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.
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