Japan Today

Money-less diner offered chance to pay later, phones police himself

By Richard Simmonds, SoraNews24

On November 21, an unemployed Japanese man without any money, walked into a restaurant in Fukuoka Prefecture’s Yanagawa City and ordered a bowl of katsudon. Polishing off his dinner, worth just 650 yen, the 63 year-old diner promptly informed the store manager that he didn’t have any money with which to pay the bill, and that the manager should phone the police.

The manager was surprisingly sympathetic and told the diner that it was OK if he settled up at a later date. Here, in most cases, is where the story would have ended with either the diner coming back another day to pay up or more likely, never coming back at all.

The diner left the restaurant, went to a public payphone outside and called the emergency number for the police, 110, and turned himself in. Yanagawa police later announced that they had arrested the unemployed 63 year-old man of no fixed abode, on suspicion of fraud. He is reported as having said that he had been in prison before and that at the time of the incident he was hungry but only had 96 yen on him.

Japanese social media users had a lot to say about the case:

“He’s just going home [to prison].”

“He must have got a taste for prison life.”

“What a sad story.”

“That store manager was so kind.”

“Isn’t it just part of the pattern for people without relatives?”

“Would he actually be sent to prison for such a petty crime?”

“Well, the season’s starting to get colder.”

“It just shows that prisons don’t rehabilitate people, it’s just a vicious circle.”

From these responses, it seems as though this might not be a one-off. It’s also not the first time we’ve covered this sort of story, where people find themselves in the unfortunate position of being unable to find work and needing a roof over their head and food in their stomach; sadly it probably won’t be the last.

Source: Kyodo News via Golden News

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Osaka man imprisoned on rape conviction released in exceptional reversal of charges

-- Nintendo DS on the menu as Japanese prisons get creative to keep ageing prisoners’ brains active

-- Runny curry, no pudding spoons among complaints of Japanese prison inmates

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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4 ( +4 / -0 )

if he was that desperate, i would give him a couple of meals.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Pretty obvious the guy would rather have free meals in prison that freedom and no money to eat.

Let's face it....what kind of life would it be walking around with no money and a hungry belly?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

But at that age wouldn't he be getting a pension? But then again he wouldn't if he hadn't been paying into it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Poor guy. And it says something about him that knowing he was not going to pay for the meal, he chose inexpensive katsudon, rather than going out and eating some pricey feast.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It won't be easy for him to find a job anymore at the age. Especially when he has a criminal records in Japan. Bitter reality there. I can kinda understand his action. It might have been a right, practical decision for him to go back to the prison. The winter is coming.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Jail = free accommodation plus free food. And he used 110.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But at that age wouldn't he be getting a pension?

He probably does not know.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It’s quite obvious he WANTS to be arrested.

Sad that this is what happens

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japanese pride.

Against hunger and social relationships, you 'd do anything.

No association to help ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That seems to be lacking in Japan-there are plenty of groups collecting for overseas charities though.

There are homeless people here that will throw themselves in front of cars to get into hospital - food and a free bed.

Something is sadly wrong....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

3rd biggest economy in the world we are told, yet there are cardboard villages in parks people can't afford food. Prison is a social safety net for seniors. I know lets raise the tax even more, lower the minimum wage...oh wait it can't get much lower. Stigmatise anyone who has been to jail, even if it's just a bowl of hot water with noodles. And stop company executives being sent to jail for decades of fraud...umm that won't happen. Upside down pinocioy land.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Cricket, pretty much everything you said is exactly the same as in my home country which is also in the “first world” except that you substitute the prison senior safety net for senior opioid addiction. Every country has its down-and-outs.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I remember, the middle age man in suit with department store shopping bag come and sit at counter he ordered the best Wagyu meat plates and Beer at Yakiniku Restaurant in Jimboocho. Later, he ordered the final dish Shokuji and then go to toilet. The waitress and waiter went to the check toilet when didn't come back about five minutes and he was gone. The toilet was behind the Bar and counter also near the door. They called to the General Manager who was in office. They called Police and check the bag the left. The old Horse Racing news papers and Magazine were in the bag.

The total for his bill was about 30,000 Yen. The Police has note down and left. It was 20 years ago in Jimboocho, Tokyo.

However, this guy was asked manager to call Police for the 650 Yen Katsu Don. He must want to go to jail where he doesn't need to worry about bed and meals.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That last commentary on "vicious cycle" though... yeah, I'm... Good on both of them for remaining human. Though government had better stop buying rockets from crooks and instead start investing in their own citizens' wellbeing, and soon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not very nice comments from Japanese social media, lacking in empathy and compassion to say the least. Everybody deserves to eat.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In America, a story like this would make people set up funds for this guy, perhaps even an apartment and a job so he can pay rent. That's called compassion for others. This man is a human who needs to eat. Not be thrown in jail for failure to pay a 650 yen bill.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Jonathin - it is sad this guy ended up in Japan. There are associations to help in Tokyo (I will not mention the unmentionable here) and as Chop Chop has said this man must want 3 hots and a cot as we would say in the U.S.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Post above should say "jail" not Japan

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I know a white foreigner in Tokyo who is homeless and pulls stunts like that. He used to be an English teacher but a bad divorce, alcoholism and mental illness left him on the streets.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sad all around

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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