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A resigned Horiemon prepares for life in prison


After exhausting all legal avenues, disgraced former Livedoor CEO Takafumi Horie, age 38, appears headed for prison, where, from June, he will serve a sentence of two years and four months for securities fraud. The prosecutor had demanded four years.

Interviewing Horie in a conference room in his old stomping grounds of Roppongi Hills, Flash (June 7) asks him about what will happen to the woman in his life while he's serving his sentence. "I'll be out of the picture for two years," he says. "I suppose she has other male friends, so she can do what she wants. What could be worse than being attached to somebody who's in prison? I suppose the days are over that I can think about marriage, or having a lover."

In preparation for his incarceration, Horie has requested his attorney to provide him with information about life in stir. For instance, he knows he's likely to be in one of three detention facilities in the Kanto area: Shizuoka, Kurobane (Tochigi) or Kitsuregawa (Tochigi). Before this is decided, he will be administered a written aptitude test with math questions at about primary school level. (It shouldn't be difficult as Horie graduated from the University of Tokyo.)

"Since I know how to use a personal computer, it's likely I'll be assigned a job involving wage disbursements to prisoners and the like. That room's fully air conditioned," he smiles.

When Flash's interviewer remarks that Horie doesn't seem to be rattled by his upcoming sentence, he replies, "No, no -- I don't like being alone. But since the duration has been decided, I'll have hopes, and be able to talk to other people while working."

While unhappy with the prosecutor's aggressive pursuit of his case, Horie directs his final words toward the youth of Japan. After the recent food poisoning incident from eating ultra-cheap raw beef, he has concluded, "Even if you cling to this country, it has no future. It's better for young people if they just let go."

In an accompanying piece, Flash looks at the rules and regulations that will be in force during Horie's sentence. His personal correspondence will be reviewed by censors before going on to their recipient. In addition to reading matter sent to him from outside, penitents receive copies of "Hito" (person), a nationally circulated monthly newspaper.

Shopping for basic items such as toothpaste must be conducted by filling out an application form.

The article notes that while in stir, convicts may marry, divorce and adopt children. "Among men serving life sentences, marriages are quite common. I guess the women aren't willing to wait for them to be released," remarks novelist Tominao Kageno, author of "Kabukicho Negotiator" and himself a former penitent.

While they are not permitted to run for public office or vote in elections, men behind bars are permitted to change their legally registered domicile on the outside.

Women who begin serving their sentence while pregnant are moved to a hospital prior to their giving birth, but cannot bring the newborn into prison; such children are raised by relatives or given up for adoption.

As a part of their rehabilitation, prisoners in stir may work toward certifications or degrees in a wide variety of occupational specialties. A source in the department of corrections says that if recognized as essential, they can even arrange to study English conversation or telecommunications.

The small stipend prison occupants earn from their labor is not subject to taxation. However, taxes are expected to be paid on any remuneration they earn from writing for publications or income from property rentals, etc. In principle, they also have the right to start new businesses, buy and sell property and file lawsuits.

Horie may not make appearances on TV or radio. Nor will he be permitted to use tobacco or alcoholic beverages for the duration.

If someone on the outside sends Horie a gift of a magazine -- like Flash -- with raunchy photos, the guards are likely to allow him to receive it, on condition that the contents don't include sadomasochism or homosexuality. The list didn't pull punches when it came to masturbation, which in the regulations is termed "the crime of rubbing the genitals." Violators are subject to punishment. "It's hardest on men right after they receive a visit from a woman," Kageno remarks.

© Japan Today

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while in stir, convicts may marry, divorce and adopt children.

Oh JT, you do have a way with words sometimes!

This is an interesting article though, informative about life inside - and no masturbation? Poor sods...

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@maria - at least they did not call it "porridge". "Doing porridge" is British slang for serving a prison sentence, porridge once being the traditional breakfast in UK prisons.

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An incredible veiwpoint of living in prison. Makes the reader more aware of the humanity of the person going to prison. Our American writing just emphasises the violence. As far as the concept of Japan dying goes, the man is wrong. Japan will survive, and become greater by its struggles. Just as a person becomes stronger by exercising.

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@Goddog. You're barking. Prison in Japan IS Prison in Japan.

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Horimon will survive his prison time just fine. It was still a cangaroo court though. He did nothing different than what the old boys do all the time. His crime was not being of them.

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The list didn’t pull punches when it came to masturbation, which in the regulations is termed “the crime of rubbing the genitals.” Violators are subject to punishment. “It’s hardest on men right after they receive a visit from a woman,” Kageno remarks.

JT has provided a lot of informative sources.

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Horiemon Ganbatte.

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Disallowing masterbation is both barbaric and unhealthy. Stealing all joy is not good for the future of prisoners who will be released.

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My only advice to Horiemon-san is don't drop the soap in the shower unless you like that sort of thing.

Unlike Western prisons, in Japan, prisons are not full of gay gang rapists.

Horiemon will be fine. Time will go fast. Once he's out, this whole thing will be behind him. He will help contribute to Japan's long needed change - even if he leaves Japan.

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This misleading headline caused me to read an article I wouldn't have read otherwise. I was very curious about how a person in Japan could receive a sentence of "life in prison" for fraud. And thereupon I discovered this idiocy about masturbation. What a country we live in, eh!

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Japan is a very civilized country except in one area: The judiciary system and its prisons. That is when Japan is very barbaric. Can't understand why it's like that.

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I had never heard of the expression "in stir" before, but sure enough it's in the dictionary. Probably commonly used in the 1800s.

I wonder what happens if an inmate has a wet dream? It's not directly under their control.

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If she was serious about him, she would still be loyal and wait for him those two years, in regards to lovers, theres always some happy folks in prison he can prepare to meet :P

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"the crime of rubbing the genitals"

LOL! Does that include giving it a few shakes after having a pee? What kind of total nonsense is this? Oh, wait, this is the Japanese prison system, never mind.

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From what I've heard, they watch prisoners so closely that "sadomasochism or homosexuality" are unlikely to be a problem in Japanese prisons. Except from the guards and prison physicians who apparently enjoy probing examinations. The Diet is filled to the brim with people who have done worse than Horiemon, though. And the bureaucracy as well.

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No rubbing of the genitals in prison?- where there's a will, there's a way, otherwise the whole place would be overthrown and destroyed by epically uptight and frustrated rabid dogs!

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if he gets the Kurobane prison, he'll have a cake walk threw it. the place is like a big ryokan with a little work.

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why couldn't he use some of his money to bribe a coast guard and flee Japan for good. There is nothing in this country for him, but the world is a big place with lots of opportunities.

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It's funny the article doesn't mention a thing about the one item this guy is most likely to miss while incarcerated--internet access. Obviously no mobile phones, but what about computers? Maybe it's so unlikely that the writer didn't even consider the possibility, but given that Horiemon has made most of his money during his release on appeal through blogging and speech-making, and really symbolizes the best and worst of internet culture at its peak in Japan, I'm surprised the subject didn't come up at all.

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From what I've seen of other individuals in prison, they can't get access to a computer but there is nothing to stop them from blogging or sending mails to people by using a proxy on the outside. (But that must be relayed via written mail correspondence, which will be checked before posting.)

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"In stir" usually means in solitary confinement, not just incarceration.

And, for those of you who thnik this guy is a victim of bucking the system and going against the "old boy" network....you are wrong, he thought he was above the system. He broke rules that are made for the common good, not to pander to the "old boys". He defrauded people out of their life savings. He belongs right where he is going.

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I think the headline is meant "Life" as in "Life-style".

Not a native speaker but I got that it didn't mean a life-sentence and rather refers to life-style.

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They say that the crime of rubbing one's genitals is bad for the eyesight. But I can't see that.

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he says. “I suppose she has other male friends, so she can do what she wants. What could be worse than being attached to somebody who’s in prison? I suppose the days are over that I can think about marriage, or having a lover.”

..how 'open-minded' he is...I guess he knows how 'practical' J women are!

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"The small stipend prison occupants earn from their labor is not subject to taxation."

Behold the mercy, the magnaminity of the Leviathan State!

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Yes, I thoght it meant a life-sentence too, at first.

The headline of the magazine article I saw about him the other day quoted him as saying "I won't stop jerking off even in prison!" Which I thot was odd, but now see it must have been in response to this no-jerk-off rule they have there.

btw for non-jpns spkrs, "rubbing genitals" is just a bad translation. They should have translated as just masturbation. It's a regular expression in jpns, but not in English. Direct translations are silly.

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Techall, that is exactly what my impression was. Can you elaborate?

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"Even if you cling to this country, it has no future. It’s better for young people if they just let go."

Japan has a future grounded in domestic and global 21st century realities, and not in the unsustainable fantasies of a few decades ago.

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Goes without saying. How can you expect to rehabilitate criminals if you allow them to get away with the crime of self pollution in jail ....

btw, do they have the same rule in the women's prisons? And do people snitch on each other??

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Horie, the mastermind behind the accounting fraud deserved more than the 2 1/2 years because he destroyed the lives of some Livedoor shareholders for good. Shareholders would probably agree sending Horie to prison was a good idea for simply taking advantage of vulnerabilities the companies it went after should have corrected. This was an organized fraud and a betrayal that victimized many investors and a ruling that indicates that the courts have begun to recognize they must be tougher on white-collar crime to maintain order in the stock market and keep investors trust in it. It showed society that crimes committed by people with a good education but no ethics will be punished for damaging social stability. However, Horie as a young entrepreneur did bring a new era in venture business and the ruling shouldn't discourage young entrepreneurs because Livedoor was the stock market whereas running a serious business is compleltely different. Horie should be grateful that the maximum four-year sentence demanded by the prosecutors wasn't handed down.

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"I suppose the days are over that I can think about marriage, or having a lover.” Well, I don't know about Japan, but if he was sent to prison anywhere else in the world, not only would he be thinking about it, he be very worried about having a "lover!"

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