Aichi prefectural police have sent a 22-year-old man to prosecutors after he was arrested in March on suspicion of posting defamatory messages on Twitter directed at a 35-year-old man whose wife and child were killed in a case of negligent driving in 2019.
Takuya Matsunaga’s wife Mana, 31, and their 3-year-old daughter Riko, were on a bicycle on a crossing where they were hit by a car driven by Kozo Iizuka, 90, on April 19, 2019. Both died later in hospital. Nine other people were injured.
Last September, Iizuka, former head of the now-defunct Agency of Industrial Science and Technology, was sentenced to five years in prison for dangerous driving resulting in death. The court ruled that Iizuka ran a red light after mistaking the accelerator for the brake. Iizuka had pleaded not guilty to the charge leveled against him, maintaining that a mechanical issue with the vehicle caused him to lose control. However, the court determined that he kept the accelerator pressed for about 10 seconds, causing the car to accelerate to a speed of up to 96 kilometers per hour.
Since the incident, Matsunaga has been campaigning to prevent accidents involving elderly drivers. The government has also urged elderly drivers to give up their licenses.
On March 11, the suspect, who hasn't been named, allegedly posted several comments on Twitter, using an anonymous account, accusing Matsunaga of seeking public attention and money, Fuji TV reported. The post was later deleted but Matsunaga filed a complaint with police who traced the post to the suspect’s cell phone.
The case is the latest in a series of incidents involving online insults in Japan. A justice ministry panel last October proposed tougher penalties for people found guilty of posting hateful comments online.
At present, the penalty against insults is detention for less than 30 days or a fine of less than 10,000 yen. The proposed amendments will introduce a prison term of up to one year and raise the fine to up to 300,000 yen.© Japan Today