crime

Man arrested for abducting junior high school girl with intent to commit sexual assault

42 Comments

Police in Higashimurayama, Tokyo, have arrested a 50-year-old man on suspicion of abducting a 14-year-old junior high school girl with intent to commit sexual assault.

According to police, Shinji Watanabe, a company employee, has partially denied the charge. He was quoted as saying, "I didn't abduct the girl to commit an obscene act."

Police said the incident occurred around 9:50 p.m. on July 9 in Tokyo's Musashimurayama City. The girl was walking home when Watanabe called out to her from his vehicle. He is reported to have said: “I’d like to ask you something, so please get in my car." The girl got into the car, and Watanabe allegedly requested her to touch the lower part of his body.

After the girl refused, he kept her in the car for about 10 minutes before releasing her. The girl went home and told her father who contacted police.

Watanabe emerged as a potential suspect after his car matched the girl's description and it was seen in the area at the time on street surveillance camera footage.

Police said that since May, there have been a string of cases in Musashimurayama and Higashiyamato City where young girls heading home have been called out to by a man in a car. Police are questioning Watanabe about his involvement in those incidents

© Japan Today

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42 Comments
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Glad they got him, and hope they lock him up for a very long time. As for these girls... come on... getting in a car with a stranger?

20 ( +25 / -5 )

Please lock this psycho up and throw away the key.

As for these girls... come on... getting in a car with a stranger?

I completely agree but Japanese people in general are so sometimes so convinced about the good intentions of others that naivity comes in to play and in situations like these it can become very dangerous.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

As for these girls... come on... getting in a car with a stranger?

In Japan, junior and senior high schools often push their students to be especially polite to elders and such. On top of that, girls of that age tend to be too shy to cause a disturbance in public. On top of that, they tend to be naive. All 3 together override the common sense they learn in elementary school.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

 “I’d like to ask you something, so please get in my car." The girl got into the car, 

Regardless of her being stupid enough to get into his car, Japan is not a safe place if you are young woman. There is no end of sexually perverted predators getting their jollies on young girls. It is the dark side of Japanese culture. I've been a high school and college teacher for nearly two decades in Japan and nearly all of the girls have stories of being victims of sexual predation. Things like, being groped on the trains, having some creep put a camera up their butt on an escalator, being propositioned for money, the list goes on and on. I've intervened half a dozen times with old creeps harassing and perving out on young girls on trains. I guess it should be expected in a country that only outlawed child porn a few years ago and you can still by sexually explicit comics showing girls as young as 5 or 6 involved in disgusting sexual acts. The fact that these comics are still popular and hold a strong percentage of the manga market is enough to tell you there is an unhealthy sexual fascination with young girls in Japan. This girl is very lucky!

10 ( +18 / -8 )

For crying out loud a 14 year old girl walking around at near 10pm. Some parents really need to assume a bit more responsibility to ensure the safety of their child.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Obviously the guy has fantasies about young girls. Calling out to them to get into his car reminds me of a classic by Billy Ocean. “Get out of my dreams! Get into my car!”

He should have stuck with anime.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Japan is not a safe place if you are young woman.

There is no end of sexually perverted predators getting their jollies on young girls

Drawing that kind of conclusion is some serious hyperbole, Japan still is one of the safest places on earth for young women and girls alike.

I do agree that in the Otaku culture, which I am a proud member of, there is a very tiny portion of the market which besides obnoxious sexual content is clearly targeted at sick individuals who get off on underage girls.

We can only hope that those things dissapear from Otaku culture as soon as possible because it produces some very disturbing members of society who are potentially dangerous.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Japan is not a safe place if you are young woman.

What are you talking about? Yes it is.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

For crying out loud a 14 year old girl walking around at near 10pm. Some parents really need to assume a bit more responsibility to ensure the safety of their child.

Say what? This is pretty normal - kids come home from juku that late often. Because it’s such a safe country, incidents are rare.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

The girl was walking home when Watanabe called out to her from his vehicle. He is reported to have said: “I’d like to ask you something, so please get in my car." The girl got into the car,

That part made my head explode. Heck, I am definitely not a 14-year old girl, but I would not get into some random dudes car at night. What was she thinking?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Disillusioned:

Regardless of her being stupid enough to get into his car, Japan is not a safe place if you are young woman.

I wonder if you can give us a list of all the places that are safer than your dangerous Japan?

Let me guess.... crickets....

5 ( +11 / -6 )

KniknaknokkaerToday  05:30 pm JST

For crying out loud a 14 year old girl walking around at near 10pm.

Tell me where you lived to pick up these standards, so I can remember not to live there. From a HK perspective, you should be able to walk around in reasonable safety at 10PM.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Girls are conditioned from an early age - be nice, be polite, be helpful. My 14 year old self would not have got in the car, but I know a few of my schoolmates who would have done.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Drawing that kind of conclusion is some serious hyperbole, Japan still is one of the safest places on earth for young women and girls alike.

@Mister X

When the government and police force of a country suspect that less than 2% of sexual assault cases are reported, that does not sound safe.

Just because you don’t necessarily have a fear of getting shot, it doesn’t make it a safe country. Especially when countless women deal with stalkers and gropers on a daily basis.

While Japan may be a relatively safe country compared to somewhere like the US. I don’t see it as a safe country for women. As a man, this is one of the safest places in the world. Japan is one of the few countries that actually defeated and silenced the #metoo movement.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

 you should be able to walk around in reasonable safety at 10PM.

Indeed you should. Then again, at 10pm a 14-year-old should be home either finishing off her homework or getting ready for bed, not walking the streets.

But they have juku, I hear you cry.... The whole idea of kids needing to study extra-curricular till late at night is crazy. A kid needs 8 hours sleep, if they're up at 6 for asaren (and it seems to be the ones stuck with late-night juku who also do the early-morning sports) then they need to be tucked up by 10.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

@WilliB

Safe is a matter of perspective. But even if you go by crime statistics that are made public, Japan is not number one.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Indeed you should. Then again, at 10pm a 14-year-old should be home either finishing off her homework or getting ready for bed, not walking the streets.

But they have juku, I hear you cry.... The whole idea of kids needing to study extra-curricular till late at night is crazy. A kid needs 8 hours sleep, if they're up at 6 for asaren (and it seems to be the ones stuck with late-night juku who also do the early-morning sports) then they need to be tucked up by 10.

Spot on. I never ceased to be shocked to see toddlers out with their parents 10pm

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Japan is not a safe place if you are young woman.

What are you talking about? Yes it is.

Absolutely. Never understood how someone could think that Japan isn't a safe place.

The only 'logical' explanation i have is that most expats in J (certainly the few i've met in the last 2 years i've been here) come from smallish western towns/the countryside (nothing wrong with that, obviously). Then yes, I guess Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Fukuoka etc arent as/don't feel as safe as say Poole (Dorset-eng), country Vic (oz), Vermont or British Columbia etc. Now compare J cities crime rate with any comparable us/euro or even oz/nz/can city. Japan cities are safe, you wont get headbutted/stabbed/king hit for no reason or for looking at someone the wrong way.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

When the government and police force of a country suspect that less than 2% of sexual assault cases are reported, that does not sound safe.

While I fully wish all cases of sexual harrasment would be reported an estimated number of less than 5%, according to the latest data, does not mean Japan is an unsafe country for young women and girls by any means.

According to the the Ministry of Justice in 2018 there were 410 reported cases in Japan and that was after a much needed spike due to the #metoo movement.

If we factor in the cases that weren't reported this is still a much lower number percentage wise than almost all other countries in the world.

So yes stating that Japan is an unsafe place for young women and girls is pure hyperbole and nothing more.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Japan is still a very safe place for all women of any age. This was 1 idiot out of couple of million. Nah nothing to worry or get all hyper about.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

theres nothing too wrong with a 14 year old girl being out at 10pm during school vacation although, she should not have been alone. However, there is a lot wrong with her being stupid enough to get into a strange old man’s car. Stranger danger for young girls is real all over the world. Glad she is ok. This old creep has been reading too much child porn manga.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Japan is not a safe place if you are young woman.

What are you talking about? Yes it is.

if you are a young woman who can say "NO" and do something against those creepy coward pervs, then it becomes alot safer. women and girls were always told to be passive, since forever in Japan. that,s a problem.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

 I guess it should be expected in a country that only outlawed child porn a few years ago and you can still by sexually explicit comics showing girls as young as 5 or 6 involved in disgusting sexual acts. The fact that these comics are still popular and hold a strong percentage of the manga market is enough to tell you there is an unhealthy sexual fascination with young girls in Japan.

@Disillusioned - in developed countries that would land the cartoonist as well as those owning such material in jail.

But in Japan it's all legal. No wonder women's rights in Japan are decades behind the rest of the world.

How aren't the Japanese people gathering in numbers to make such materials illegal? Is it part of the famous meekness of the Japanese not to challenge the status quo? It is beyond belief.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

According to the the Ministry of Justice in 2018 there were 410 reported cases in Japan and that was after a much needed spike due to the #metoo movement.

410 in 2018? Clearly you don’t remember that article that was printed last year when the Government was alarmed at 601 rape cases reported in the first half of 2018 alone. That doesn’t cover other areas of sexual assault. That is only rape.

As for sexual harassment. That is something not reported in Japan. NHK had an article where they supposedly interview 12,000 women and 48% said they experience sexual harassment at work in the year 2018. So again. If 5,760 women out of 12,000 said they experienced it at work in 2018. That already far exceeds the ministry numbers.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The people that think Japan is safe for young women are delusional. This is the meaning of privilege: to be a dude on the internet declaring how safe it is to be a young girl in Japan. I guess they can go ahead and get rid of those women's only cars! All clear! Raise your hand if you think you'd even bother reporting it if you were raped in this country; just to be re-victimized by Japanese institutions?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Just intent

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is the meaning of privilege: to be a dude on the internet declaring how safe it is to be a young girl in Japan.

@shallots - Well said.

And why are people disliking my comment? My post consisted of 3 points.

(1) child pornography even in cartoon form would land the cartoonist and those possessing the material in jail in most countries - fact.

(2) women's rights in Japan are decades behind other countries - fact.

(3) Japanese public should be outraged at soft core child porn and act to push legislation outlawing cartoon depictions of child pornography, including portraying children in suggestive poses in skimpy clothing - this is my opinion, but I'd worry about anyone who disagrees.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

14 and she gets into a Stranger's Car ?!

Don't Parents teach their Kids to be wary of Strangers ?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

(1) child pornography even in cartoon form would land the cartoonist and those possessing the material in jail in most countries - fact.

(2) women's rights in Japan are decades behind other countries - fact.

(3) Japanese public should be outraged at soft core child porn and act to push legislation outlawing cartoon depictions of child pornography, including portraying children in suggestive poses in skimpy clothing - this is my opinion, but I'd worry about anyone who disagrees

Bingo!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

OK, the victim blamers are out in force tonight!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Another pedophile in jail good but really Japan you have to get with the times and start seriously punishing them like Indonesia..if my daughter came home and told me such a story I wouldn't call the police thats for sure id be out hunting me some rock spiders..

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Exaclty what he did needs to be blamed. However, who taught students to get into a car when they are asked something by the driver? I think it's common thing to know you shouldn't follow a person you don't know. Also, this should be naturally taught by people around you such as neighbor or school teacher.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japan isn’t as safe for women as the national police statistics suggest. Numerous children and women have told me about the daily harassment on the trains. Some of these stories were truly frightening. Sometimes nobody would help very young girls suffering horrible attacks on trains. A student told me that once when she got off the train, she noticed her bag and skirt were...”dirty”. As a western male, be careful not to assume everything is fine here for women just because you cannot see the violence.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiAug. 22  05:56 pm JST

KniknaknokkaerToday  05:30 pm JST

For crying out loud a 14 year old girl walking around at near 10pm.

Tell me where you lived to pick up these standards, so I can remember not to live there. From a HK perspective, you should be able to walk around in reasonable safety at 10PM.

I hope you don't live in Tokyo then.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan isn’t as safe for women as the national police statistics suggest.

Yes it is.

Numerous children and women have told me about the daily harassment on the trains. Some of these stories were truly frightening. Sometimes nobody would help very young girls suffering horrible attacks on trains.

As I said before the amount hyperbole in this thread is just ridiculous.

be careful not to assume everything is fine here for women

Nobody said everything is fine, we just said Japan is one of the safest countries in the world for young women and girls alike despite all the hyperbole.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When I was in elementary school, we had lectures and presentations on the dangers of talking to strangers, especially in cars. Japan should be doing the same thing!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

“I’d like to ask you something, so please get in my car." The girl got into the car

Cultural excuses and presumed innocence aside, this should never, ever happen.

The mere act of a stranger asking a minor "a question" should've rang alarm bells right then and there.

Isn't this taught by parents to their young children? Why not in this case?

Unless there's more to the story which is undisclosed, which is 99.9% of the time...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

StrangerlandAug. 22  05:50 pm JST

For crying out loud a 14 year old girl walking around at near 10pm. Some parents really need to assume a bit more responsibility to ensure the safety of their child.

Say what? This is pretty normal - kids come home from juku that late often. Because it’s such a safe country, incidents are rare.

It ain't normal for me, I won't be sending my daughter to juku when she's 14. If they can't teach what they need to know within normal school hours then the system is obviously wrong and I will send her to a school, private or whatever, that is right. If she want's to go to juku until 10pm I will be picking her up because, the reality is, there is a big risk to a 14 year old girl walking alone at 10pm, even in safety Japan. I will not expose my daughters to unnecessary risk.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In an ideal world, any girl or woman should be able to walk safely alone at night. But the reality is that we are not living in an ideal world. There are seriously bad people out there who will do them harm given an opportunity. It is wise for females to take appropriate cautions and avoid dangerous situations and it is also parent's and teacher's responsibility to teach this.

It's not 'victim blaming' to point out this poor girl's mistake. It's called learning from other's mistakes, which will hopefully help others avoid similar horrendous experiences which might have worse or even fatal consequences.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wouldn't it be more effective to teach kid, teen and so on, that they should not ask someone they don't know to go in their car/house/...

Isn't kind of illogical to teach someone going in a unknown person car/... is not good because they can be dangerous but not teaching that is not normal to ask it. If A is taught that is not normal to do it, even if A wants, it will be harder to do it since A know A will be seen as deviant. Along that, if B end up being asked B can easily associate A behavior as strange and use the backup of the norm to refuse it.

By only teaching B to refuse, it lets ground for A to argue : "why not ?", "do you think I am a bad person ?", ... putting B in a difficult position.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At least she told her dad and he was caught. He'll be off the streets for a whole and that's a bonus for all

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Heckleberry:

But in Japan it's all legal. No wonder women's rights in Japan are decades behind the rest of the world.

The rest of the world? That would include the neighbourhood of Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc? Seriously? And can you tell us exactly what "women's rights" are limited in Japan?

@shallots:

The people that think Japan is safe for young women are delusional. This is the meaning of privilege: to be a dude on the internet declaring how safe it is to be a young girl in Japan.

In my case that would mean a dude who lives here, has Japanese friends and family, mingles at night with Japanese and sees Japanese females out at night alone without much reason to worry. Try that in some places of the "rest of the world" touted by heckelberry.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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