University student robs convenience store hoping to be sent to prison


A 21-year-old university student, who has been arrested for robbing a convenience store in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward last month, told police he wanted to go to prison because he was worried about his future.

According to police, Yuya Yoshikawa surrendered at a koban (police box) in Omiya, Saitama Prefecture on Saturday, TBS reported. Yoshikawa, who resides in Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture, is suspected of threatening an employee of a convenience store in Suginami Ward with a knife and stealing approximately 22,000 yen in cash on Sept 30.

Yoshikawa was quoted by police as saying: “I was worried about my future but couldn’t kill myself, so I decided I'd be better off in prison."

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Interesting mind set. I wonder if he has family, friends and a job.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Well, now his future is clearer, in the sense that he knows what he WON't be able to do.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Sad more than anything. He needs a solid talking to and perhaps some professional help.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

What has been done can't be undone. Feeling hopeless is a form of depression and would have to know this person to make that call.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I dont know if there are this places in Japan ... but he needs to be sent to a psyco sanatory ...

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

well at least he didn't kill anyone else in the process like some of these weirdos do.

but this really is a troubling sign of the times. usually it's the old retirees who do this so they can food and lodging. now it's young people who are doing it.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

“I was worried about my future... so I decided I’d be better off in prison”

Welcome to Japan everyone!! :-D

5 ( +8 / -4 )

It would be ironic if he gets a suspended sentence.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Maybe he has a big unsettled debt and think he's more safe behind bars.. Though the yakuza will find him easily anyhow..

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It would be ironic if he gets a suspended sentence.

hahaha almost spit my drink out, good one LOL!!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Well some people who been in jail they wanna back because is nothing out there for their criminal record, in this case isn't future for him maybe for the uncertain future of jobs and family stability. At least for his point of view behind bars he has free food, free housing, no demanding family (maybe), not demanding boss or colleagues. I can understand why he did that, sadly in the long run when he will release he will have to deal without a good record, for him will more harder than before in bars. Hopefully he will get the help he needs, to have a decent life. Everybody deserve respect, job, love significant and supporting family.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I teach at an international college and most of the students have this same feeling. One of the courses I teach is to prepare for study abroad programs. 90% of the students are girls and when I asked them why they wanted to study abroad they all gave a very similar answer, "We have no future in Japan and want to marry a foreigner and live in a foreign country." It seems to be a very common theme with the young in Japan at present.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

he was worried about his future.

He's not the only one... quite a few of us are worried about our future here in Japan...

8 ( +8 / -0 )


I certainly hope you told those girls that going abroad and "wanting to marry a foreigner" is certainly no guarantee of happiness. Those are the wrong reasons to go abroad. They do have a future in Japan and Japan needs bright young minds.

Unfortunately, the student who robbed the convenience store probably began a downward spiral a long time ago and may not have had a support network to help him.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

poor bastard

4 ( +4 / -0 )

how ironic jail was the only option left in his mind. and he also thinks that the life out is a punishment for him and jail is a safe place,now if the judge wants to punish him where he will sent this guy to jail or out to the street

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Disillusioned - "We have no future in Japan and want to marry a foreigner and live in a foreign country."

And after they have a child they suddenly want to return home again... with the child... and go off topic!! :-)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That reminds me a case when I was working in US. An old man went into a bank and handed a note to the clerk saying he is robbing the bank and asked her to call the police. Then, he took the money and waited outside the bank for the police to arrive. The reason is he had retired, no money nor health insurance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm going to guess that he's not the best student at his university?

Surely one should dip one's toes into the waters of life before deciding that there's nothing for it...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What's Plan B when he finds out prison isn't everything he thought it would be?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

here is a great example of growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Brainiac - Those are the wrong reasons to go abroad. They do have a future in Japan and Japan needs bright young minds

Bright young minds? Are these the same young minds that the ministry of education has just decided to cut all their humanities and social socience classes to 'better suit Japan" to create a generation of brain-dead zombies that won't ask why? Are these the young minds living in the cloud of a failed pension system and the world's largest public debt in an ageing society where 30% of the women are over 80 years old? Are these the young minds that face marrying a young guy that is addicted to his PlayStation, sailor moon and AKB? Are these the young minds that face a life of servitude in a company and being told what to do by some 60 year old guy that has not updated his education for 40 years? I told them to go to a foreign country and enjoy themselves! They are right! Their future is bleak in Japan!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Interesting mind set. I wonder if he has family, friends and a job.

No, no and, amazingly, no. A hat trick!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wow you have to admire the mind set of the Japanese criminals, at least they know they are guilty and they volunteer to be locked up whereas in the US they run and when you catch them they confess you have the wrong guy and lie out of their teeth even though everything was recorded!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yoshikawa was quoted by police as saying: “I was worried about my future but couldn’t kill myself, so I decided I’d be better off in prison.”

I would say that prison is better than suicide, but perhaps working at a convenience store is better than robbing one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

guidance counselling to the rescue

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cliffy really hits on the answer here.

For the last 20 years or so, the internet has been full of the "stupid crimes" memes. How can these criminals be so dumb as to commit these crimes? Don't they know they will be caught? Don't they know what will happen?

Well, such stories serve the purpose of letting most people feel superior to other people, which sells a lot of advertising. But they also hide two truths while they do that.

The first truth is that a lot of these people are repeat offenders. They know what life is like inside and outside prison, and they CHOOSE to live inside rather than be poor outside. It is easy for repeaters to be put back in the slammer, and if they are on parole, they don't even have to wait in jail for a trial. Successful criminals STILL face many more daily life responsibilities than a prison inmate, so succeeding at crime is not necessarily a goal for these offenders.

The second truth is that institutions are set up to be revolving doors to accommodate this kind of behavior. Probation is longer. Crowding leads to early release. Job and reform programs are inadequate. Prison accommodations are .. not too bad... but certainly better than living in a van down by the river.

I don't really know if this 21 year old Japanese guy made the right choice. I don't know what his options are. But a lot of other 21 year olds worldwide are making similar choices. By looking at life from their perspective, their choices make a lot more sense.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


so as long as we are as stupid as the stupidest person, we can understand their stupidity and embrace it?

How about instead of lowering the bar every lower we raise it and get this kid some counseling huh? It's time to start giving people the help they need and not rationalize their actions. It only enables more

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I remember a time when worrying about your future meant hoping to avoid prison. I really feel terrible for this guy that the world is so bleak for him that seemed to be his best option.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

At 21, he was probably in the midst of job hunting. Without any offers, he probably got desperate.

While in prison, he's got to work on his interviewing skills. Then when's he's out of prison, he can march into any interview and land the job, so long as he exudes confidence and doesn't mention that whole pulling a knife on a convenience store worker incident.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder what will happen to youth under the TPP agreement?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

at least he didn't kill somebody to go to prison.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, yeah, there's the job search thing. Potential employers don't like to see resume gaps. At least now he can put this down as either time spent furthering his education or "working for the state."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan's lack of economic growth has stifled job openings for under qualified individuals. Openings where the company needed to fill a position that would eventually lead to a good paying job but the company would provide needed training due to the tight job market. Now a days.... if you don't have a degree you can barely get a decent job.... and even having a degree guarantees zero. Economic expansion helps to employee those that fall between the cracks. You can blame Japan's Demographics.... and that Japan refuses to open its doors to immigration.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Remember kids it's not a crime if it's "stress related".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You can blame Japan's Demographics

Also blame it's micro-managed corporate culture. . . . still based on "bubble yrs" philosophy.

Japan refuses to open its doors to immigration

Japan is for japanese. (Always this way), a homogeneous society. However, refusing or unwilling to reproduce (in population) will ultimately become it's achilles heel.

Especially with an ever growing "kanreki" population already existing. Got enough GDP?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I was worried about my future

Well, then immigrate

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Anyone know what his major was?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably Law :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ha, ha, Giseli... or perhaps politics? =p If he majored in politics, perhaps the bleak outlook depressed him to no end!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When life gets hard and your struggling to pay for basic menes and accommodation, this is the best way to go about it. 6 year retirement in a cell

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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