crime

Woman allegedly killed by neighbor after seeking police help on 5 occasions

52 Comments

Police on Monday arrested a man after a 45-year-old woman living in the same apartment block in Tokushima City was found dead in her home. The man, who has been identified as 64-year-old Toshihiro Mihara, originally claimed to have discovered Hamaji Yoshida's body and alerted police.

Mihara later confessed to her murder, and was quoted by police as saying: "We got into an argument and I lost my temper."

Since late September, Yoshida had contacted police five times seeking assistance after being allegedly assaulted by Mihara.

© Compiled from news reports

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So now she is dead because of this crazy old man. RIP

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And Japan's finest leap into action, not a moment too soon.

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wow, Japanese police at their best.

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Good job, keystones!

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The Japanese seem to have a great deal of trouble contianing thier anger, how many times do you read " I just lost my temper so I killed him/her".

Something needs to be done to teach these people how to better control their emotions. I mean come on " i lost my temper " is hardly a reason or excuse for killing someone is it!

We all lose our tempers sometimes but we dont kill because of it do we?

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Another fine example of the Police not doing their jobs. Typical Japanese laziness.

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@ExportExpert

That 60-something cohort is known for their spontaneous violence.

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And once again we see the Japanese police at their best -- acting AFTER the fact. It takes a corpse for them to get off their hands and do something, and even then they usually mess it up. At least they didn't DIRECTLY aid in the victim's death this time, unlike with the lawyer. RIP, Ms. Yoshida -- try to be mollified by the fact that the police will probably try to find someone to mildly apologize to.

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Take action into your own hands people...just be be smart about it!

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And they wonder why people dont have much faith in the police here? Probably thought she was crazy and making it all up!!! Well done keystones......

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That lady should have invested in a good baseball bat.

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the problem with the japanese police is same as with doctors here, they have for all practical purposes no liability for negligence.

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I hate these cops, laws need to change to fix this!

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I hate these cops, laws need to change to fix this!

Law cannot fix this, the police mentality needs to change..

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Law cannot fix this, the police mentality needs to change.

As soon as they change the law so it allows civilians to sue the police for billions of yen for negligence, they'll change their tune real quick.

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can't people sue the police?? i thought they could..

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These stupid Tokushima police officers should all be FIRED! RIP poor woman down in Tokushima with their useless police.

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Wudnt it be nice to have these dumb a$$ cops charged for aiding & abetting murder, they clearly are accomplices to this crime.

I absolutely HATE how the keystones sit on their keysters until something happens, very little preventative work going on in Jpn.

People cry out for help, cops, sorry we can only help once yr hospitalized or dead then we will be glad to assist, only if its not too difficult tho!

Ditto for road accidents, very little presence on the streets/highways, the keystops just wait for the accidents then head over to whats up! Frigging useless 95% of the time

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Japanese people "snap" a lot. I think its because its in their culture to stay polite even though they're angry already. and as time passes it accumulates and when they explode, boy do they explode.

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Much as I'd like to jump on the police-bashing bandwagon, there's nothing in this article that says the police didn't respond to her previous calls. Do you REALLY want to be in a place where all it takes to get you thrown in jail is someone saying you assaulted them? We know zip-point-squat about the previous calls other than the calls were made.

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Fadamor-- Five times though? It's not like she called them one time and then ended up dead. I'm not going to hop on the bandwagon either, but in cases like this where the victims have gone to the police more than once, you'd want to think someone would have been checking up on this. Either way... poor woman. I hope this crazy neighbor gets the punishment he deserves.

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Hard to comment much for a serious lack of details. I see that has not deterred some who rush in where angels fear to tread though.

But I will ask how many physical assaults does it take before you move into a new apartment? If I was on the losing end, I don't think I would make it past 3. But don't even think I am saying the guy was actually the guilty party in those assaults. The fact that she made the calls does not make her innocent.

So, you think the police suggested she move? Hire a bodyguard? Replace the locks? Buy an alarm? Buy a dog? Who knows? All I know is that there is no information in this article to recommend clear action by police at all. Its not there. Many of you seem to think the police have some sort of magic spells to cast!

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hottomales-- Innocence isn't really the issue here anymore since the woman is dead, and just because you'd move away doesn't mean she should have. What if she couldn't? You're right, there is a serious lack of information here, so the victim blaming is really just as bad as the cop bashing.

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I'm just saying we don't know what the previous calls entailed - Did the police show up? (we don't know) Did she physically appear to have been assaulted? (we don't know) Was she going to press charges? (we don't know) Is there a law that allows the police to arrest someone if the alleged victim doesn't press charges (probably not, but we don't know).

So I'm not going to bash the police on this one because the only information we DO know for sure is that the woman had called police five times since late September (meaning once every two weeks on average) and that the police caught the guy after he murdered the woman.

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Fadamor-- I agree with you. At this point in time, the only person I really feel confident pointing fingers at is the guy who killed her.

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hottomales: "But I will ask how many physical assaults does it take before you move into a new apartment? If I was on the losing end, I don't think I would make it past 3. But don't even think I am saying the guy was actually the guilty party in those assaults. The fact that she made the calls does not make her innocent."

Are you serious? So... what in your mind was the woman guilty of, aside from being murdered by someone she called the police about five times, I mean? And what's with this, "she should have moved" stuff? I remember in my first year in Japan I had a neighbour in the apartment above me who was a freak, used to drop bricks on the floor, and played electric guitar at full volume at 4:00 a.m. Three times I tried to approach him and talk to him about it, and he ran away screaming (literally). One night I finally started pounding on his door and he only turned the volume up. The next day I decided I had had enough and spoke to the land lady. Her suggestion? I move! Rather than talk to a wayward tenant I and later I found out four other tenants were advised to move rather than the land lady talking to this one person. Later I heard the land lady was furious when this guy THANKFULLY moved out but had literally destroyed the apartment. She was baffled as to how to deal with it, and I had to bite my lip rather than suggest she 'move'.

Anyway, point being is that this seems to be the attitude of the police, and clearly what hottomale is suggesting; the victim should be the one to pull stakes and leave, while the assailant be left alone in peace... until the next person moves in, of course. They will do anything short of addressing to actually try and solve the problem. It's like doing a math problem by throwing it in the garbage.

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To people suggesting that the victim just should have moved: Are you aware of the fees involved in such a thing? As others have pointed out, we do not know exactly how the man had been reported. So, at this point, it is difficult to point a finger at the police. However, stalking and the like are serious and the person doing the stalker deserves the blame, not the victim. Certainly in this case, the stalker also deserves the label killer, too. It is too easy to blame the victim and that is often why it is too easy for people to stalk others.

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I would assume that if the guy assaulted her there would be some kind of physical evidence: a bruise, a cut, a wound of some kind. Still it may come down to his word against hers. It's true though that cops in Japan don't like to get into people's personal business so I'm sure there are plenty of cases where the police could have done something but instead just sent the abused/assaulted person home with some lame advice.

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I would never live in a country where the cops are this bad unless I'm authorized to always have firearms by my side. Japan's top officials should know that their law enforcement is shitty by now but they seem to sweeping this issue under the mat. Bottom line, they just don't care about their people. I'm Japanese/Okinawan and I would never travel there not if my life depended on it.

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poor woman. needing help and getting none. see it all the time, it's sad.

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In the cop's defense, it seems they were fairly quick to realize the person who "found" her was the one she'd been complaining about. A TRULY incompetent force would have missed that fact for a week or more, giving the perp a chance to disappear.

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About five or six years ago two new laws came into effect around the same time -- the one dealing with child abuse and the anti-stalking law. Immediately afterward the number of responses by police to people dialing 110 went off the chart. The police had to recruit more people to handle them all. They're swamped.

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"allegedly assaulted" its obvious he ended up killing her. he defintley attacked her before. the Police didn't do enough OR give him a fine or a warning. 64 yrs old is old for for this kind of crime, but im sure he must have had previous crimes or been in Jail. Yes the police were dumb for not doing enough but they can't predict what will happen. Hopefully they will make sure this doesn't happen again & fully investigate every complaint between Neighbors/ co workers. something bad has to happen Before changes are made Unfortunelty

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Amazing.....

It's simply amazing that there are 33 posts and not a single one even bother to check other sites to get a clearer information.

The victim and the assailant were going out together. Since September, the victim contacted the police 5 times for physical abuse she was receiving. The police asked the victim to officially file a complaint. She refused.

「被害届を出すように伝えたが、(吉田さんは)事件化やパトロール強化を求めなかった]

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Remember he police are minutes away when only seconds count. Thank you founding fathers for the second amendment. I love Japan, but some of the laws lack common sense.

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Thanks for finding the extra information Nigelboy, but before you go and condemn everyone perhaps you should realize that not everyone can read Japanese.

Poor people like me are confined to the likes of these sites with poor information.

It seems sad that this happened, but it also makes sense in a way. It seems that there was some sort of co-dependent relationship going on and even though she was being abused, she was unable to break away from the situation.

I really don't see how the police are to blame in this situation. It would be nice if there were some sort of law that allowed the police to judge a situation and decide if THEY wanted to press charges, not just the victim. Of course, that may leave the door wide open for a lot of abuses.

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It's simply amazing that there are 33 posts and not a single one even bother to check other sites to get a clearer information.

What's amazing is that you seem to think that makes a difference in the argument we are having. Have you not heard of DV amongst people going out? She could have 'refused' (that's not what it says, it says she did not pursue that route) because she was afraid. It is certainly not uncommon for women to do so.

but before you go and condemn everyone perhaps you should realize that not everyone can read Japanese.

He realizes it and seems to take glee in repeatedly berating others for this.

It would be nice if there were some sort of law that allowed the police to judge a situation and decide if THEY wanted to press charges, not just the victim

There is but the police actually have to witness the particular situation first hand and see specific evidence of it to do so. In DV cases and the like this can be extremely difficult. So, unless the victim (dating or not) is brave enough, the police' hands are tied.

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BTW, while the victim knew her suspected killer and they were aquaitances, that does not mean they were 'going out together'. At least, it did not say that in the article you seem to be referencing. In any case, what I wrote above stands.

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Thanks for finding the extra information Nigelboy, but before you go and condemn everyone perhaps you should realize that not everyone can read Japanese.

You are right. Many people on this site are "confined to the likes of these sites" hence their views are based on what news "these sites" puts up.

In any case, there have been instances on this site where similar reports where a victim has notified the police and the police took little or no action and eventually, the victim was killed. Of course, the usual "keystone" bandwagon let out their rant and on these occasions, it turned out that the police did in fact advised or even urged to file a complaint but the victim failed to do so. See "Okayama man arrested for killing woman he stalked" and " Woman brutally murdered by stalker ex-boyfriend despite pleas of help to police" on this site.

I really don't see how the police are to blame in this situation. It would be nice if there were some sort of law that allowed the police to judge a situation and decide if THEY wanted to press charges, not just the victim. Of course, that may leave the door wide open for a lot of abuses.

Yep. Just imagine trying to prosecute the guy. The defense lawyer is going to have a field day with "See your honor. How could this be a crime when the victim didn't even bother to file a complaint??!!" Which of course, is going to be followed with a civil suit for false arrest.

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What's amazing is that you seem to think that makes a difference in the argument we are having.

Yes it does.

Have you not heard of DV amongst people going out?

Of course I have. And???

She could have 'refused' (that's not what it says, it says she did not pursue that route) because she was afraid. It is certainly not uncommon for women to do so.

Not arguing that at all. This is a downward spiral common in lot of DV cases where the victim inability to comprehend that this may lead to her own death. Of course, if the victim realized this, she would take every measure including first and foremost, FILING A COMPLAINT to the police.

Police are not mind readers. You cannot ask them to take drastic action when the victim herself doesn't think the action was necessarily.

Having said that, if this site runs its true course, the usual follow posts would be something to the extent that I'm blaming the vicim for her misfortune.

BTW, while the victim knew her suspected killer and they were aquaitances, that does not mean they were 'going out together'. At least, it did not say that in the article you seem to be referencing

Hint: Your second sentence above.

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Yes it does.

No, it does not. People dating or living together still struggle with whether to move or not just as people who are not dating do when they are victims of DV.

Of course I have. And???

And, you act as though she 'refused' because everything was okay. She could have been refusing because she was afraid.

Police are not mind readers. You cannot ask them to take drastic action when the victim herself doesn't think the action was necessarily.

Yes, this is true. However, that does not mean that should not take any action if there is a suspicion of a crime.

Having said that, if this site runs its true course, the usual follow posts would be something to the extent that I'm blaming the vicim for her misfortune.

It does sound this way even if you do not mean it to. Maybe you need to moderate your tone a bit.

Hint: Your second sentence above.

I can't be bothered to check every newspaper. How long were they going out together?

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No, it does not. People dating or living together still struggle with whether to move or not just as people who are not dating do when they are victims of DV.

Not talking about that. If you followed the thread, nobody knew that this was a DV issue until I pointed out.

What I'm talking about, whether this is a DV issue or a stalking issue (two articles that I cited), the primary reason for police inaction was that in all three cases, the victims DID NOT FILE CHARGES.

Hence, my answer to you is YES. Whether the victim filed of didn't file makes a BIIIG difference in "argument we(as in previous posts by others) were having".

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The articles I have read suggested the suspect knew the victim through his visits to her eating and drinking establishment (snack?). I asked you before and will try again, how long had they been 'going together'?

BTW, you misunderstood, I was not saying the victim not filing charges did not make any difference. In fact, I said the opposite above. I was talking about whether the victim was dating the suspect or not. I don't think that makes much difference.

Again, as to the police 'inaction', my thinking is whether they did all they could under the law or not given that the victim did come to them 5 times. Yes, they would have been able to act much more strongly if she had filed charges. However, do the police have any options at all when there is a suspicion of a crime yet not desire on the part of the victim to file charges? Personally, I do not know. My police aquaintances say their hands are tied.

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Perhaps the woman called the police to scare the guy off but was to afraid to press charges. I mean, if she pressed charges and then he got off, she might be afraid that he would hurt her even worse...It would help if women could feel assured that the police would take the case seriously.

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dolphingirl,

Exactly. Sadly, if she were still alive there would probably be some claiming she was lying. Her death is sad proof that she was indeed afraid.

The police can and do investigate the possibility of crimes regularly. They do not need to have special permission (someone filing charges) to do this. I think there has to be some middle ground in which the police can investigate the possibility of violence even if charges have not been filed. Exactly what that middle ground is should be for legal, government and inforcement officials to consider. While difficult, it could saves lives.

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The articles I have read suggested the suspect knew the victim through his visits to her eating and drinking establishment (snack?). I asked you before and will try again, how long had they been 'going together'?

Doesn't say.

BTW, you misunderstood, I was not saying the victim not filing charges did not make any difference. In fact, I said the opposite above. I was talking about whether the victim was dating the suspect or not. I don't think that makes much difference.

Several articles indicate that the term "交際相手” meaning they were going out together. Some articles indicate that the neighbors seen them holding hands in public and according to the police statement, the victim discussed about wanting to end the relationship.

今秋、吉田さんは、複数の署に「(三原容疑者と)縁を切りたい」「けんかしたら暴力を振るわれる」などと相談。警察は被害申告を勧めたが、吉田さんは処罰を求めなかったという。

Again, as to the police 'inaction', my thinking is whether they did all they could under the law or not given that the victim did come to them 5 times. Yes, they would have been able to act much more strongly if she had filed charges. However, do the police have any options at all when there is a suspicion of a crime yet not desire on the part of the victim to file charges? Personally, I do not know. My police aquaintances say their hands are tied.

All the police can do is urge the victim to file charges. In this regard, I'd say the police failed. Please remember that these abuses were done in private and based on the information that's given, she never called the police while this was taking place. Did the assailant knew that the victim already discussed this matter with the police? Did the victim identify the assailant/BF while she was discussing with the police? Those are questions that are not answered so it's rather difficult to say what the police could of done under the circumstance.

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nigelboy,

As I said, the lack of information in some of the articles in national newpapers and the like is less a language one (as we are only talking about Japanese media) and more of a pure information one. Many of the major outlets did not mention the relationship between the two beyond customer and service provider. For example, were you aware that the suspect. It turns out that they had mostly been seen together starting about 2 months ago. Now, I have not looked at enough articles to know, but the suspect moved into the apartment two years ago, and they started to be seen together two months ago. So, it seems that although they possibly knew each other for two years, it seems more likely they started dating more recently. It also seems that it was during that time, the victim visited the police and told them she was being hit. It is possible that she went five times in the past two months. Now, you asked some very important questions that, again, don't seem to be answered in the article. Did the assailant knew that the victim already discussed this matter with the police? Did the victim identify the assailant/BF while she was discussing with the police? As you wrote, those questions do not seem to be answered. Without this information, it really is difficult to know whether the police could have done more for her. I would like to know how much they tried to though.

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I just read my post and I miswrote and cut off parts in the middle. I will try again. They were seen together almost every day up until two months ago. It was this fall when the victim went several times to the police. Since the suspect moved into the apartment two years ago, they probably had been dating for a period of less than two years. It seems they broke up around two months ago as they were not seen together from that point. Also recently the suspect had been seen walking drunk around the neighborhood and was even carried up to his apartment by the police on occasion. So, depending on who the victim spoke with it is possible the police knew both the victim and the suspect and knew of their relationship. Again, many of the articles are complete and some are even incorrect, especially right when the reports come out. Certainly, it would be healthy to question the behavior of the police and whether they did enough. I would agree with your assessment that they certainly failed to convince the woman to file charges. I still have questions as to whether they could have done more regardless.

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So, depending on who the victim spoke with it is possible the police knew both the victim and the suspect and knew of their relationship. Again, many of the articles are complete and some are even incorrect, especially right when the reports come out. Certainly, it would be healthy to question the behavior of the police and whether they did enough. I would agree with your assessment that they certainly failed to convince the woman to file charges. I still have questions as to whether they could have done more regardless.

Thanks. It's refreshing when people actually do some research on their own to find more in detail and then come up with their own thought as opposed to the endless rants evidenced in the first 30+ posts or so.

In order for the police to identify the assailant before this tragedy took place, the victim had to show the picture of the assailant which in my opinion, is highly unlikely. This is one of the obstacles the police has if the victim doesn't file charges/complaint. If the victim indeed filed a complaint, the immediate action would be to question the assailant. This is when the police identifies the name with the face of the assailant.

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I agree. It is highly unlikely she would have provided a photo of the suspect. This is a perfect example of why filing a complaint is so important. Hopefully this case will help to convince more victims of this kind of violence and abuse to actively seek out the help of the police in a way that makes it possible for the assailant to be charged with and arrested for their crimes. Things have gotten a lot better in this regard. Hopefully they will improve even more from now on.

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What's really frustrating is the fact that there are many DV support groups all over Japan including Tokushima City where the incident took place. Reading the websites of these groups, they not only assist you in shelter, explain the police/criminal procedure(gather evidence), and even accompany you to the police station to file charges.

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nigelboy.

100% agree and you will hear many voices here that there is NO help, etc for situations like this or others. Goverment fails, etc.

I work from home and there are many ads around lunch-time/late evenings/etc for such and other groups daily on TV. Also many news and similar 'topic' discussion programs often cover such topics and give out local contacts numbers.

Plus, a short trip to the local ward office will result in getting to know quiet a few groups too. For foreigners just visit your local foreigner support group and they will guide you and also provide a translator if needed.

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