crime

Man held for making over 50 threatening calls to university

25 Comments

An office worker was arrested Monday on suspicion of phoning Showa Women's University in Tokyo and threatening to kill its employees, the Metropolitan Police Department said.

Itaru Watanabe, 34, a resident of Setagaya Ward, was quoted by the Tokyo police as allegedly saying: "I got angry because the university canceled its informal promise to hire me."

According to police investigators, between February and April of this year, Watanabe called the university three times from a pay phone in Shinjuku Ward, threatening female receptionists with statements such as "I'm going to bomb you," "I'll kill your staff" and, "Anything going on there? Something might just happen."

Watanabe also told police that since 2007, he had called the university over 50 times, always from the same pay phone in Shinjuku Ward. This helped investigators, who apprehended Watanabe by staking out the phone.

Watanabe admitted he threatened the university because it revoked an offer of employment. Watanabe was originally offered a contract to work for the university starting in April 2006, but in January of that year the university contacted him saying he would no longer be hired because he lacked the necessary qualifications to be a lecturer.

© Wire reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

25 Comments
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"in January of that year the university contacted him saying he would no longer be hired because he lacked the necessary qualifications to be a lecturer."

such as not being a nutjob

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Do not take the law into your own hands.

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Man held for making over 50 threatening calls to university

Man or Child?

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since 2007, 50 times from the same pay phone, and they only caught him now? nice hustle there

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Any idea what this guy was going to lecture in? Positive thinking? Perhaps it was a course in "How to win friends and influence people?" He might have been a lecturer in a more hands-on subject, say "Bomb making for beginners." Come on JT, we would like some more information.

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Watanabe was originally offered a contract to work for the university starting in April 2006, but in January of that year the university contacted him saying he would no longer be hired because he lacked the necessary qualifications to be a lecturer.

that's really heart breaking, at least the suspect has rational motive this time.

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That is a rational motive for making threatening calls saying you're going to bomb a university?!

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the University is completely irresponsible if they really did revoke a job offer.

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What a nut case.... These are the kinds of people running around tokyo... You probably sat next to two or three of them on the train this morning....

Maybe they have an opening for him at the Tokyo Police department, or as a Prosecutor...? I think he should seriously check into one of those civil service positions requiring trust and sound moral judgment.

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good "call" by the University staff on not hiring this wack job.

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Rather this story than one about how he caused carnage as a lecturer at this women's university.

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he had called the university over 50 times, always from the same pay phone

Guess the cops wanted to make sure that the other 49 threats weren't just a random occurrence.

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That is a rational motive for making threatening calls saying you're going to bomb a university?!

The suspects did it because something happen in the past that make him angry to specific target. The threat doesn't come randomly/motiveless.

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you have to be really stupid calling from the same pay phone.

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He needs to watch "The Wire" to learn how to make these phone calls

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Sad that this man couldn't use his time more wisely...like looking for work.

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so if they stalk you even from a pay phone, they can be caught too? great, I love this. all stalkers should be arrested. of course

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“I’m going to bomb you,” “I’ll kill your staff” and, “Anything going on there? Something might just happen.” HE IS GOOD AS AN ACTOR FOR THE MOVIES ON BIG SCREEN. Like it or not it is criminal offence. The judge will sentence him not because he comit a crime but because he was so stupid to get nabbed. HA! I wonder if he has any qualifications? What was his line of work at the university? Office cleaner? He said: “I got angry because the university canceled its informal promise to hire me.” Therefore it was only an informal promise, and nothing on the paper. I suggest that he get suspended sentence, university should also be partly to blame.

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strange....knowing these Japanese folks they would never have offered him the job in the first place if he wasn't qualified enough.

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Having been involved in the hiring process at the university I used to work for, a couple of things stand out in this story:

(1) Since hiring decisions are usually made by the faculty or board of directors, it doesn't make much sense to threaten the receptionists.

(2) The academic hirings I have seen in Japan have not been subject to extensive background searches before the decision is made, making it relatively easy to fake information and pad resumes--at least at first. The truth often comes out later, leading to dismissals (of contract teachers) or, as may have happened in this case, the retraction of the job offer before the contract begins.

My own speculation is that sometime after the initial hiring, a red flag went up, somebody did some checking, and the lack of qualification became clear.

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to detail josebove's post, to apply for a faculty position (is science, but I've heard humanities is similar) in Japan you usually need: (1) CV (2) publication list + accolades (3) recommendation letter(s) (4) an essay describing your previous work (5) a research proposal. I guess it's fairly easy to check points (2) and (3), and it's difficult to fake (4) and (5) in a way that actually makes sense

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You can buy all that online. How many times we see people pull this in japan and get pretty far off bogus credentials.

Funny though he could have called his ex a 100 times and the cops wouldnt have don diddly until he mutilated her.

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timeon, thanks for adding those details. I'm in the humanities, particularly sociology, but your list is fairly close to what we looked for at my university. People typically get into trouble with (1) and maybe (2) and (4)--particularly degree-seeking study or research at a foreign institution, and publications done in minor journals (of which there are many in Japan) which are outside the speciality of a majority of the existing faculty. I have seen/heard of numerous cases of faked or altered degrees and faked publications in the time I spent in Japanese academia.

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did he use one of those voice changers when he made the calls so his voice sounded really squeaky like minnie mouse :)

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Sounds like something the morons on Yahoo UK Miscellaneous message board would do. They are type of people that cannot get their own way would flip big time and make threats that they could never follow through with. I know of one that cries to the local news paper.

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