Photo: Pakutaso
crime

Every police station in Kanagawa accepting funeral home bribes, according to former officer

36 Comments
By SoraNews24

On Feb 15, the trial began for Sei Kato, a former Kanagawa prefectural police officer, on corruption charges. Kato stands accused of accepting kickbacks from a funeral home near his police station in exchange for setting them up with the families of people who recently died.

Kato has pled guilty and outlined how the illicit system worked. He explained in court that he received the bribes in the form of gift certificates, prepaid cards, and beer tickets rather than cash. The 48-year-old is said to have received about 2 million yen worth of vouchers, and passed on about 300,000 yen worth to his subordinates.

In exchange he would notify the paying funeral home first whenever he received a call involving a dead body. Kato, however, seemed to also go beyond a simple confession and explained that this happened at all six stations that he worked at and that probably “in the Kanagawa prefectural police, every police station got bribes from funeral homes,” adding: “I regret that I’ve been unable to tell my boss to stop doing this, and that I have betrayed the people of the prefecture.”

▼ A news report on the trial

While Kato laid a widespread accusation against the entire prefectural police force, this isn’t the first time it has been brought up. In 2018, an anonymous post on the message board 2channel claiming to be a funeral home worker, went into great detail describing the relationship between police in Kanagawa and undertakers.

In addition to describing the same gift certificate payment system, the poster said that while working at a funeral home connected to the Kanagawa prefectural police, they would have to rush out to bars late at night to pay for officers’ drinks and perform unnecessary tasks like cleaning the morgue. After getting fed up and transferring to a different funeral home, they still encountered problems with officers taking away their customers and forcing bereaved family members to accept the service of tied-in businesses, often at inflated prices.

Kanagawa Prefecture is unique in Japan for its protocol with dead bodies. Most, if not all, prefectures treat bodies as evidence in ongoing investigations, so no one except the police is allowed to handle them. However, in Kanagawa the duty of transporting and preserving bodies is handled by private companies, which is why this problem is unique to this area.

The 2channel poster added that not every police officer they encountered was bad, about 10 percent of officers would refuse the bribes and even in some cases offer a coffee out of sympathy for what the funeral home workers have to put up with. Nevertheless, it appears to be a deep-rooted problem that severely breeches the trust between law enforcement and residents. Online comments were quick to express their disgust.

“If this is all true, it’s horrible…”

“The Kanagawa prefectural police are in some deep trouble.”

“I don’t know what to make of this. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“I feel sick just reading about it.”

“I heard that police in Kanagawa were bad, but I never thought they were this bad.”

“As a citizen of Kanagawa, I’m too disgusted to say anything.”

“I bet the police are in panic mode now and scrambling to return the bribes.”

“We can’t trust anyone.”

“They are selling death.”

In an earlier trial, the owners of a funeral home in Kanagawa were given suspended sentences for their part in the bribery scheme. The judge said it was satisfactory given that they both pled guilty and expressed remorse.

As for Kato, the prosecution is currently demanding a sentence of two and a half years in prison for his role in violating the public trust. Since he too pled guilty, a decision will likely come soon, but the bombshell he dropped in the courtroom may have longer lasting effects.

Source: NHK News WebAsahi ShimbunUshimitsuMy Game News FlashHachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Do-it-yourself funeral kits go on sale in Japan

-- Japanese supermarket’s funeral ad sparks controversy, debate over “blasphemy”

-- “They slipped 10,000-yen bills into rice balls” — Bizarre election corruption in Aomori revealed

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

36 Comments
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...Still one of the best police of the World..

Should probably read:

One of the best police forces that money can buy!

19 ( +24 / -5 )

The police in Japan are but one step removed from the scum they are supposed to protect us from.

16 ( +31 / -15 )

In an earlier trial, the owners of a funeral home in Kanagawa were given suspended sentences for their part in the bribery scheme. The judge said it was satisfactory given that they both pled guilty and expressed remorse.

So many gems of Japanese justice in this article. Just compare this treatment to those stories of theft of a few thousand yen when someone is hungry or if someone is caught with a few grams of a prohibited plant extract.

15 ( +23 / -8 )

And what exactly is the harm of it? Funeral home need to earn a living too and the police get some gift vouchers for drinks. I don’t see the big deal. They ain’t stealing nor harming anyone....

Do ya want a police force that can be bought?

If they can be bought here, what else can they be bought for?

It then becomes a private police force, not a public service

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Tokyo police just as corrupt if not even more so. They are kingmakers of the drug trade, such as in the high end Azabu area, arresting the non-associated groups while protecting the groups who “share”. They also scapegoat ppl via torture induced confessions.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

What a shock!

9 ( +16 / -7 )

And I guarantee you that as much will be done about this as was done about the construction company (and we know who controls construction) dumping soil at the top of a mountain in Atami, which resulted in the destruction of a village last summer.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/07/24/national/media-national/mudslides-atami-disaster/

That was forgotten, this will be forgotten, the constant flow of bribes from criminal elements to local authorities will continue, and the Japanese people will continue to say "Shoganai" and vote LDP.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

And these are just the stories that are ‘reported’ in official releases to make ‘the news’. We can only imagine the possible number of additional offenses that are routinely handled ‘internally’, and never recorded in disciplinary reviews or public news of arrest reports.

6 ( +18 / -12 )

Every police station accepting bribes

Yeah…..and?

we’ve known this since forever.

They also commit crimes almost as much as the “criminals” they are supposed to protect the public from.

nothing new here.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

I don’t see the big deal. They ain’t stealing nor harming anyone....

oh so bribery is ok,

lets say you have an car accident with a rich privileged Japanese, and they pay off an officer to plant evidence or write a report that puts the blame on you or your family member. It becomes very dangerous when justice can be bought

5 ( +10 / -5 )

"I regret that I’ve been unable to tell my boss to stop doing this..." Oh, right, the "just following orders" excuse!

According to the article, YOU were given 2 million yen, of which YOU kept 1.7 million, and then YOU passed on the measly leftovers to your subordinates.

Go look in the mirror, boss. YOU were/are the problem. Don't blame others for what YOU did.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No doubt this is not limited to Kanagawa either.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Still one of the best police of the World..

oh like that believable 99% conviction rate!? lol

3 ( +9 / -6 )

To serve and protect....

...their own self interests.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

To serve and protect....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In the west we call it kickbacks, but in Japan it is almost normal for people to do business this style getting money for referrals, connection, favors, and so on . In fact almost nothing get done without someone getting a portion of the deal, from bank loans, to financial support, to insurance, Etc. so this officer was just getting a thank you money for his referrals which is the norm here.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Not at all surprised by these accusations. I doubt that any one involved will go to jail especially the police.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It always thrills me to see the incorruptible nature of the Japanese Police Force when I see them standing outside their Koban in Roppongi Crossing on a Friday night, secure in the knowledge that all the bars and gentlemen's clubs in the environs are closing their doors at 8pm sharp, in accordance with the Government requirements.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

This guy has the look of a criminal.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sounds like it's time for an internal investigation by the police, of the police.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Seems Tokyo’s police did not fair well in an informal poll earlier today, over 66% not agreeing with: “*one of the best police of the world..**” (*as of 5pmJST)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The police in Japan are but one step removed from the scum they are supposed to protect us from.

I disagree with the one step David. They are 2 cheeks of the same backside.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

...Still one of the best police of the World..

Should probably read:

One of the best police forces that money can buy!

Exactly!

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Curious. Does gender, within the police force effect corruption? Are male law enforcement more apt to be corrupt?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

One would assume that funeral homes make the big buck with everyone dying from Corona these days. Or not?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Shocked and surprised.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

These aligations just undermines any trust people have in the J police, how can people go to them with a minor problem/complaint knowning that something will be done?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The police in Japan are but one step removed from the scum they are supposed to protect us from.

The article makes it explicit that this pattern is something peculiar to Kanagawa.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In an earlier trial, the owners of a funeral home in Kanagawa were given suspended sentences for their part in the bribery scheme. The judge said it was satisfactory given that they both pled guilty and expressed remorse.

Works for celebs, politicians and cops but the average Taro would be saying haro to a cellmate.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Where is this also happening in Japan?

Corrupt police-unbelievable!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Police is not an angel and you know that

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

And some believe only the “official” statistics & reports released by the NPA. - Seems there are allegations of additional crimes within police departments and involving police officers on and off duty.

Feb 16, ‘22 - https://japantoday.com/category/crime/204-police-officers-personnel-disciplined-in-2021 -

ONLY 204 disciplined, ONLY 41 arrested in 2021.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Do ya want a police force that can be bought?

If they can be bought here, what else can they be bought for?

It then becomes a private police force, not a public service

JR uses them as a private security force

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

The police in Japan are but one step removed from the scum they are supposed to protect us from.

Still one of the best police of the World..

-21 ( +12 / -33 )

And what exactly is the harm of it? Funeral home need to earn a living too and the police get some gift vouchers for drinks. I don’t see the big deal. They ain’t stealing nor harming anyone....

-36 ( +7 / -43 )

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