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Wakayama City official arrested for taking fruit knife home from work

By RocketNews24

Wakayama City’s Crisis Management Division had a bit of a crisis themselves recently as their director Takashi Yamada stepped down after being arrested for possession of a 9-cm-long knife which he had used to peel some fruit earlier in the day.

He is suspected of violating the Weapons Control Law, which as I think we are all surprised to learn, covers peeling tools as well.

The arrest occurred at about 10 p.m. on March 20 when Yamada was heading home after a post-work drinking session during which he, in his own words, “had more than usual.” When it was time to get out of the cab, Yamada did so but then sat down on the street and refused to move.

The taxi driver called police who arrived and questioned Yamada. After searching the 59-year-old’s bag, they immediately arrested him for possession of a “weapon”.

There is a legal basis for Yamada’s arrest. First, he was allegedly so utterly wasted that when the police found the blade in his bag, he was unable to explain why he was carrying it. According to Article 22 of Japan’s Weapons Control Law, individuals must be able to provide a legitimate reason for carrying a blade over 6 cm in length.

For example, if the police were to ask you why you had a steak knife in your pocket, you could say "to clean my finger nails with." Depending on the officer’s disposition, he or she may just smile and tell you to have a nice day. However, if your answer is “uh…,” you might be in store for some further questioning. That’s just what happened to Yamada when he was reportedly too inebriated to unravel the enigma of why he happened to have a “fruit knife” in his possession at that particular moment.

There’s a good chance that the arrest was just a way for police to get the guy off the streets so he could sober up in a cell overnight. Still, the damage has been done and as a result of his incarceration, Yamada resigned as the head of crisis management in Wakayama City and forced the mayor’s office to issue an official apology.

Sources: Sponichi Annex, Yomiuri Online, Nikkan Sports

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Wakayama City official arrested for taking fruit knife home from work

unwise man, should learn from Mizuho bank official who took home millions and millions of yen recently, according to j-tv reports.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Should've just said, "I was cutting fruit earlier at work and left in my jacket." -> Released by cop. Not have to resign. Genius.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why did police charge him on a weapons violation? If Yamada was obviously too drunk to care for himself, get out of the street and being uncooperative, why not just charge him for actual nature of his crime- disorderly conduct / public drunkeness?

Or is that not a crime (which might apply most "yoparai" salarymen on a daily basis) in this country?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why were the cops searching this man's bag? Isn't this an illegal search? There is no probable cause to do this, and other than being a public nusance, he committed no crime to warrant a search without his concent. And if the law states that a person carrying a "weapon" (which in this case happens to be his tools for work), has to give a reason for carrying it, and he was incompacitated to do so, they should give him the benifit of the doubt. Let him sober up first before questioning and arresting him. Cops are so damn brainless, it's ficken ridiculous.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

But he was clearly drunk, so why has he not been immediately rehired?!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Way to manage a crisis, dude! I used to get blind drunk before I have kids, but in the subsequent 20 years, I've kept myself in a condition able to handle crises that arise when you're responsible for two children (and they are of a variety and frequency quite surprising). I'd say Wakayama is better off without a "crisis manager" who can't even stand.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Laguna - I agree.

The problem here is a senior govt official is blind drunk in public.

The fact that it was due to a "post work drinking session" is in itself another major problem.

Why is the least of the problems - essentially possessing a pocket knife - the main "bit"?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's not a crime to be drunk in Japan. They probably just needed a reason to throw him in the torabako.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mirai Hayashi, why was Mr. Yamada's bag searched? The man was so sloshed he couldn't identify himself (much less explain the presence of the knife), so the coppers opened his bag looking for some ID; the search was not illegal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A least he didn't peel off his clothes, as sometimes happens.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh the humanity!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why did police charge him on a weapons violation? If Yamada was obviously too drunk to care

Precisely, their problem is not knives, it's knives in the hands of guys "too drunk to care" sitting around at night in the streets ...

Wakayama City’s Crisis Management Division

A sleepy town like Wakayama hires full time crisis managers ? They do what of their days, besides peeling fruits and getting drunk ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The problem wasn't the knife at all, the problem was that the guy was drunk and being unruly. The knife was just the excuse the police needed to take action and arrest him.

This whole law, though, does seem a bit whimsical when it comes to enforcement, and really does depend on the mood of the police. I lost a set of keys not long after coming to Japan and it had a Swiss army knife on it. So, when reporting the loss at the local Koban they seemed nearly ready to write me up when I explained about the knife because I didn't know the exact length, though I said it was probably less than 6 cm. I guess they took pity on me, though, because they didn't write me up and just explained it more carefully, etc. Made me pretty paranoid when I took my chef's knife to get sharpened at the local department store. Had it carefully wrapped and in a backpack, but if caught would they decide to believe me if that's what I said I was carrying it around for?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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