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Man arrested for trying to rob convenience store says he was hungry

35 Comments

Police in Kimitsu, Chiba Prefecture, have arrested a 67-year-old man on suspicion of attempting to rob a convenience store on Sunday.

According to police, Sakae Ejiri, who said he works as a security guard, entered the store at around 6 a.m. and threatened the 34-year-old employee at the cash register with a pair of scissors, Kyodo News reported. Ejiri demanded money but the employee refused and pressed a silent alarm which alerted police.

Police rushed to the scene and detained Ejiri outside the store. He was quoted as saying he was heavily in debt, and was hungry but had no money to buy any food.

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35 Comments
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Is begging more shameful than stealing, robbing, or killing to feed yourself?

I was homeless for a short period of time and desperate for money. I never considered begging, but I did consider stealing. (Never had to do either.) I think begging is such abject humiliation that many would rather commit a crime.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Robbery is not acceptable. However, this is an SOS from certain amount of people who is suffering from living. The government and we should not neglect this undermining issue.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

@Larr Flint

This is just assumption what you make. There is no content. Many elderly people still keep working in Japan because they can feel useful.

And demanding money is not food (although you can buy food) but he can also have debts.

Just he made an excuse because he may think he may get just a warning which will of course not happen.

There is no great country and every politican of course says about their own country to win souls.

8 ( +20 / -12 )

The income gap is growing wider (a major reason why the birth rate has fallen), yet this gov't prioritizes opening a casino resort rather than increasing the elderly's meagre pension/helping those who are in a rough spot.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

According to police, Sakae Ejiri, who said he works as a security guard, entered the store at around 6 a.m

You see a lot of these guys, tending to be older but some young, gathering in the park preparing for their shifts standing and waving batons.

Many appear almost homeless until they don their uniforms.

You could say that by providing such make-work the Japanese political-economy is providing a service to those who would otherwise be totally living rough.

But the growing harsh conditions of such a society are apparent.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

I mean, as small as onigiri are; why did he go through the extra effort of walking up to the cashier to threaten him with a pair of scissors? He could've just put it in his pocket and walked out.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Poverty is definitely on the rise in Japan

I regularly would give a few coins to the homeless people on the station overpass in Umeda.

Sitting out in freezing January temperatures made me feel sorry for them

Driving past a convenience store yesterday, I noticed an ashen clothed lady sitting opposite on the ground looking unwashed and bedraggled-not so cold now, thank goodness

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Larr FlintToday  07:01 am JST

I feel sorry for old guy to be honest. 67yo who HAS to WORK instead of enjoying his retirement because he doesn't have FOOD.

Is this that great Japan that politicians are bragging about?

> Michael MachidaToday  09:56 am JST

This situation is the fault of the Japanese Government in that this country has been managed so poorly that an elderly Japanese man has to rob a convenience store because he is hungry and in great debt. 

Both of these comments are intellectually shallow.

Without any evidence at all, both of these comments are presuming that the man was in no way responsible for his financial situation.

Neither of the people posting these two comments, apparently, even gave one brain-wave of consideration to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the man made poor choices in his life that resulted in his debt and financial straits.

This seems reflective of a statist, government-centered mentality. A mentality that says that government must take care of everyone and everything -- and that when something goes wrong in a person's life, it's automatically the fault of the government.

Wrong. It's far more likely that in an economically well-developed country like Japan, the man simply made bad choices in life.

We can still feel badly for him, of course, but automatically leaping to the conclusion that it's the government's fault is a classic example of intellectual laziness. If not an exercise in Japan-bashing in this case.

5 ( +20 / -15 )

Poverty and the wealth gap is definitely on the rise as is a sense of hopelessness and frustration

*This situation is the fault of the Japanese Government in that this country has been managed so poorly that an elderly Japanese man has to rob a convenience store because he is hungry and in great debt. Over the last 20 years, I have observed a government that cannot govern. A government that cannot take its head out of it's A$ to understand what it's doing to the citizens. After all, it's the citizens who voted for them. 20 plus years is a long time to just blame everything on outside forces. Heck, even China out performed Japan and became number 2 in the world. So, I watch for another 20 years. Let's see what happens. Or, not.*

Hear! Hear!

Because it's not even remotely possible that the man might be at least partially responsible for his financial plight, right?

Sorry, I forgot. We're never, ever, ever allowed to consider such a possibility.

I mean, the idea that someone is in deep debt because they (wait for it) actually made bad choices in life to put themselves in that debt?

Oh no, of course not. Utterly impossible.

Pardon me for even raising the whole "personal responsibility" concept. Just not allowed these days.

5 ( +18 / -13 )

Wait until the casinos are up and going, sucking more people into the black hole of debt.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

there are more poor people after covid. I hope they let the old guy go. He should have been getting pension or some payment from government. Sad news.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No soup kitchens in Japan?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I saw a homeless man digging around in a rubbish bin outside a conbini I was going into to get lunch in Shinjuku. I bought him a couple of onigiris and offered them to him and he looked at me and shouted, "iranai!!".

You did a noble deed for an ungrateful person. That's great! It's his loss.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Unless you actually have info that leads you to that conclusion you are making a lot of assumptions. and you know what they say about ASSUmptions

The problem with this comment is the fact that you’re assuming that what led to his financial demise was not due to his personal choices. He could have been an alcoholic and lost his job or gambled his life savings, etc. the fact that you agreed that the government was 100% cause of his downfall is a major assumption that you can’t verify as well based on the article. This, the poster calling out on intellectually lazy comments stand.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Saving just only own life or own main life functions I wouldn’t consider a crime but an ethical duty, for example taking a small water bottle and an energy bar to keep the own bodies’ life functions for another some hours. That’s of course something a very rich economy on global third place or so, surely can and has to stand. But threatening the life of staff with scissors and going for money in the cash register, that’s of course a severe crime here in this case.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is begging more shameful than stealing, robbing, or killing to feed yourself?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It would be better if the government gave its money to the poor and homeless instead of Ukraine and the US arms industry

1 ( +7 / -6 )

*20 plus years is a long time to just blame everything on outside forces. Heck, even China out performed Japan and became number 2 in the world. So, I watch for another 20 years. Let's see what happens. Or, not.**

Hear! Hear!

It's closer to 30 years than 20 years. The Japanese government should do something about this. Governments of developed countries should be able to offer the basic necessities of life for those who made poor choices in their lives that result in being encumbered by debt and financial straits.

Governments should care for its people. Those who are 100% responsbile for their financial downfall are not disqualified for help.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

He could have been an alcoholic and lost his job or gambled his life savings

if that’s the case then we need to make alcoholic drinks and gambling illegal.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

one_consciousness

I saw a homeless man digging around in a rubbish bin outside a conbini I was going into to get lunch in Shinjuku. I bought him a couple of onigiris and offered them to him and he looked at me and shouted, "iranai!!".

I KNOW! I had that SAME THING happen to me before! I saw a homeless guy in really ragged, old and smelly clothes in the grocery store and wore a white mask that was muddied and extremely dirty (this was during the peak of the pandemic). He had a basket with 1 onigiri in it. I quickly bought 2 boxes of masks, hand sanitizers, 2 large bottles of water, snacks, easily prepared foods, ready to eat foods (onigiri and bentos), 2 t shirts and some other things which came to about 3,000 yen. He had put back the onigiri so his basket was empty and he was just staring at the food. I gave it to him and he said "Iiyada! Iranai! Iranai!) as he quickly walked off in an angry huff. I felt so stupid. As I left, I saw him in the parking lot of the grocery store with an old bicycle that had flat tires and lots of dirty plastic bags hanging off it. He made eye contact with me as I drove by and something at me equivelant to (GTFOH)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I gave it to him and he said "Iiyada! Iranai! Iranai!) as he quickly walked off in an angry huff. I felt so stupid

Even homeless people have pride. In fact, that may be all they have. Being single out by some relatively rich foreigner in their own country with unsolicited charity can be quite humiliating. There are ways to help homeless people, but that is not the best. Most cities have established charities that help the homeless. Better to link up with one of those.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can’t survive off of Japanese pension not alone even put a roof over your head. That how bad the pension is once you retire in Japan. I wonder if the guy was drunk at the time? Hopefully he finds happiness and not suffering from hunger and despair

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Michael MachidaApr. 18  09:56 am JST

A government that cannot take its head out of it's A$ to understand what it's doing to the citizens.

Sadly, I think they are all too aware of what they are doing to the citizens.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The problem with this comment is the fact that you’re assuming that what led to his financial demise was not due to his personal choices.

I never said that. AGAIN YOU are the one making assumptions, not me.

He could have been an alcoholic and lost his job or gambled his life savings, etc. the fact that you agreed that the government was 100% cause of his downfall is a major assumption that you can’t verify as well based on the article.

The government is STILL the cause BECAUSE there are very few (and quite simply PATHETIC) safety nets for people here in Japan. People fall on hard times all around and it is the job of the gov to provide them with social safety nets to help get them back on their feet. EVEN IF your assumption is correct and he did gamble his life savings away, he STILL deserves a bit of dignity, and a helping hand by the gov. Sorry, but their lack of addressing social problems and sweeping them under the rug STILL make them 100% responsible regardless of what mistakes he or others have gone through in life.

This, the poster calling out on intellectually lazy comments stand.

Right back at you

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You'd be surprised how many people, especially the elderly live in poverty.

I sympathize a little but would more but if he actually stole food and not try to steal money with a pair of scissors. There's plenty of food to steal from a convenience store if he was truly hungry.

And heavily in debt? From what? Gambling or drinking? So he was stealing to pay off the debt or because he was hungry? He doesn't make much sense.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It's closer to 30 years than 20 years. The Japanese government should do something about this. Governments of developed countries should be able to offer the basic necessities of life for those who made poor choices in their lives that result in being encumbered by debt and financial straits.

Governments should care for its people. Those who are 100% responsbile for their financial downfall are not disqualified for help.

exactly!

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

This situation is the fault of the Japanese Government in that this country has been managed so poorly that an elderly Japanese man has to rob a convenience store because he is hungry and in great debt. Over the last 20 years, I have observed a government that cannot govern. A government that cannot take its head out of it's A$$ to understand what it's doing to the citizens. After all, it's the citizens who voted for them. 20 plus years is a long time to just blame everything on outside forces. Heck, even China out performed Japan and became number 2 in the world. So, I watch for another 20 years. Let's see what happens. Or, not.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

Because it's not even remotely possible that the man might be at least partially responsible for his financial plight, right?

Sorry, I forgot. We're never, ever, ever allowed to consider such a possibility.

I mean, the idea that someone is in deep debt because they (wait for it) actually made bad choices in life to put themselves in that debt?

Oh no, of course not. Utterly impossible.

Pardon me for even raising the whole "personal responsibility" concept. Just not allowed these days.

Unless you actually have info that leads you to that conclusion you are making a lot of assumptions. and you know what they say about ASSUmptions

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

Poverty and the wealth gap is definitely on the rise as is a sense of hopelessness and frustration

This situation is the fault of the Japanese Government in that this country has been managed so poorly that an elderly Japanese man has to rob a convenience store because he is hungry and in great debt. Over the last 20 years, I have observed a government that cannot govern. A government that cannot take its head out of it's A$ to understand what it's doing to the citizens. After all, it's the citizens who voted for them. 20 plus years is a long time to just blame everything on outside forces. Heck, even China out performed Japan and became number 2 in the world. So, I watch for another 20 years. Let's see what happens. Or, not.

Hear! Hear!

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

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