Taxi driver arrested for assaulting woman last December


Police have arrested a taxi driver for sexually assaulting a woman in her apartment in Tokyo last December.

According to police, the suspect, identified as Yoshitaka Watanabe, 42, entered the 23-year-old woman's apartment late at night, NTV reported. The front door was unlocked, according to police. The woman was sleeping at the time. Watanabe woke her up and threatened her with a knife before binding her hands and feet with a vinyl cord and assaulting her, police allege.

Police traced Watanabe through a rental car he used that night. They also found the vinyl cord at his home in Ota Ward, NTV reported. Watanabe has denied the charges, police said.

Ten similar incidents have been reported in neighboring Kawasaki City's Saiwai Ward since 2006 and police are questioning Watanabe about his involvement in those cases.

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Not to post blame on the victim but:

The front door was unlocked, according to police.

There is part of your problem right there... 23 year old woman leaving her door unlock while she sleeps? Really???

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@ MH -You presume that the victim left her door unlocked knowingly, intentionally or purposely.

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23 year old woman leaving her door unlock while she sleeps? Really???

Might have been an accident. We all sometimes forget to lock the door.

I am not a fan of the way the article is very vague about the charges. He assaulted her? I assume he raped her, but I don't like to assume. I could assume anything from he beat the snot out of her, to he raped her, clear on down to he tickled her feet with a feather duster. But knowing what he did could have me going anywhere from wanting a life sentence, wanting 20 years, to wanting him in a mental institution.

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Not to post blame on the victim but:

that's exactly what you're doing...

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I get it, the guy is 100% at fault...he has no business being there and rap is 110% wrong, and the guy should be locked up. BUT, I don't it. I'm a guy and I ALWAYS lock my door. Accident or not, the defense can easily turn this around and post blame on her, oven even say that SHE invited him to her apartment and left the door open for him on purpose. If they go this route, it can put enough doubt, to where he might be set free. Not a smart move...sorry

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Wow he didnt confess? You dont here that too often on here. And its nice to here about the investigation into the crime. Thats not too common on here either. There are still a bunch of unsolved crimes that were posted on here that i'd like to get an update on.

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Why is his profession mentioned?

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I'm sure he will apologize deeply and then be off the hook.

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I agree with GrandJury above. Assault? I would think "rape" is the far more likely charge here.

While it is certainly a valid point that locking one's door is an essential party of taking responsibilility for person safety, how should we view what Watanabe did to this woman any different had the attack occurred, say, the backseat of his taxi, or in the stairwell to her apartment building, or anywhere else that wasn't her home?

That her door was unlocked is incidental and has no bearing on the fact that this man took it upon himself to attack another human being. He deserves a long sentence.

@ Clemens Simon - It's standard practice in Japanese crime reporting to disclose the profession of the accused. And depending on whether or not he's convicted, precisely which taxi company he work(ed) for will be revealed at some point as well. All part of that "You are the face of who you associate with, and who you associate with is the face of you" thing that governs most societal interaction in Japanese society.

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This young woman, sorry was an idiot, young and female, living ALONE and just not LOCKING HER DOORS??

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Incidental?? HA!! Incidental my arse! If it were locked, and this idiot taxi driver still tried to get himself in by force maybe SHE WOULD HAVE HEARD some noise?? Called 110?? Police come and arrest idiot pervo taxi oyaji red handed??

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"This young woman, sorry was an idiot, young and female, living ALONE and just not LOCKING HER DOORS??"

So being dumb and naive is an open invitation to rape? Interesting perspective.

Give me a thumbs down and use all the question marks you want, Elbuda, but the fact remains that this man could have raped this woman -- or any other woman -- anywhere, at any time.

That he decided to do it in her apartment has little to do with him ultimately deciding to stalk and then rape her. He could have pried the door open. He could have picked the lock. He could have attacked her in a secluded location. The unlocked door is incidental.

I suppose the next thing you'll be asking with multiple question marks is, "What was she wearing?"

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It is really amazing about some of the comments...yes, the guy is 100% at fault for entering that young ladys apartment and assaulting her the way she did BUT she does bear some of the blame for not locking her door. That is what those locks are for, to keep unwanted people out of your house. If they were not needed, then we could all just put curtains where our door is. There are some dishonest, perverted people in society and we, as members of this society must do our very best to keep these people out of our lives. I feel very sorry for this young lady, as something like this should NEVER happen to anyone, male or female but leaving your door unlocked, at anytime is not the smartest thing to do. I enter my apartment, lock the door, remove my shoes, then proceed in...same with my wife & kids. Locking the door is the #1 priority when entering my excuses!

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It's really amazing some of the comments here... Yes, the guy was 100% at fault for entering the young lady's apartment and raping here. BUT . . .

But what? He's either 100% at fault, or he's not. There isn't some magical imaginary number lying just outside the 100 percentile reserved for assigning that extra smidgen of blame.

I'm just amazed at how many posts here have a "shou ga nai" undercurrent just because her door was unlocked. What the hell does that say about us a society, that would would so casually just accept that, "Hey, leave your door unlocked and you've got it coming. Leave your door unlocked and you're begging for it. Leave your door unlocked and it's clear you wanted it to happen?"

Seriously, this isn't an issue of whether or not she should have locked her door. Sure, locking one's door is prudent personal safety advice. But it doesn't address the issue of rape itself. Not in the least.

What people should be up in arms about is that a taxi driver followed a prior customer home with the sole intent of bodily harm. But that doesn't freak anyone out here. People keep harping on about locked doors, as if locked doors are the sole tipping point between a civilized society and anarchy.

I, for one, am not quite ready to accept that or rape as the natural order in Japan or anywhere else, for that matter, just because one happens to young, female, and didn't lock her door. We can -- and should -- be better than that. But it's not possible with some the resigned defeatism I'm seeing here.

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I dont think that ppl mean "leave you door open and you are wanting it to happen" Its called preventive do what you can to prevent things from happening...or at least make them more difficult to happen. Yes, its the guys fault all the way but if she would have locked her door, it is a good chance that it would not have happened. Thats why we lock our cars, watch our children outside playing, we take the preventive measures to protect ourselves and our families. Banks take preventive measures to help them in protecting our money...alarms, armed guards, vaults, etc... Its a shame that society has stooped to the levels it is at now but i do remember the days when i was a child when you could leave your front door open/unlocked. Times have changed, people have changed...we must do our best to protect ourselves for the likes of this taxi driver. He is a total butthead and I really hope they throw the book, bookcase, shelves and everything else at him.

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It seems odd that he just happened to find someone whose door was unlocked. If I were to guess, I'd say she had too much to drink at a bousoukai and he noticed her drunkeness as she entered her apartment. Replace "sleeping" with "passed out". Locking doors isn't high on the list of things you do when you're drunk.

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Seems to me that the take-away from this is; if you're a woman (especially an attractive one) don't get let out at your address, but tell him to stop before your address, so he doesn't know where you live. Then you can sleep safely with your door unlocked. But do not sleep naked or in a skimpy outfit, as this might encourage a sexual attack.

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"But do not sleep naked or in a skimpy outfit, as this might encourage a sexual attack."



If someone can get close enough to determine whether or not you're wearing skimpy clothing or no clothing at all, that suggests you've already got a major problem on hands, namely home invasion.

And again with the "what a woman wears invites a sexual attack" nonsense? This is getting really old already.

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