crime

University student arrested for assaulting Brazilian man

50 Comments

Police in Tokyo said Thursday they have arrested a 20-year-old private university student on suspicion of assaulting a 25-year-old Brazilian man on a street in Ikebukuro.

According to police, the incident occurred just after 9 a.m. on Wednesday. Fuji TV reported that the suspect, Kai Nishijima, pulled the Brazilian man to the ground and then kicked him in the face three times.

The victim, who lives in Saitama Prefecture, remained in a coma in hospital on Thursday, police said.

Police said Nishijima has admitted to the crime, which occurred near an amusement area about 500 meters from the north exit of JR Ikebukuro Station. He told police he had been drinking most of the night before with friends and was walking along when he saw the Brazilian arguing with an employee of a restaurant. He was quoted as saying he got irritated when the Brazilian asked him what he was staring at, and then assaulted him.

After the incident, Nishijima left the scene but street surveillance camera footage showed him going into a nearby hotel where he was arrested.

© Japan Today

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50 Comments
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I was drunk - the universal excuse for poor behavior

22 ( +25 / -3 )

I was drunk - the universal excuse for poor behavior

How will being drunk get him excused? Do you have any examples of people being excused for their illegal behavior because they were drunk?

-64 ( +7 / -71 )

excuse (n): a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.

Seriously Strangerland, the 'I was drunk' excuse pops up daily in the news here. Sensei is not saying he's being excused for his offense, he's saying the suspect is using drinking as an excuse for his behaviour.

38 ( +40 / -2 )

a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.

And how does being drunk justify it? If being drunk justified it, it would mean they would not be prosecuted, as there would be justification for their actions - in other words, being drunk would excuse their actions.

Does anyone think that they are going to be let go because they said they were drunk? Has that ever happened? I think not.

So many posters here mistake an explanation for an excuse. I don't think anyone expects to be excused for their actions because they were drunk. But when the police interrogate them as to what happened, they tell the truth - they were drunk. Then when the police put out their press release, they state the facts as they know them - and those are that the suspect said they were drunk.

That's not an excuse, as no one is excused. It's an explanation of the circumstance behind the actions.

-52 ( +8 / -60 )

Threw him onto the ground and the kicked him in the head a few times? That's a pretty serious assault. He'd be facing at least five years in jail where I come from. Hopefully, the judge will sentence him accordingly and not accept the "I was drunk" angle as an excuse for leniency.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Are you intentionally being obtuse? Explanation is a synonym for excuse... so is justification for that matter.

21 ( +24 / -3 )

Are you intentionally being obtuse? Explanation is a synonym for excuse... so is justification for that matter.

They may be somewhat synonymous, but they don't mean the exact same thing. An explanation is a description of events. An excuse is an explanation of justification. If the action is justified, culpability is removed, thereby excusing the speaker of the explanation.

Being drunk is not an excuse, it's an explanation of the events. No one is excused from their actions in Japan for being drunk, so why would any expect to be?

-58 ( +5 / -63 )

Racist assault at 9am in Ikebukuro. Some poor guy kicked into a coma in broad daylight. Scary stuff.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

StrangerlandNOV. 04, 2016 - 08:14AM JST I was drunk - the universal excuse for poor behavior

How will being drunk get him excused? Do you have any examples of people being excused for their illegal behavior because they were drunk?

Oh, boy! That high horse is wearing stilts today.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Racist assault at 9am in Ikebukuro

Looks nothing to with racist. TV reported as...

was walking along when he saw the Brazilian arguing with an employee of a restaurant. He was quoted as saying he got irritated when the Brazilian shouted at him You! what are you staring at?, Can you even fight?! and then assaulted him

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Oh, boy! That high horse is wearing stilts today.

Does that somehow change the misuse of the word 'excuse'?

-47 ( +4 / -51 )

3 kicks to the face=a coma and most likely brain damage!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Strangerland

It's an explanation of the circumstance behind the actions.

As, in this case, the action was faulty or offensive that's the very definition of an excuse.

To make an excuse, and to actually be excused are two different things. He excused his own behaviour by saying he was drunk, but whether or not he will be excused by anyone else remains to be seen.

I hope the victim recovers soon.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

As, in this case, the action was faulty or offensive that's the very definition of an excuse.

No, the definition of excuse was given earlier. It's an explanation meant to justify.

To make an excuse, and to actually be excused are two different things. He excused his own behaviour by saying hewas drunk

How do you know? Do you know this guy? Nope. And since no one ever gets excused for illegal actions for being drunk, what makes you think this guy would think his actions can be excused?

The reality is that saying one is drunk is an explanation of circumstance. Not an excuse.

Or do you think people should lie to the police and say they were sober so as to not look like they are trying to justify their actions by saying they were drunk?

-50 ( +1 / -51 )

Readers, please stop going around in circles.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An acquaintance of mine told me he was verbally assaulted on the street when he first visited Japan. He didn't understand why or what the Japanese guy was yelling at him about, but after 5 minutes he finally figured out that the Japanese guy thought he was a Brazilian. My acquaintance was an Italian-American, so he must have looked 100% Brazilian to the Japanese guy. My acquaintance told me he wasn't bothered to be approaced this way his first time in Japan but he was wondering what did Brazilians ever do to this Japanese guy to make him so anti-Brazilian. Weird story, isn't it? Thank goodness that's the only story like that that I've heard about Brazilians in all the years I've lived in Japan so I don't think it's a wide spread phenomena, but it's still a strange story.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Well if what DRC says is true then the J guy isnt the only one to blame here. Agree he should not have reacted to the other guy's provocation but mouthy blokes are a real nuisance too. Sad story.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Does that somehow change the misuse of the word 'excuse'?

If the offender has the intention to seek denial of responsibility, then that is the excuse for him.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

♪Well, he looked at me once, he looked at me twice. Look at me again and there's gonna be fight.♪ (Stray Cats)

Pretty sure this is what happened.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Kicking 3 times in the head is attempted murder. Hope the judge agrees.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

If the offender has the intention to seek denial of responsibility, then that is the excuse for him.

What would make an offender think that being drunk would allow them to deny reponsibility.

-41 ( +4 / -45 )

What would make an offender think that being drunk would allow them to deny reponsibility.

Alcohol can impair one's judgement and did things that never would have done sober. So the offender may think being drunk could removed his inhibitions and the punishment certainly is different if he has done that on purpose.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

walking along when he saw the Brazilian arguing with an employee of a restaurant. He was quoted as saying he got irritated when the Brazilian asked him what he was staring at, and then assaulted him.

Not saying the guy was right to assault him at all, but it sounds like the Brazilian guy was in an aggressive mood and looking for a fight. In my experience, when someone says 'what are you looking at' or 'what are you staring at' they are usually being very confrontational. Would be interesting to hear what the restaurant employee had to say.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

sensei258NOV. 04, 2016 - 06:53AM JST

I was drunk - the universal excuse for poor behavior

It seems a lot here do not get the context. If a news report says "he was under illegal drug influence", you will not take it as an excuse, will you?

In this case, the suspect admitted drinking, which is more of an aggravating factor than an excuse.

Some foreigners love to stick to their pet misunderstanding, which they think is the privilege of being foreigners.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

To be more exact. TV reported

He was quoted as saying he got irritated when the Brazilian shouted at him You! what are you staring at?, and grabbed J-guy by his collar saying Can you even fight?!` . The Japanese guy pulled the Brazillian guy down on the street and kicked him into his head.

Yes too many guys nowadays on the street who likes eye-contacts

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I take anythung 'Die reality' says with a bucket of salt. A known 'Nohonjin' who will die defending anyone who's Japanese.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

stormcrowNOV. 04, 2016 - 11:04AM JST

An acquaintance of mine told me he was verbally assaulted on the street when he first visited Japan. He didn't understand why or what the Japanese guy was yelling at him about, but after 5 minutes he finally figured out that the Japanese guy thought he was a Brazilian. My acquaintance was an Italian-American, so he must have looked 100% Brazilian to the Japanese guy.

Is this supposed to be taken as a joke or for real? If it was to be taken as a joke, what is the funny part of it?

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

All we get in these articles are brief summaries of cases. Yes, he said he was "drunk" but they never tell us if the police went to the izakaya or bar he was actually drinking at to get an alibi or when they went to the hotel they either found the victim drunk as a skunk or sober. If a confession is all we have to go by to solve a case, doesn't that just make the police look incompetent?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@CH3CHO

No, it's not a joke at all. This guy had dark hair, dark eyes and a dark tan and he told me this Japanese guy came up to him on the street and started shouting at him for no apparent reason. He had been in Japan for only a week (his first time in Japan), and he tried to communicate with the guy who was very aggressive and visibly angry. This guy was shouting at him for several minutes until the American guy was able to figure out that the guy was angry at him for being a Brazilian, which he wasn't. It's all true and not a joke. He wasn't so much angry by the strange confrontation as he was shocked. This happened over 10 years ago but it's all true.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

stormcrowNOV. 04, 2016 - 01:45PM JST

I wonder in what language the Japanese guy shouted at him. In Portuguese?

There are about 170,000 Brazilians in Japan, which is the 6th largest group by nationality, but most of them are ethnic Japanese.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

@CH3CHO

It was all in Japanese, but the American couldn't speak Japanese very well as he was only a tourist. I should also point out that when the American guy tried to tell the Japanese guy that he was really an American guy that the J-guy refused to believe him.

The American guy was from California and pretty cool about it all but I'm sure it's one of those strange stories he's shared with many others who've asked him what it was like visiting Japan.

A strange story but thankfully one I've only heard once. I know that most Japanese are not like this, so this J-guy must have been one of the nuttier ones.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Stay on topic please.

Kids need to learn to not kick someone when they are down. Especially in the head... Fight if you have to and know when to walk away.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Learn to fight and defend yourself is the answer. Myself I've been doing wrestling and amateur boxing for the great exercise and the self defence skills for many years.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Going back to earlier comments being so drunk you are incapacitated can be a legal excuse. You cannot be guilty of a crime if you formed the intent and performed the act while incapacitated. It says so on the books.

Hard to see that applying to this case, though. By saying he was "drunk", "provoked" and "caught up" in the incident, he's just trying to make it sound less bad, or even not his fault ("shikata nai"), which is what everyone here has pointed out.

Oh and it was essential to the story that the victim's Brazilian nationality was given so much emphasis, riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. (sarcasm).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Going back to earlier comments being so drunk you are incapacitated can be a legal excuse.

Really? When has that ever happened in Japan? I've never heard of it - though of course there are lots of things I've never heard of so that's not a determining factor. Btu any time I ask someone to provide examples, no one ever has.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Going back to earlier comments being so drunk you are incapacitated can be a legal excuse. You cannot be guilty of a crime if you formed the intent and performed the act while incapacitated. It says so on the books.

Um... maybe you want to try that if you get arrested while drunk driving then. Just to test your theory and all...

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@ Strangerland Thank you for the reply. It takes time to give examples.

This is after a very quick check, and sorry the references are in Japanese, but here are three cases in which the defendant was found innocent (!) because they were so intoxicated they were incapacitated. But yes, I think it would be hard to prove in court and these might be extreme cases, particularly the pathological intoxication one.

秋田地方裁判所昭和48年(わ)第143号 (Akita district court)、殺人被告事件 murder 殺人被告事件につき、心神喪失の状況にあつたことを疑わせる合理的な理由があるとして、無罪を言い渡された事例 (飲酒による単純酩酊状態) The defendant was drunk when he was hit by the victim, and it was found there was a reasonable doubt that he was incapacitated.

宇都宮地方裁判所昭和39年(わ)第297号 (Utsunomiya district court), 道路交通法違反 traffic law violation、重過失傷害被告事件 gross negligence resulting in injury 酒酔い運転による重過失致傷等につき、病的酩酊の結果生じた疑いがありまた責任能力の存在について証明がないとした事例 There was a reasonable doubt of pathological intoxication (an extreme pathological reaction to alcohol)

仙台高等裁判所昭和29年(う)第600号 (Sendai high court)、窃盗 theft 飲酒酩酊により心神喪失の状態に陥ったものと認められた事例 In this case the defendant was found to be incapacitated from intoxication.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I find it interesting that the university wasn't named. They usually take aim at the suspect's job and connections.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why is the victim's nationality important at all? Why not just "University Student Arrested for Assault"? It doesn't seem him being Brazilian played into it. If it did, then fine.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

NasubiNOV. 04, 2016 - 05:01PM JST

There are supreme court rulings that drinking is not a defense.

Supreme court January 17, 1951

http://www.courts.go.jp/app/hanrei_jp/detail2?id=54542

Supreme court February 27, 1968

http://www.courts.go.jp/app/hanrei_jp/detail2?id=50838

Article 39 of Penal Code says that an act by unconscious person cannot be punished and that an act of a person in diminished sanity receives reduced punishment. But in the case of the article, the man was not unconscious nor in diminished sanity.

One has to drink all the way to insanity to use that defense. Even in such cases, the supreme court rulings say since the drinking is the fault of the perpetrator, the punishment cannot be reduced. In other words, if someone forces you to drink so much as to make you insane, then you can use the defense.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

What a great semantics lesson we just received.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's still used as an excuse, despite the attempt to say otherwise. Look at how lightly people get off for behavior at enkais.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why is the victim's nationality important at all? Why not just "University Student Arrested for Assault"? It doesn't seem him being Brazilian played into it. If it did, then fine.

Hmmm... yet maybe that official survey of racism is timely? This is one fine example. When a Japanese commits a crime, you rarely (if ever) see news like, "Japanese man assaults Japanese woman with a bat" It just feeds into the us-vs-them mentality.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

the 'I was drunk' excuse pops up daily in the news here

True. But it's aways in the form of police statement of what the accused said and not a quote from the person directly. I imagine the police have a checklist- Were you drunk? Were you stressed? etc. Result - the accused said he was drunk and stressed.

Personally, I find these police statements of what the accused said irritating, and probably prejudicial to a fair trial. Perhaps we should also hear the accused's version of what the police said.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The man said he'd been drinking most of the night before. It could be inferred he was drunk but it doesn't say he was nor does it say that he was using it as an excuse. To me it sounds like a bit of the old Dutch courage on the part of the 20 year old.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm at -58 for my first comment in this thread. A couple more and I'll cross the -60 line! That has to be a record for JT. Do we have a hall of fame?

Moderator: That's enough of this. No further posts from you will be permitted on this thread.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I keep wondering how a person, under the influence of alcohol, inflict an injury of such accuracy degree (as in striking the face three times in succession) be potentially acquitted of his behavior? I pray for the speedy recovery of the Brazilian man victimized.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I will be very interested to see how much compensation the assailant is ordered to pay the Brazilian victim.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@strangerland Cheers for the English lesson... lol Yeah, you are spot on about the difference between explanation and excuse. It does make me wonder though if in the past people were let off the hock for certain crimes by claiming that they were drunk ( in Japan ) ? How did this become a so popular phrases among offenders?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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