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Osaka man charged with spitting in front of same pickle shop for most of 2020

By SoraNews24

There’s an old adage in Japan that states “the customer is god” as a way to instill good customer service among staff. But the thing about gods is that they’re really spiteful, and if you offend them in the slightest way, they tend to bring about eras of prolonged darkness and misery.

Such was the case when a man in his 60s visited a pickle store in Suminoe Ward, Osaka City, in the autumn of 2019. The pickled food shop owner and customer got into a dispute over a point card issued by the shopping arcade that the store was inside.

The details of the point card problem weren’t reported but it was clearly enough to leave the customer feeling very unsatisfied. To express his displeasure, he would return to the store several times a month, utter curses such as “die” and then spit on the walkway in front. This reportedly occurred from January to October of 2020.

▼ News report on the incident showing the location where the spitting occurred

Spitting in public is frowned upon in Japan, and doing so in places where people gather is a violation of the Minor Crimes Act, but the pickle store decided to let it slide for the better part of a year, probably assuming he would tire himself out after long enough.

However, as the months passed by, the COVID-19 problem grew increasingly serious in Japan. So, last September the shop owner confronted the man, but ended up being charged with assault. He explained the situation to the police and told them “it was unhygienic with the growing COVID-19 problem, and the stress of repeatedly telling the man to stop was too much to bear.”

This resulted in an investigation of the serial spitter. On October 29, Osaka Prefectural Police conducted a stakeout in front of the pickle shop and witnessed the same man stop there and spit twice on the ground. They swooped in and confronted the man on the spot, but he denied the charges, saying “I spit, but only because it came out when I coughed.”

This resulted in further investigation and ultimately a criminal charge on May 31, after it was deemed that the spitter’s actions were “highly malicious.” Meanwhile, readers of the news were filled with a conflicting mix of awe and pity for this man.

“He must have been running out of spit by that point anyway.”

“That is some amazing dedication. Seems like he would be able to put that towards some good use.”

“Such focus. What a waste.”

“How about we all go and spit in front of his house? That would be fair.”

“The guy must have too much free time, to spend it all consumed with a stupid grudge.”

“His excuse is even worse than just normal spitting.”

“Is this the life we have to look forward to when we retire?”

“These days, coughing up phlegm in public is like planting an IED.”

Punishments for violating the Minor Crimes Act include up to 30 days in jail or a fine between 1,000 and 10,000 yen. Hopefully that will be enough to make this man snap out of whatever disgruntled customer grudge spiral he appears to be stuck in, and who knows? Maybe one day he’ll look back on all this and laugh.

Sources: Kansai Television, Mainichi Shimbun, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Osaka man finds stranger eating in his kitchen at night, stranger dies shortly after

-- Head of kindergarten arrested for spitting on elementary students who were in his way

-- Man found innocent of molesting charges by claiming he was pickpocketing

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I will never stop being in wonder of how easily Soranews find weird incidents to report around Japan.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

I'm glad I live in a country there national news making crime is so mild.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

That customer kept throwing his hissy-fits and temper-tantrums. And he's in his 60s but never matured beyond the age of 6 apparently. Toss him in the can so he can grow up some more. His behavior is immature and disgusting to say the least.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is due to the Japanese tendency to want to avoid confrontation at all cost. And then things explode out of proportion. The shop owner should have called the police in the first place and they could have came along and had a "word" with the perpetrator. But no.

He will probably be fined 1,000 yen and that will be it. To think of the wasted hours and hours of police time spent staking out this extremely dangerous criminal.

Another Only in Japan Special.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Just another passive aggressive oyaji. You see them every day. Sitting in the parks alone slugging One Cups and chomping on senbei. Then spitting all over the place. One Cup tough guys.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I think Tora is correct, and in addition, the spitter will now probably go to the next level and target the shop owner's car or residence in order to 'avenge himself', as you can be sure he is a few snags short of a barbie.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

With food out on display, you do not want anyone spitting nearby. Put off customers much? Watch sales plummet. Yuck.

He spat on ground bust also on the shutter too, according to the video linked. Get a life, man.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why nobody mentions the fact that the insulted customer was physically assaulted by the shop owner, in the street? In front of all other local people? If he fell backwards onto the concrete, he could of died!

you can’t catch Covid19 from spit on the ground unless you get on your hands and knees and lick it, BTW.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

And now the fool has a criminal record that no amount of spit can dislodge...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So many people in Japan go through life without getting punched in the face for doing stuff like this. Japanese society enables such freaks.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Spitting in public is frowned upon in Japan, and doing so in places where people gather is a violation of the Minor Crimes Act

My understanding is that spitting in public in Japan was declared illegal by the US Occupation, and has since stuck. Apparently it had been a problem traditionally.

Anyway, Im just glad this nasty old man is not my neighbour! He must be horrible if he gets that wound up by a flamin' points card!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

A vile man.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

He is 60 so he has nothing left to do for the rest of his life but to spit in front of a shop over a 500 yen point card issue. What a miserable life...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Spitting in public is frowned upon in Japan

Err really? I wish I had 100 yen for every time a taxi driver opened his door at the traffic light to deposit a gob on the street. Never saw any frowning.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Spitting is frowned upon in Japan"

Right... so much so that everyone just turns a blind eye, or in the case of one guy I know, just say, "They must be Chinese!". Honestly, at the station near my apartment there's a public stair well that goes under the tracks and then back up the other side. It's so full of spit and garbage you'd think it were a giant spittoon (minus the chewing tobacco juice... although the equivalent in discarded cigarette butts is there). I took one old guy who said Japanese don't do it, and showed him. He seemed angrier at me for proving him wrong than for the giant gobs of phlegm on the steps. A week later? "There are lots of Chinese in the Danchi near there".

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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