freeway stops across 5 prefectures.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Elvensilvan, however 41 cans in 14 locations are only 3 cans per location in average. That makes me really worry now about dumping any trash at any road station if we are that seriously monitored.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Foxie, that's true, but I guess the couple were acting strange ... and throwing cans inside the restrooms instead of the more obvious, but less suspicious trash bins outside. Usually, specially during peak seasons, the trash bins outside are filled to the brim.

Another thing to consider is that the cans were wrapped in newspapers, making them even more conspicuous. Toilet trash bins are usually small.

I am likewise surprised at how the service station personnel caught them, but in a way, am glad that they are acting at even small shady activities.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For those who haven't clicked the link above, this has nothing to do with littering. This is about seriously creepy and suspicious behavior, whatever their ages. These are not soda cans, but short anonymous tins that look like they could contain an oil or gel. The were distributed, a few cans at a time, between 14 service areas. They were not in the usual trash bins outside, but left inside the restrooms. This is a very expensive way to dispose of garbage. But it is a cheap way to test out your bioterrorism fantasies. Inside the restrooms, would mean that the gas/toxin/virus would be confined enough to effect anyone using the toilets. Wouldn't be surprised to learn that they are members of yet another wacko cult. I think religion is about the only thing that get geriatrics to the go terror route.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It does give a good view of the cams, and views of the toilets by the secret cams.

Those cans look like extra strength curry in a drum cans from the very place they were deposited.

@techall few mikan rinds will never hurt the high melt of recycled plastic. Most people do not clean the plastic before recycling.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now I understand - these are serial can disposers!

Hanging isn't good enough for them!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So...the headline is really misleading. Buro()'s links don't show photos of the couple or anything I can make sense of.

The real question for me is...when the heck are trashcans coming back???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Talk about a lack of detail!

Anyway, why not just leave the cans outside their house? I see countless dudes who stack their bicycles or scooters with cans they steal from recycling bins.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm with Nessie on this one , The SA's they were dumping at were Michi-No-Eki stops .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this is a lesson for us and to all .... (private poperty), strangers are not allowed to step inside.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am obviously missing something, because I just cannot understand this item. Maybe it's because I don't live in Japan. Anyway, why couldn't the couple dispose of their cans with their trash collection service? Aren't services available for anyone who lives in a home? Okay, let's suppose they they don't have a home. Let's suppose that they live under a bridge. Aren't there public trash cans wherever there are people?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Are we talking about big, industrial sized cans?? No size? No pictures?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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