crime

Japanese swimmer expelled from Asian Games for stealing camera

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Stealing camera from journalist? Did he really need that camera do badly?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Must have been a nice camera. Surely he can buy a good camera here in Japan at a reasonable price. No need to steal one ...

Anyway ... the swim team is minus one swimmer ...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

what an absolute f`wit, literally cameras everywhere, manny of those security cameras at a major sporting event. and you think i take this when nobodys watching!!??. good swimmer maybe but not too bright im guessing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I also scratching my head reading this. I have no idea why he need to do this. While the swimming event is already over yesterday, I think they might suspend him from swimming event after they arrive in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tomita should also be suspended for at least a period of time in Japan, as well. There is no place for such conduct anywhere. We should expect more from our national representatives.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

You'll probably find this guy is a cleptomaniac and his apartment is full of stolen goods. What an idiot!

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Idiot indeed!

Bet he can't even spell "kleptomaniac". ; )

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Tomita should also be suspended for at least a period of time in Japan

I think his entire career is finished in Japan.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I can't think of any reason why the guy would steal a camera, unless maybe he thinks the journalist got a shot Tomita did not want seen, or was of a certain nationality that he wanted to snub. In any case, I agree with those that have stated that the guy's career as a swimmer for Japan should be finished. Some seem to want to make a comparison with Sun's comments the other day, but while both this action and that of Sun's were bad, that is the only comparison that can be made. Tomita literally committed a crime, while Sun stated his negative opinion of something.

Pukey has a good point, though, and I notice a few posts that are rather sheepish in tone than some of those made yesterday in regards to what Sun said and towards China as a whole.

tinawatanabe: "I think his entire career is finished in Japan."

It should be, but as with the case when it comes to professional athletes and potential medal hauls in the future in any other nation, his punishment might be more lenient than it should be. Given the spotlight this is getting, though, it's hard to say. In any case, it was an incredibly stupid thing to do.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Perhaps something in the air(or water!) at these games making swimmers do stupid things, neither has any moral ground that I can see!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Keep it real...self-entitled spoiled brat is what he is

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The burden of guilt wears heavily in Japan. I hope he has an alternative plan for life and career. Hope he doesn't do the ..."unthinkable." After a stupid act like that, Go West young man! Go West! Where you can commit any atrocity and re-invent yourself after a few years...even "find the Lord."

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

That is really unusual behaviour for a Japanese team member. I'm surprised to learn of it. Kudos to the JOC for taking such swift action.

Naoya, why???

1 ( +6 / -5 )

i can't believed you did that.. japanese people are honest.. why did you do that ;-(

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

It must be a (bad) joke !...a Japanese stealing a camera ? Here in Japan there must be a Gazillion cameras to choose from !

2 ( +5 / -3 )

i always think that Japanese are nice

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

it didn't say if the cera was retrieved, if he still had it in his possession then he definitely intended to steal it. If not his intention was aimed at targeting the journalist for some reason. In either case he comitted a crime and should be prosecuted for it accordingly.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A camera worth $7,600, where was the journalist? Idiot for leaving it unattended! Tomita was probably in depth up to his eyeballs. Desperate people do desperate things

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Before this kid gets hung, drawn and quartered, I'd like to hear his side of the story. Was he just skylarking after his events? Surely he did not take the camera for financial gain? I'd just hate to see a kids promising career destroyed if he was just goofing off. Just hoping the JOC have not come to a knee-jerk decision.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Just hoping the JOC have not come to a knee-jerk decision.

I understand what you are saying (I was young once myself!) but he was caught doing it on film, confessed to it, the camera was found in his possession, and so the JOC did what they had to do. I really hope he turns his life around.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

David Hughes, leaving stuff in public places without fearing them going missing are pretty common practices in Korea and Japan.

BurakuminDes, he was caught on security camera, and confessed to it. You don't go "skylarking" by stealing expensive items that don't belong to you. He said he wanted the expensive camera so he took it, little did he know that he was being filmed, and he had no choice but to admit it after he was confronted with a video showing he was stealing it.

The Korean police, for some reason, decided not to press charges (I don't understand that), and he was deported today.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I just wonder how many comments there would be if an athlete of another country competing at these games had done something unacceptable like this. Thankfully, the less febrile people here don't judge an entire country by the stupidity of one individual. As my old football coach used to say, don't let the side down, lad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tomita was detained after police studied images from closed circuit cameras at the pool, officials said.

Uh, duh, how dumb can you be? This is an international sporting event, so security is the #1 priority. There are security cameras everywhere.

It must be a (bad) joke !...a Japanese stealing a camera ?

LOL. Thought of that myself.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Work for years to enter an international competition, and then do something like this? It not only disgraces Japan, but it is also just weird... there are so few people in Japan who would do such a thing. Really amazing.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Just. Plain. Stupid.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Why would he tank his reputation and promising career that way? He must have assumed he'd never be caught and there would be no consequences. Weird.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

How could this be? Better camera's can be found in Japan. Seems puzzling to me.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@Papi2013 Agreed, but when I said 'another country' I was alluding to a particular country who saw one of its athletes do something stupid at these games just the other day. It seems this stupid child who my Chinese coworker called an idiot became a reliable representative of the mentality and morality of his country. Clearly not all Japanese people are thieves. I can attest to that. The people who took great pleasure in pointing out how the idiocy of one individual represents the mindset of a whole country are conspicuous by their absence in the comments section of this story.

1 ( +3 / -3 )

The $7,600 camera, belonging to a journalist for a South Korean news agency, went missing at the Asian Games pool on Thursday.

--> Show me the camera.

This theft is just as bad as a $20 camera however. The era of pool-side thieves and perverts is coming to an end it seems.

Maybe he cried like the Japanese politician to get off easily. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atC8yn7I4mQ

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@Papi2013 ... The Korean police, for some reason, decided not to press charges (I don't understand that), and he was deported today.

A calculated decision to keep the games clear of controversy and the focus on sports.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hopefully that was his first and last time stealing something.... but if it was not... it might answer some incidents in the past if items went missing at swim meets he participated in. The Police might want to search his home or apartment.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

For those wondering about a camera left unattended... press photographers have several camera bodies at their disposal, but they sometimes don't need to have all of them at hand. They can be left in a press room in that case. Also, there are times when photographers set up remote cameras that can be in positions where photographers themselves aren't allowed during competition. Those cameras are triggered by radio.

These are just guesses, but it's not unusual for press photographers to have cameras that are not on their persons at all times.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Plot Twist: he stole the camera because there is something in its memory that is top secret!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Bah. Ken beat me to it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How naive can one be to think in this day and age of surveillance cameras everywhere, that he would not be caught.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Learning that stealing is not the way to form loving and happy relationships with people is part of learning respect and learning to respect other people's possessions is just part of growing up. If people learned this, then the world would be a lot more harmonious. Treat others as you wish to be treated and this will teach them to treat you with respect.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A person in Tomita's position caught breaking the law will end up paying far more for the crime than the average person. He has much more to lose.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Sorry for Tomita. He didn't know what he's done, a poor lad!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Clearly a spiilt brat who is far to used to getting everything he wants.

Entitlement and stupidity do not make good bedfellows.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Show us the camera please!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Pukey has a good point, though, and I notice a few posts that are rather sheepish in tone than some of those made yesterday in regards to what Sun said and towards China as a whole.

Not really. Pukey had one point only, to trash Japan. As usual. I feel sorry for you if you can't see the difference in behavior here. All countries have thieves. Not all countries have professional athletes who will step up to the microphone and willfully mock their opponents.

Mr Tomita's actions were criminal in nature. I suspect he will pay a lot harder than an average thief would who stole a camera from a bag on the train etc.

And for those saying "Japanese are honest", "Japanese don't do this kind of thing", get a grip please. Just yesterday an acquaintance of mine had his camera bag stolen while we attended the sports day of an acquaintance's child. There are thieves everywhere. If you don't watch your stuff because you think "all Japanese are honest", be prepared to lose your stuff someday.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

All countries have thieves. Not all countries have professional athletes who will step up to the microphone and willfully mock their opponents.

I think you compare two different things. All countries have people who will step up to the microphone and wilfully mock their opponents. Not all countries have professional athletes who are thieves.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

All countries have people who will step up to the microphone and wilfully mock their opponents.

People. Sure. Professional athletes are taught better. By the time they reach the level of international competition they are supposed to have learned the basic values of sportsmanship. The fact that the best swimmer in PRC hasn't learned this is troubling. Imagine if an Australian or Canadian swimmer had said something comparable. We would definitely have heard from the appropriate sporting authorities governing swimming in those nations. The apologies would have been profuse. In PRC its crickets.

Not all countries have professional athletes who are thieves.

Oh really? Do you have some stats or other evidence to back up this claim? I recall many stories of athletes stealing stuff. Shall I post some links for you, or can you use Google?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

hidingout: "Not really. Pukey had one point only, to trash Japan. As usual."

He had more than one point, but since you focus on one, I will to for the moment. However, it needs to be pointed out that he was not 'trashing Japan', he was calling out the people who trashed ALL of China for the act of ONE person, yourself included ("they would go mental!") saying, literally, that it proved Japanese athletes had the high road and the Chinese delegates were all classless, etc. But hey, don't take my word for it:

(from LeChatBotte): "He's just expressing primal hatred resulting from an education based on ideological brainwashing. And yes, it is actually about marking the difference between the Japanese athletes being able to take the higher road and that really classless Chinese delegation."

(from JoeBiggs): ""Stellar example of Communist diplomacy."

And yet, where did those people go when it was revealed that the Japanese delegate stole a camera? Where did all that talk of moral high ground disappear to? THAT is what was being pointed out, and if you cannot see that and only see hatred when a person points out the hypocrisy of some posters, then you ought to be feeling sorry for yourself and not for others.

"All countries have thieves. Not all countries have professional athletes who will step up to the microphone and willfully mock their opponents."

A better and more relevant comparison would be that all people have negative thoughts towards another from time to time, but not all people are criminals. It's YOU who choose to infuse nationality into the debate, and insist that one person's opinion trumps actual law, etc. But let me guess, me pointing that out to you is.... 'hatred'?

"And for those saying "Japanese are honest", "Japanese don't do this kind of thing", get a grip please. "

Agree with you on that part, at least. Such statements by people are more or less self-admittances that they put all people of one group in a certain class while putting those of other groups (nationalities) in another, and THAT is the problem; the mentality of people who don't see these two athletes as the two jerks that they are and instead trying to say one nation is this way and the other is not, so they are all so 'surprised' suddenly.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

And yet, where did those people go when it was revealed that the Japanese delegate stole a camera? Where did all that talk of moral high ground disappear to? I

I totally agree with you. I've noticed that the Japanese are very, very swift to point out any misbehaviour - real or suspected - on the parts of Chinese or Korean athletes, such as match-fixing, doping, or just general bad sportsmanship. My students are extremely vocal about these matters, and never hestitate to bring them up for discussion. Today I tentatively brought up the topic of Tomita in class. Guess what I got in return? Blank stares and radio silence, like it never happened. Typical!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Such statements by people are more or less self-admittances that they put all people of one group in a certain class while putting those of other groups (nationalities) in another, and THAT is the problem

smithinjapan: Is that like you saying only "Japanese politicians and celebrities apologize after gaffes"? Sounds hypocritical of you.

I've noticed that the Japanese are very, very swift to point out any misbehaviour - real or suspected

Tessa: You could leave out the 'Japanese' part in your quote, since it happens quite often in other countries as well. I've heard such finger-pointing happening in many media outlets around the world, as I like to peruse information from many sources, and not just from one country. Only using examples from the country you live in makes a statement like yours very narrow-minded.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Today I tentatively brought up the topic of Tomita in class. Guess what I got in return? Blank stares and radio silence, like it never happened. Typical!

@Tessa - Well, it depends on who you ask. Today, in my English class, when I asked everyone to start off with a five minute talk, a student brought up this story about Tomita and everyone mentioned how disappointed and appalled they were at what he had done. One said that they were very disappointed and hope that Mr. Tomita's behavior doesn't give the wrong impression to the rest of Asia and the world that all Japanese are like this. He is but a small sample size for all Japanese. All of my Japanese students were in agreement that he should be punished severely under Korean law, as it was absolutely a crime. They were also saying how stupid he was for doing such an idiotic act that a teenager might do; not someone who is 25.

I guess some Japanese as you said are "quick to finger-point", while others, like my own students are not. Then again, it might depend on what kind of atmosphere and structure is cultivated in the classroom, and what kind of rapport you have with your students. I try to encourage them to feel free to say anything they feel like without any reservations. They seem to have taken to this well.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I recognize the seriousness of Naoya Tomita's misdeed. It was aggravated by the fact that he is a national representative of Japan to an international event. His lapses in judgment, however small they may be, cannot be depreciated because of the attendant special circumstances.

But I strongly believe, with all due respect to the code of conduct of the Japanese Olympic Committee and the traditional values of the Japanese nation, that Naoya Tomita should still be accorded with respect and dignity as a Japanese citizen even though he did not expressed those values himself based on his misdeed. I would like to share my opinion that it should be enough that the Japanese Olympic Committee have already condemned his actions. I keep the faith that any wrong action should be condemned in strongest possible terms. But I dearly hold that the doer should be spared with the worst of any denunciation.

I understand that it is very difficult, if not almost impossible, to isolate the doer with his own act. But as we vehemently censure the act, at the same time, we should be compassionate with the person behind the act. Surely he deserves to be expelled as a national representative but to tell him that he would have to pay for his ticket back to Japan when he leaves is already supererogatory. The expulsion will only incur removal of his privileges as a national athlete but not as a Japanese citizen.

I strongly recommend that the Japanese Olympic Committee should seriously consider inquiring further about the matter especially since we are dealing with a very talented athlete. His misdeed is not even related to his official designation as a national athlete. He could still probably play the game well but he may have relevant issues that he also need to deal with at the same time. He may have triggered the commencement of the end of his sports career but we have the choice not to definitively conclude it. We also have the extraordinary power not to initiate a cessation of any hope he may have, how little it may be.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think he should be facing jail time. If I stole something worth 7,000 dollars, I'm sure I would be in jail. Why should the taxpayers in Japan (myself included) pay for this guys ticket.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why should the taxpayers in Japan (myself included) pay for this guys ticket.

Did you not read the article? It says:

Aoki said that Tomita would have to pay for his ticket back to Japan when he leaves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a despicable act! He chose to ruin his career and life just for that camera and now you can kiss your 2020 Olympic games dream good bye.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe he met a nice girl and wanted to impress her with the camera in his room? Where else could he use the camera?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where else could he use ...

Sell on ebay.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sell on ebay.

In SKorea? He couldn't have taken it to Japan. Airport staff would have found it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is isn't the end of the embarrassment of Japanese Olympic team. Asia Times reports that a Japanese men's handball player has sexually harassed and touched a Korean volunteer. The female volunteer did not file a complaint with the police. This is after two incidents involving two middle eastern athletes who were deported, and forcing the Asian Games organizers to issue stern warnings. Then in another case involving Japan, a Japanese reporter is being accused by a Chinese reporter of sexual harassment and contact. The Korean police viewed a recorded videotape, and determined that there was intentional contact with the Chinese reporter, and is currently holding the Japanese reporter for further investigation. Two more stories involving Japanese athletes and journalists that are building as we speak.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The fact that this news still remains posted after several days have passed and due to the fact that this athlete is supposed to represents Japan oversees and yet can't keep his hands in pocket must be quite embarrassing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Smart career move, next job pool attendant?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seems to be a universal human trait: When abroad, do what the heck you want. Just look at the behaviour of the Brits in Greece. Somehow being away from home brings out the worst in us....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He just earned bad name for himself as well as for his country. He must not done this in an another country. Are the top Japanese athlete paid less?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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