Japan has been abuzz over the abduction of a teenage junior high school student from Asaka City in Saitama Prefecture, who reappeared after having gone missing two years ago. Police subsequently arrested her abductor, 23-year-old Kabu Terauchi. During his interrogation, Terauchi said he obtained hints for abducting a juvenile from reading a manual, which among other things provided advice on how to coerce the victim to write a letter to her parents saying they had run away from home.
Yukan Fuji (April 6) reports that several such manuals have been published. They contain such advisories as "Emphasize (in the letter) that they will definitely return home" and "include the name and date in the note." The one Terauchi's victim wrote supposedly also requested, "I want to take time away from home and school. Please don't go looking for me." His victim also wrote to her family, "I'm with someone I met in an online chatroom. I'm fine. Sorry to trouble you. I won't be back for a while yet."
Police investigators believe that by referring to the various manuals, Terauchi was able to get inside the girl's head, and convince her that escape would be futile.
Before going missing, the girl was last seen around 3:45 p.m. on March 10, 2014. The pattern closely corresponds to the statistics for disappearances by children. According to National Police Agency figures, from January 2013 to the end of November 2014, 194 cases of abductions or kidnappings were reported involving children aged 13 or younger. In 82 out of the 137 cases where the circumstances of the abductions were known, they occurred between the hours of 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. -- typically times when the child was returning home from school or lessons.
In terms of location of the abduction, the most common, in 34% of the cases, was "on the street." In 52.8% of the cases, the victim was not known to the perpetrator. The second most common situation was abductions by a parent following divorce or trouble between parents, which involved 32.1% of the cases.
The girl later told police that Terauchi had approached her saying urgently, "Your parents have decided to divorce. I've been asked to take you to the attorney." He then drove her by car from Saitama.
Takeo Funyu, a researcher at the SECOM security agency, says that abductors' approaches generally fall into four patterns. The first involves something along the lines of, "I'd like to show you a cute puppy. Let's go together and see him." The others include appealing to their sense of civic duty, such as by saying, "I seem to have lost my way. Would you mind showing me?" Trying to tempt them into doing something appealing: "Would you like to model for my photographs?" And a ruse involving a sense of urgency, such as "Your mom's been involved in a car wreck -- quick, come with me!"
The correct response in all four cases, says Funyu, is "refusal." To an invitation, the child should be drilled to say "Shirimasen" (I don't know) or "Iya desu" (No way).
"If the person persists, the child should be trained to shout out in a loud voice and start running away in the direction opposite from the way the car is facing," Funyu advises. And to prevent from being grabbed and pulled into a vehicle, it's important to teach the child to maintain a sensible distance.
Since a child can easily panic in such a situation, Funyu also suggests that training which simulates an approach by a potential abductor "is also effective."
Another smart move is to develop familiarity with adults whom a child might encounter during their regular walks, as they may serve as protective eyes and ears. And finally, Funyu advises parents that even routes to school or playgrounds that appear safe still ought to be reviewed, and any points of concern brought to the attention of schools and the local police.© Japan Today