crime

Man who posed as doctor in tsunami-hit area gets suspended sentence

17 Comments

A man who was arrested for impersonating a doctor in the tsunami-ravaged Tohoku region last year has been given a suspended three-year sentence by the Sendai District Court in Sendai.

The court heard that Yoshitaka Yoneda, 42, was first arrested in August. He was held for posing as a doctor in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, and for possessing forged documents, despite not holding a medical license.

The case came to light after a major newspaper carried a photo of Yoneda treating an evacuee in Ishinomaki. Yoneda had “treated” several people in earthquake-affected areas by the time the ruse was uncovered. His "treatment" consisted of giving evacuees painkillers and counselign them, the court heard.

Authorities said that Yoneda had also breached medical practitioners’ law in late June when he attended a medical conference by showing staff a copy of a medical practitioner’s license, which turned out to be a forgery.

According to TV Asahi, after his arrest, police uncovered evidence suggesting that Yoneta applied to the Nippon Foundation, a philanthropic NPO, for a grant in June. Police say he received 1 million yen from the foundation.

In handing down the suspended sentence, the presiding judge said that Yoneda's actions were reckless and callous because he misled people who were in need of help, TV Asahi reported. However, he said he believed Yoneda went to the devastated area to try and help evacuees, with no malice or criminal intent.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
Login to comment

Seriously? This guy could have killed someone.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The swift sponge sword of Japanese justice has sliced again!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The good thing, his intentions are good..... Giving pain killers and counseling.... Gessshhhh ... anyone can give pain killers sold by the counter like bufferin... I am sure many of JT bloggers have done that to themselves and others... He doesn't need a medical licence to console victims and btw where are the doctors of Japan Medical and Nursing Association who could have volunteered and help too....

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Please note that many doctors and nurses did volunteer and are still doing so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even if you were to look leniently on his deluded attempts at helping people, the grant he applied for and received surely counts as fraud?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I could think of worse things someone could do, but the guy still broke the law. I'd say the suspended sentence is just in this case.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I don't think anybody is calling him a hero. The court said it best: His actions were reckless, but did not seem to be malicious.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

His actions were reckless, but did not seem to be malicious.

Not malicious? With the intent to garner money under the disguise of being a doctor? If that isnt malicious please tell me what is?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If that isnt malicious please tell me what is?

In the English-speaking world, that would be called "fraud", which is not malicious in and of itself.

ma-li-cious:

1.) full of, characterized by, or showing malice; malevolent; spiteful: malicious gossip.

2.) Law: vicious, wanton, or mischievous in motivation or purpose.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

kinda reminds me of the behaviour of scientist ish beings that don't have much social experience or have forgotten. these scientist beings in the universe, that are incredibly old, some of them extremely deranged. powerful. Not the protoss, although some of them are pretty mad in that they easily choose to burn entire planets to destroy plagues and such.

more like that scientist type being that just goes and experiments, with good intention, but reckless at times. I felt like that always when I was young, I felt like it too, like I was old, really old, I didnt care at all that those idiots beat on me and everything, I didnt really care. I just wanted to do something useful. But they work against you, like in this case he is put in prison where his talent might be wasted for 3 damn years. although he might be able to do really useful things there if he is given lots of freedom to do things. But it depends on the psyche. we all have needs. and if someone doesnt want something no pill in the universe is going to 'fix' that person so that he becomes a better influence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"for possessing forged documents, despite not holding a medical license." - The way this is written make it sound okay to possess forged documents as long as you have a medical license.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He is not the only guy posing as a doctor in Japan. There are thousands here. Its just that they paid the required money and spent the required time at medical school to get their licenses and he didn't!

There is the law on one hand and there is justice on the other. They are not necessarily the same thing. Yes, he broke the law. But the spirit of that law is to ensure that people don't get hurt. Did he hurt anyone? Did he in fact help anyone? A judge is there to do justice, and a judge doing justice will take those questions into consideration. A lowly plebe bleats on about the law, the law, the law and demands heads on pikes.

Looks like a fair decision to me.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

But the spirit of that law is to ensure that people don't get hurt. Did he hurt anyone? Did he in fact help anyone? A judge is there to do justice, and a judge doing justice will take those questions into consideration. A lowly plebe bleats on about the law, the law, the law and demands heads on pikes.

Look this kind of decision can promote the idea that committing fraud is just going to get one a slap on the wrist. Since Japan does not have community service as a form of punishment, this guy should spend some time behind bars in the Japanese prison system.

It's hard to trust Japanese judges and what they take into consideration, considering that all a defendant has to do is show remorse, which just about anyone on the planet can do when they are faced with a prison term.

What is not written in the article is what the prosecutors requested as a sentence, seeing as how it appears that nearly all the judges here weigh heavily in their decision making process.

High ranking officials bleat on and on about the law as well and demand that heads will roll too.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In the English-speaking world, that would be called "fraud", which is not malicious in and of itself.

There is something called "malicious fraud" and the intent of this man was to make money under the guise of being a helpful "doctor" in the areas hit by the quake and tsunami. What ever "image" he was trying to portray, while knowing he was a fraud, was with the intent to scam money.

His producing false documentation goes to show intent as well, when in reality he was an unemployed man who had delusions of grandeur.

In Japaneses "malicious fraud" is called akushitsu na sagi, 悪質な詐欺

悪質な from 悪質, 【あくしつ】 (adj-na,n) bad quality; malignancy; vicious; malignant; (P); ED 詐欺 【さぎ】 (n,adj-no) fraud; swindle; graft; (P); ED

And we are in Japan, not an English speaking country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Did he plea "quack quack"?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I betcha he got the idea from that can coffee commercial starring Tommy Lee Jones

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Look this kind of decision can promote the idea that committing fraud is just going to get one a slap on the wrist.

Right. Soon we will experience a flood of people pretending to have a medical license. I am so scared.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites