crime

Man found dead on street after suspected hit-and-run

30 Comments

A 65-year-old man was found dead on a street in Koganei City, Tokyo, on Sunday night, the apparent victim of a hit-and-run, police said Monday.

According to police, Tadashi Kato, who lives in the city, was found lying on the road around 8:30 p.m. by a passerby who called an ambulance. Police said he was found near the center line and seemed to have been run over by a car.

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30 Comments
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While I sympathise with the victim,I can often sympathise with the driver too in cases like this..there is no lack of elderly dears that will try to take on a freeway with their arthritic hips.I am always amazed that more young kids and elderly are not killed in such circumstances on a more regular basis.Hitting someone and leaving them to die can not be condoned though.

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Hit and run should be a crime punishable by DEATH-DEATH-DEATH!!!!!!!!!

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"While I sympathise with the victim,I can often sympathise with the driver too in cases like this.." What? to leave someone to die ? a comment such as this should carry a punishment similar to the one the filthy driver will get when IT is caught!

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It's sad when human nature reveals itself after someone does something like this. They decide that it's more important to not get in trouble that to help somebody not die.

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OK then. Let's not consider that the deceased may have wandered into the path of an oncoming vehicle leaving the driver no time to avoid a collision.

And let's not consider the fact that J-police would have arrested the said driver for reckless driving causing death despite the circumstance.

And finally, let's not consider that said driver knowing that he was probably heading to jail for an "accident" clearly not of his own making, decided to play the odds and flee the scene.

If that driver had been me, and knowing how things are done here concerning this type of accident, I too would have definitely had the urge to run.

The blame for running does not fall solely on the shoulders of the runner. Not by a long shot.

S

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Hit and run is serious offence. The suspect should stop and aknowledge his action. He could be drunk or on drugs, or he panicked as many druvers do. It is impossible that he didn't have knowledge of hiting someone, only by hearing big bang. Hope that cops nab him and lock him up for good. Drunk or being on drugs there is no excuse.

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Total agreement with Spidey. Good samaritans are not rewarded in Japan. The dead guy could have left a suicide note and the driver would still go to jail. Of course people run!

The average Joe will stick around for justice. Only a dummy sticks around for guaranteed injustice. --Cirroc

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Look I live in Chiba and the drivers out here are a nightmare. Guys trying to pretend their car is powerful, some lady chatting on her cell phone, some other twit watching TV and then there is just the guy who doesn't care.

I spend every trip to the Eki trying not to get killed by traffic in a relatively quiet area. But the quality of drivers her makes that a hard challenge.

At the painted and signed crosswalks these morons can't even be bothered to stop for old ladies trying to cross on a rainy day. Too in a hurry to stop at the red light 50meters ahead I guess.

Drivers her suck for all the money they spend on it. And are the worst I have experienced since Oregon. It is a wonder the streets are not running the blood of people run over every day. Thank goodness for tiny curvy streets to keep the speed down.

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tkoind2 - Yep, I've got to agree with you. The drivers here are generally very irresponsible and a real danger for pedestrians. I have no idea why the Jp Gov. doesn't introduce speed bumps to control the speeding on narrow streets. I know the police are too busy checking bicycle registrations and taking photos of illegally parked cars to build up their monthly revenue to do anything about speeders and red light runners. And, while were are at it, what about those bloody noisy scooters terrorizing the neighborhoods at 2am. The roads and most drivers in Japan are a disgrace!

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These old people seem to have a death wish. They are always jaywalking. Is this being treated as manslaughter or a suicide?

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Yes drivers are irresponsible in Japan, but maybe that is because if an accident with a pedestrian happens they by default guilty. The law should be changed that the blame falls on the guilty party

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Forgive my ignorance, but is it always the driver's fault if he hit a pedestrian even if, for instance, the pedestrian crossed a street without using pedestrian lanes?

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yes it is always the drivers fault. the law protects the smaller veichile... i.e. pedestrian->bicycle->scooter->motorbike....etc sorry to say if hit somene I would also consider taking the odds... the quality of road users in general is terrible here. most recently I see many idiots riding into on-coming traffic, thats is a side effect of the new bicycle laws...

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Out of all the years and countries I have driven in, I have not had one situation dealing with hitting a pedestrian. The amount of carelessness people have while driving is mind blowing. I've even seen people get hit by cars that run red lights in Tokyo. I don't understand how some people receive their license to drive at times. This is terrible news and should be something that needs to be addressed in driver's education or legal legislation (but most likely it won't).

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Back when Japan was safety country, people walked down the middle of the street and drivers would politely honk and the pedestrian would toddle off. Now, I've notice, a certain generation still walks down the middle of fairly busy streets but they don't get off even when a younger driver blares their horn at them.

But running away from an injured and possibly dying person is beyond the pale. I don't know if I could live with my conscience knowing I abandoned someone in need, even if it did mean jail time. (Clear conscience in jail or troubled in Japan, there's a dilemma.)

Tadashi Kato, who lives in the city,

editors- this should, technically, be: Kato, who lived in the city,

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Let's say we hit and kill and old geezer - how much is it going to cost?

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Totally with Spidey here. A dysfunctional legal system that refuses to take into account extenuating circumstances often leaves people with no option but to run from the law in Japan.

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you hit and run apolgists are making some grand assumptions. There is no way to NOT hit a pedestrian if you are paying attention, two hands on the wheel, phne off, DVD player off, UNLESS the fool jumps in front of your car at the last minute. The ONLY reason you leave the scene is because of GUILT. Your defense of the killer (yes, the driver KILLED a person) only holds up if he was wholly innocent, i.e. it was a pure premediated SUICIDE on the part of the J-walker, AND the driver stopped, called his lawyer and made a decision to flee based on his rational, post deadly accident reasoning, WHILE THE GUY WAS LAYING DEAD OR DYING AT HIS FEET.

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Sorry bamboohat - have you ever driven in Japan?

Narrow streets, countless alleyways, often no footpaths, poorly designed junctions, and pedestrians and cyclists who do not look where they are going.

In a typical city street in my area 2 steps will take you to the centre of the road.

I have seen people take those 2 steps often enough to have sympathy and understanding of 'hit-and-run' drivers in Japan.

The police in Japan will not consider circumstances. It will not matter if the pedestrian walked straight into the path of the vehicle. In fact it will not matter if the victim fell into the path of the vehicle, as in the case of a suicide victim last year. The police will seek to nail that driver - and the justice system here makes that easy.

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The law states that a driver is under no obligation to stop and allow a pedestrian to cross at a marked pedestrian crossing unless it has traffic lights, so why do they have pedestrian crossings?

J-law is archaic. Have you ever noticed that there are no such things as give way signs, either? Only STOP, somewhere back behind a blind corner.

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The way some of these people just walk out into the street, I was convinced Japanese were made of rubber. There could be no other explanation why J-walkers step into the road or pop out from a blind spot without being more cautious.

My theory of bouncing J-peds is wrong and this unfortunate soul is now dead.

I'm not sure what happened, probably neither person was paying attention to what they were doing and now you have one dead and another waking up this morning with a sick feeling in the pit of their stomach knowing the hammer is about to drop.

These stories always serve as a reminder that you have to be really careful. Its a jungle out there.

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Yes drivers are irresponsible in Japan, but maybe that is because if an accident with a pedestrian happens they by default guilty. The law should be changed that the blame falls on the guilty party

Under the law, the person is guilty only when he/she "fails to exercise due care". (Article 211)

In addition,

ただし傷害が重くとも、運転者に過失がなければ、刑事事件にならない。例えば歩行者が飛出してきて事故になったような場合には、運転者に過失がなく刑事事件とならない。

Even if the injury is severe, if the driver is deemed not at fault, it does not constitute as criminal offense. For instance, if a pedestrian suddenly ran into a traffic resulting in an accident, the driver is not at fault.

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~ZI3H-KWRZ/law2koujkei.html#keiho

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That might be what is written in law nigelboy - but it is not the practice of law in this country.

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That might be what is written in law nigelboy - but it is not the practice of law in this country.

I think you need to cite examples.

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Even if the injury is severe, if the driver is deemed not at fault, it does not constitute as criminal offense. For instance, if a pedestrian suddenly ran into a traffic resulting in an accident, the driver is not at fault. http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~ZI3H-KWRZ/law2koujkei.html#keiho

Not criminal. What about civil? And gomen money is standard practice, even if some idiot jumps in front of your car.

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I think you need to cite examples.

That will be difficult. The press never follows up on these things.

But my experience suggests that the police and courts will always find fault with a driver unless their car was at a total standstill. I have had several run ins with the police and a few accidents. Their way of thinking is screwy to say the least (which is not to say that I am in total agreement with my country's rules and practices either).

Concepts of right of way are completely out of whack here. They fail to take into account that a pedestrian can stop instantly and wait at the curb. A car has no such luxury. It takes time to stop and if they stop too quickly it could result in being hit from behind. So, obviously the car had the right of way, simply because the car has more to consider, and less time to consider it. Try telling that to the Japanese authorities. They tolerate nothing less than superhuman if you are driver, but if you a pedestrian, well then, be a total idiot if you like.

I would like for anyone to provide an example of what happens after arrest in these cases. Anyone at all. No one has done that yet and that is all that matter. --Cirroc

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I think you need to cite examples.

5+ years of NHK news.

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This is a case where the accused drove into an opposite lane causing a head on collision. The judge ruled that he was not guilty of "Causing Death or Injury through Negligence in the Pursuit of Social Activities )based on his condition that he was suffering from sleep apnoea syndrome at that time.

http://www.courts.go.jp/hanrei/pdf/62BEEC5C02BA1C8049256FC5003A3740.pdf

What the police will do is to make sure that you had done your due diligence and that you exercized your "due care". What we hear on the news is that these drivers are initially questioned or arrested for Causing Death or Injury through Negligence in the Pursuit of Social Activities.

However, whether these charges are fully prosecuted are another matter for only 10% of the above charge are actually pursued.

http://72.14.235.104/search?q=cache:rct8VMnEN80J:202.214.11.201/TOUKEI/DB/keiji06.xls+%E6%A5%AD%E5%8B%99%E4%B8%8A%E9%81%8E%E5%A4%B1%E5%82%B7%E5%AE%B3%E3%80%80%E8%B5%B7%E8%A8%B4%E7%8E%87&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=12&lr=lang_ja

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Starviking sez:

Sorry bamboohat - have you ever driven in Japan?

Yep. I have a Japanese license and drive approximately 100km a week, on expressways and through small local streets. I am well aware of the difficulties in avoiding clueless old people. However, my point was not that it is difficult to not hit them, my point was it is morally wrong to leave them lying there, AND despite Japanese law being messed up as you say, that is NOT justification nor even an understandable reason for leaving somebody lying in the street. Drive slow and don't hit anybody. Be aware of places people/kids/dogs will/can dart out. I know it's a lot easier to talk on your keitai and listen to the radio and not pay attention, but it really isn't that difficult. Millions of people drive in this country every day and manage to not run over people.

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Apologies for my remarks Bamboohat.

I don't condone leaving accident victims on the street - but I do understand it. Cases like these can end with not only a dead victim of a road accident - but a driver whose life is also effectively over.

I don't drive whilst talking on the keitai, or watching TV in the car - but I've had a few close scrapes - usually from cyclists jumping red lights on blind corners.

Millions of people drive in this country every day and manage to not run over people.

And how many people have close escapes - or pay some money over?

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