Police in Tokyo search for man who called out to child in a park, puzzling netizens

By Andrew Miller

Tokyo police have released a statement asking the public for any information they may have regarding an incident that occurred on June 15 at approximately 9:20 a.m. wherein a man called out to a child playing in a local park.

As it transpires, though, all the man is believed to have said to the boy was, “You’ll never play for your country doing it like that!” leaving netizens wondering exactly why there should be any cause for concern.

Incidents involving strangers being reported for suspicious behavior in places where children gather are not uncommon in Japan. Whether the suspected party has any ill intentions or not, the common line of thought is that anyone loitering around such areas or approaching children may potentially be dangerous. Children are often taught: when in doubt, report it to the police.

While this is good in theory, after hearing of this most recent incident, many people questioned whether a man uttering a few words to a child is really worthy of police time. The incident is gaining quite some impetus online, with many commenting that, “It’s a tough world we live in.”

The man reported to the authorities is in his 50s and wearing a white top. He is said to have been walking around the park when the boy was playing. Although his real intentions are still unclear, it’s possible that the man may have simply been trying to spur the boy on when he made the comment.

Sympathetic netizens made the joke that if the popular Japanese manga character Robert Hongo were to exist in modern-day society, he too would surely be reported on the grounds of suspicion. Robert Hongo is a leading character in the Japanese manga Captain Tsubasa and is loved for his drunken antics while also having a keen eye for distinguishing talented soccer players.

Of course, it’s quite possible that the child involved in the incident may have been genuinely alarmed by the man’s comment, or simply acted in accordance with what he had been taught by his parents and teachers. But when we live in a society wherein we have to be careful not to say anything that may be misinterpreted and run the risk of being reported to the police, you sometimes wonder whether we’re being a little bit too cautious.

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Heightened Sensibilities Regarding Child Safety Get a Man Written up for Asking Directions -- Blogger’s Troubling Insight into the Psyche of Post-Disaster Fukushima Residents -- American Soldier Suspected of Trespassing and Assaulting Okinawan Middle School Student

© RocketNews24

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

What a strange non-story. The word "netizens" should be banned.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Exceedingly slooooooooooooowww day at the crime news desk it would seem.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I don't think so tandoori-

this is a problem in modern society where we used to be able to have contact in some way with our neighbors and children. now, it is paranoia about kidnappers and chikan that rules us. As for the kids- certainly better safe than sorry, but in the end, if this story is as it seems, the kids are basically being brought up to have robotic automatic reactions to the things that happen around them, will be less likely to really tell what ppl's intentions are, and to live in fear and think that anything someone says to them will be an attack.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Why is this news?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

i wouldnt worry about it too much.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So why are the police getting involved? The comment sounds harmless enough.

Agreed Mirai, why is this news????

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This sounds like a Tokyo-centric problem

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why are the police wasting their time with this? What crime has been committed? Don't they have gangsters to catch and stalkers to watch?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Headline news: A man stopped a women and asked, "Where is the train station from here?" The man maybe be dangerous and is between the height of 150-180 cm. The police have no idea where he is and where he could have gone. The man is still at large.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

comments were really interesting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Breaking news: "Man shouts at child". Next up: "Man smiles within 500m of elementary school, must be pedophile"?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I used to be worried when my two Japanese nieces were small and I'd play with them in the park near their apartment, thinking I must look a bit odd, if not actually suspicious. Never got second glance, though.

I suppose Kyushu folk really are more trusting and friendlier than "them b*stards up no rth", as the local oyajis tell me....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

comment definitely stupid to say to a child, but certainly not a crime. Had I been there, i may have said shut up to the old dude, but definitely not worth reporting to the keystones. But these sorts of things happen all the time and in the real world, you just have to deal with it yourself.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's a headline because the police have decided to follow up the report by releasing a statement - they're actually spending office hours (and, yes, our tax yen) looking for this guy.

They consider this worth investigation, but ignore reports of repeated harassment and stalking.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So, you can't make comments in passing, now? The police can seek out someone for this? The police really need to get their priorities straight. There are crimes to be thwarted, criminals to be arrested.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The future of society looks bleak! Too many dumb people making too many dumb rules!

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