crime

Private investigator’s job takes him to darkest depths of juvenile crime in Japan

30 Comments
By Casey Baseel

Bullying has become a major concern in Japan over the last few years. As even elementary school students increasingly communicate and connect with their peers through technology, evidence of these instances of child-on-child cruelty is often stored electronically. Unlike in previous generations, bullies today don’t have the option of simply denying any wrongdoing took place once a victim comes forward with records documenting the incident.

Of course, there’s still the need to track down the evidence in the first place. This depressing yet necessary task often falls to Hirotaka Abe, a private investigator who specializes in helping parents when their child is victimized by hateful peers.

Even if teachers notice a problem developing between their pupils, they’re often hesitant to get involved with issues that lie outside strict education, Abe explains. This ineffectuality of schools in dealing with bullying has led to the development of a subsection of the private investigation industry that specializes in handling such incidents.

“I used to be a pretty bad kid when I was that age,” Abe says, referring to the elementary to high school-age students he deals with in his line of work. Even he, though, is astonished by some of the things he finds minors today have done to each other. “Some of it goes beyond what you could classify as bullying, and moves into outright crime.”

Among the atrocities Abe has come across are children being the targets of repeated physical violence by classmates, extortion of amounts totaling as much as one million yen, and high school girls being coerced into "enjo kosai," a term translating as “compensated companionship,” running from basic escort services to prostitution.

Most appalling of all, though, are Abe’s accounts of minors being raped by multiple assailants. Abe, who says he has been involved in the investigation of over 20 rapes, describes one scenario under which the crime can occur.

A girl, perhaps because of her quiet or seemingly weak demeanor, gets noticed by a group of bullies as an easy target. She is approached by one of her classmates, usually another girl, with an invitation to hang out at the home of a boy who goes to the same school, perhaps an upperclassman. When the two arrive at the house in question, a group of attackers is lying in wait, who proceed to sexually assault the girl once she is inside.

Once the victim’s parents contact Abe, the first step of his investigation process is gathering evidence of the attack. Abe makes the rounds of the homes of the assailants, some of which he says have been as young as early elementary school students. In the case of group rape, those involved often choose to record a video of the attack on their cell phone, to keep as a grotesque trophy. The crux of Abe’s investigation is collecting these digital records.

Once this is done, Abe turns the evidence over to the victim’s guardians, who can then discuss what legal actions to pursue moving forward. Not being a lawyer, this ostensibly is the end of Abe’s role in the matter, although he realizes the hateful acts he sees will continue to have consequences for years to come.

“Even when my investigation is closed, I can’t say the situation has been resolved. The emotional scars of the victims don’t heal that easily.”

Source: Yahoo! Japan News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Bullying Awareness Event Sees Teenager Topple Demon in Wrestling Match -- School Principal: Don’t Report Bullying to the Police, Or Else! -- App ‘Line’ Under Fire from Japanese School After Incidents of Bullying

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30 Comments
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Once this is done, Abe turns the evidence over to the victim’s guardians, who can then discuss what legal actions to pursue moving forward.

I interpret this to mean the parents do not even bother calling the police after their child has been raped, but instead wait for some sort of photographic evidence before deciding to do so (despite presumably that the police (a) don't need such evidence to make an arrest, and (b) presumably have more resources and authority to conduct such investigations). This demonstrates either a total lack of faith in the legal system, lack of confidence in their kid's stories, or just outright ignorance on the parents' part. Pretty sad.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@conbinibento

I thought exactly the same. Whatever this guy is doing, the police could do- and at no cost to the parents.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

i don't see how this P.I. can get those kids to turn over evidence. he has no authority or legal power to confiscate items from anyone. sounds like a made up story from the kuchikomi section of mags.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Time to pull out the baseball bats and crowbars and go psycho on the perpetrators...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The article said: When the two arrive at the house in question, a group of attackers is lying in wait, who proceed to sexually assault the girl once she is inside.

Might as well put these punks down, DOA. Absolutely no use for them in a supposedly civilized society.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Bullying is indeed a major concern in Japan. But hardly anything is done about it.

I see real issues of concern being swept under the carpet all the time. The bullying mentality carries straight through from School to the work place. It's crazy, you'd expect adults to realize the errors in childhood.

I don't see much happening anytime soon to fix the issues. This problem is really embedded in the society.

I actually feel sorry for kids growing up here because if you they get singled out, their life can become big doo doo because the bullies operate in a "pack mentality".

Some times you feel like taking weak kids who get bullied and abused, teach them how to fight, turn them into another kind of animal and send the whole crew with them to fix up the daily inconvenience being caused, because sometimes you can't be nice to nasty people.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@rickeyvee

Yeah, he's probably told them that he does it, and shown no proof.

In the case of group rape, those involved often choose to record a video of the attack on their cell phone, to keep as a grotesque trophy. The crux of Abe’s investigation is collecting these digital records.

How does he "collect" those records? Does he just hope they put something online? If he has other ways of doing it, they're likely illegal, and a breach of privacy and probably theft. He could be snooping on anyones private pictures.

It just sounds like BS.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Juvenile "justice" in Japan is just a myth anyways. Remember those boys who beat a kid to death on the playground a few months ago? What ever happened to them? Japan is too focused on second (and third, and forth, etc.) chances to actually do anything about real crime. Just say you're sorry and promise to never do it again, and change schools. Confront bullying? Japan can't even confront it's crimes during WWII, and that was 70 years ago. You expect people to do anything about something happening right now? Fat chance.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

This is his company http://www.go-tiu.com/index.html so it does exist...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@southsakai said: Some times you feel like taking weak kids who get bullied and abused, teach them how to fight, turn them into another kind of animal.

You hit the nail right on the head my friend. A person who knows how to fight, walks with confidence and basically no one will F::k with him. And those who do get a beat down.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Probie,

Whatever this guy is doing, the police could do- and at no cost to the parents.

True, but the question is: would they do it?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Whatever this guy is doing, the police could do- and at no cost to the parents.

True, but the question is: would they do it?

I don't know, maybe because it's their job perhaps?

If the kids parents went to them and said that their child was raped, I'm pretty sure the police would do something, and they wouldn't charge them for doing it. This guy's website says that their bullying investigation is "Free (with conditions)", but I'm sure they charge for some of it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This guy's website says that their bullying investigation is "Free (with conditions)", but I'm sure they charge for some of it.

I found all this horrendous evidence for you for free. Now, if you would like to see it, bust out the wallet.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

An interesting thing is happening here in the US at the moment - one kid being bullied in high school and told he had no friends, turned to social media and asked people to support him. 100 people turned up to his school to have lunch with him and the bully apologised.

A 14 year old girl was lured to a 17 year olds house and sexually assaulted with another girl. The pollice dropped the charges through "lack of evidence" - it has now gone viral via social media and the case has been re-opened.

In another example, a young Sikh girl had a picture taken of her without her knowledge, distributed online and made fun of (she had hirsutism). The viral pic eventually actually got back to her, and she posted in the comments to say that she understood it seems weird, that her belief system prevents her from removing body hair, and if the guy needed a pic or to ask questions he need only have asked. the guy who took the pic actually apologised and said she was a better person than he was, and he was a better person for having met her.

I am sensing a turning of the tide in the whole bullying issue, and I am hoping it spreads to Japan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Unfortunately, there are no consequences for kids in Japan. They are let off the hook all the time. A kid from my school shot a teacher 20 times with a bb gun and was at school the next day. Teenager too. He probably thought to himself "Hey! I can do that again so why should I care about anything." It`s a system problem in addition to a degeneration of society.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

A stint in prison should straighten them out

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I was bullied in high school. It was just name calling at first, I didn't really care. One day, the bullying went very physical, I was so angry, so I punched the dude back in the face. Small that I was, he proceeded to kick the crap out of me. Surprised, the bullying stopped. I can't generalize, but it seems that many bullying stops when you fight back, even if you don't win the fight, you may win the war. This is what I'm teaching my children now.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@kibousha yes bullies will pick on weak minded kids, i had a similar problem in high school, it wasnt until I puched the crap out of the bully that he and his buddies never said a bad word to me again, they actually started to suck up to me LOL

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think you have to fight back to a degree. In Junior high school, we had small gangs that used to walk around the school and if for some reason, they didn't like you, they would kick or punch you. I fought back and cussed at them silly and caught a few punches and was kicked from behind, but part of growing up I guess. Or, they should have hall monitors that report any abuse or potential fights at school. These kids need a more proactive system, a system where they can report to someone quickly and who can attend to the situation immediately.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

KIBOUSHA, your right, I found that bullies pick on the weakest, but usually if you fight back the bulling will stop. This is because they don't like getting smacked in the mouth etc. My friend father use to tell him when there is a pack of them, pick on the biggest one and go for them. This shows that you’re not afraid. You might get a kicking but you will get respect

3 ( +3 / -0 )

... if a bunch of kids raped my daughter they'd never find the bodies.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Cowardly parents and education system. The school administrators should give warning to the bully individually with police in present. They need to break up this "group bully" mentality because it makes them feel invincible. When alone they're probably all cowards that come from disfunctional homes. I don't see why they can't send these rapist to Juvenile jail. It's a crime....period.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I too was bullied in school my dad went to the principal and reported it and repeated asked the principal to have the kids parents come to school. I was a small kid the bullied was a big kid 2 grades higher than me. He said I was a priviledge kid and he didn't like that so he took his anger out on me. He bullied me the principal had his parents come to school. The bulies dad was a small guy my dad was an ex-college football player big and muscular. Well guess what, the bullying stopped because my dad beat the crap out of his dad!! I never saw that kid again!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As a half-American kid born and raised in Obihiro (where foreigners tend to be taken as curiousities, if not freaks) and then Sapporo, Hokkaido, my son would have been a prime candidate for bullying but for his natural characteristics of being physically tough (high threshold of pain) and cheerful. When a Japanese kid, spotting his almost-blond hair (it has since turned dark), would go over to him, shove him, and ask, "What are you?", instead of feeling bullied, my son would feel the approach was friendly, shove back in a friendly, yet strong, confident way, and respond, "Brandon desu. Asobo!" Taken aback, the other kid would respond, "Ah, Hai" and a friendship, not a bullying relationship would begin.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@frungy - hear hear!! I'm of the same train of thought. No justice like father justice

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No justice like father justice

@malfupete--Actually I think he was speaking of revenge and retribution, rather than justice.

I am more for fathers being active and educational beforehand, so that kids and teens won't sexually assault others, and they won't get tricked into such an assault. When such things happen, its an indication of virtually absent fathers who may have been hoping that a death threat here and there may have headed off abuse of their children.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

ControlFreakOct. 24, 2013 - 05:27AM JST @malfupete--Actually I think he was speaking of revenge and retribution, rather than justice.

Nope, I was talking about ensuring that it never happens to another girl again.

I am more for fathers being active and educational beforehand, so that kids and teens won't sexually assault others,

What country are you living in? This is Japan where schools refuse to do anything about bullying. I've heard plenty of horror stories from other teachers, like a teacher who walked into a classroom after school to find a boy being forcibly stripped by two other boys in front of a group of laughing girls. If she hadn't walked in then there's no telling what would have happened. "Bullying" is a term that should be banned. We should refer to these crimes by their proper CRIMINAL names, like rape, sexual assault, assault causing injuries taking X days to heal, etc.

and they won't get tricked into such an assault. When such things happen, its an indication of virtually absent fathers who may have been hoping that a death threat here and there may have headed off abuse of their children.

You can't lock your kid inside a box. Your kid asking to visit a friend's house is a reasonable request. Sure a good parent would ask sensible questions like, "Are their parents home?", and then phone to confirm, but beyond confirming adult supervision parents shouldn't treat their children like prisoners.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Of all the crimes....why give group rape as an example? I bet this old man enjoys the "video or photo evidence" he probably keeps some from himself.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Of all the crimes....why give group rape as an example?

It seems to get people more worked up than outright murder and beatings leaving permanent injury. Only nasty reasons apply to why that is, and surely this guy is making use of that for profit.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Actually, this is probably a very good service in Japan. When legally reluctant parents see the hard evidence of their child getting abused they would probably become interested in pursuing legal forms of recourse instead of hushing it up in preference of something else. It bridges traditional social tendencies to legal solutions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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