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The Kyoto Animation building which was torched by an arson attack, in Kyoto in July. Photo: REUTERS file
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Japan to tighten gasoline sale rules after Kyoto arson attack

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Well I don’t think I’m the only person here who is thinking “probable cause” in terms of them implementing this policy. Good for them for doing it.

-19 ( +1 / -20 )

The chance that this will have any effect at all is infinitesimally small. If I have to show ID and explain why I'm buying gasoline I'm going to a different gasoline stand.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Maybe they should tighten fire safety rules instead. When over 30 people die because they can't escape a single fire in a building with only 2 floors clearly there's an issue.

30 ( +34 / -4 )

The chance that this will have any effect at all is infinitesimally small. If I have to show ID and explain why I'm buying gasoline I'm going to a different gasoline stand.

If you're filling your car, they are not going to ask for your ID. Also, where are you going to find gasoline if every station asks for your ID?

16 ( +16 / -0 )

This SHOULD have been written to say that the new regulation is for people who are purchasing gasoline and putting it into containers other than a vehicle's gas tank. (according to the news broadcast I saw yesterday)

14 ( +14 / -0 )

will this apply only to gasoline, and not kerosene I wonder.... or can kerosene not be used for arson?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It is a simple matter to fill a tank and then siphon it into containers.

Any determined individual could easily do this - another rule with zero meaning...

10 ( +15 / -5 )

I've been seeing signs like; prohibited sales of gasoline in "poli-tan" or red polyurethane containers for kerosene and "gas-tan" or can gasoline containers for more than a year now in many gasoline stations around. These "NO SALES ALLOWED IN CONTAINERS" is already implemented because of safety reasons but the problem are those "self service" gasoline stations that are open at night and unattended. How could a new BAN on sales be implemented on these kind of establishments?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I'm a little fuzzy on how id checks for buying gasoline prevent arson.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Maybe better understanding and acknowledgement of Japans major mental health issues would be a start.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

It could quite as easily have been kerosine instead of gasoline. Are they going to ask people for ID and intended use for kerosine too? Think about all the construction workers and farmers who buy gasoline for their generators and machinery. This is a pretty dumb idea. Are gasoline stand staff trainings to identify potential loons? If the staff does sell gasoline to someone for nefarious purposes, will that staff member be liable?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Sounds a lot like lip service. The person who is suspected had a history of mental illness and a police record. Are gas stations going to be held responsible for confirming mental health and purity of intent? What is to stop someone from just lying about their intent? Also, how is the government going to respond to an incident that uses kerosene instead of gasoline?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Maybe better understanding and acknowledgement of Japans major mental health issues would be a start.

In theory this would be a great place to start, but in reality never going to happen. The culture doesnt want to acknowledge that there are more mentally ill people walking the streets than they think.

My wife had some issues with her job, built up over many years, and she had enough, went to a doctor, who recommended a psychiatrist for her to go and see. The EARLIEST appointment she could make was for nearly 5 weeks later.

Just here in Okinawa alone, with a population of 1.4 million in the prefecture, I can name off a minimum of 30 different hospitals and clinics that have mental health services.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Maybe they should tighten fire safety rules instead. When over 30 people die because they can't escape a single fire in a building with only 2 floors clearly there's an issue.

There is no mention of any issue about fire safety rules in any of the news already released. Remember he had with himself a 40 liters gasoline. The suspect poured and spread gasoline in hallways. As the place was also filled with fumes from the gasoline, when he ignited it an instantaneous flash of fire billed the whole building. That is why he was among the casualties. All the hallways leading to the fire escape was ablaze that's why many are trapped in their rooms.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Typical government agency predictably clueless. As others have pointed out it’s just a simple matter of syphoning petrol from your own vehicles tank so a completely ridiculous rule which will actually do absolutely nothing to prevent such an attack happening again. Again as others here have mentioned going around to business premises and checking that should such an attack occur again that there is adequate escape routes for the people within and fire alarms, equipment and evacuation procedures and drills for rapid exiting. But that would require some work from the agency instead of currently spouting their useless “tighter controls” and placing their responsibility on anyone else but themselves. Fire the lot of them, pun intended!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Tighten the ratchet one more notch!

Another example of a government wanting to be seen to be doing something positive, even though it really looks unwieldy, ineffective and unworkable from the outset.

As others have said, things like enforcing fire safety rules would surely beg for attention first.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

As things stand, you cannot buy gasoline in the poly tanks used for kero, it has to be the metal jerry cans. That rule has been in place for years.

Some places will sell diesel in poly tanks, diesel is chemically very similar to kero, but others won't.

The main reason to buy gasoline in tanks is weed whackers/brush cutters. They run on gasoline/oil mix and its cheapest to mix it yourself. Other uses are lawnmowers, generators, snowblowers, and RVs. Most farm machines, tractors etc. and construction equipment like backhoes run on diesel.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Good policy change even if its not 100% fool proof. Can buy gas for a car then siphon it off.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency will revise an ordinance and oblige gas stations and other sellers to conduct ID checks and ask customers the reason for the purchase

*"I'm glad you asked. I'm going to burn down a building"*** **said no criminal ever.

Another knee-jerk reaction which serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

When you buy dangerous chemicals you have to sign a register.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The usual government abuse of paranoia after a one off incident and a thinly veiled attempt to make it look like they are working for us. And people will cheer that freedom was lost and the government got some more power over us, and in fact, will even ask for more. People are already tracked plenty via their stupid discount cards, cell phones and cameras everywhere. Now just to get gas for my weed eater, I have to show ID? Nonsense! Chicken hearts. Yet so many get on the expressway without a second thought. Fools and cowards! Curse this nonsense!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

it has to be the metal jerry cans.

Yep. I even bought a plastic tank specifically made for gasoline...in Japan... and was refused at the pump. I was pretty angry about that. Wasted my time and my money and that was specifically for in case I ran out of gas in my car, which I had. So I had to walk a long way to get a metal can. Then walk back.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Future criminal : here is my Id

Lad : I see you have quite a few jerrycan to fill here

Future criminal : My old uncle and my brother in law need too gasoline to cut many heads of the bushes in their garden.

Lad : I can't accept that. Go and fill your second jerrycan to the next gas station.

LOL

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yep. I even bought a plastic tank specifically made for gasoline...in Japan... and was refused at the pump. I was pretty angry about that. 

there are gas stations around that will fill gas cans but you need to ask the staff to do it for you, JAA in my area nearly all fill cans for you. also best to have the steel type gas cans they can hold much more pressure than the plastic types. Worse case scenario you'll have to fill up your own car and siphon it out later. this new law is just plain stupid, very easy to get gasoline for illegal purposes if somebody is determined to do it

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Most gas stands will sell you or lend you a metal can to get emergency gas for our car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When you buy dangerous chemicals you have to sign a register.

diesel, gasoline, kerosene, 20L cans of engine oil, 20L cans of cleaning alcohol all Ive easily bought no register or ID required. Is the J government going to require ID for everybody to buy these dangerous chemicals!?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

diesel, gasoline, kerosene, 20L cans of engine oil, 20L cans of cleaning alcohol 

None of those are dangerous chemicals.

Hazardous chemical register.

Most Dangerous Chemical Substances Known to Man?

Botulinum toxin A (Botox)

Chlorine Trifluoride.

VX.

Batrachotoxin.

Carbon Monoxide.

Ricin.

Asbestos.

sodium monofluoroacetate. It is up to 60 times more potent that strychnine.

Many others.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This will be the 2nd time they are issuing this order. Quite a number of years ago, there was this famous incident in Aomori prefecture where a guy ( amr. Yagi ? ) walked in a popular Cash lender's office carrying a gasoline filled Jerry can. He demanded cash but the workers thought it some kind of joke, he lit- up the place and escaped. A few got killed and as a result, the ban was issued.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When you buy dangerous chemicals you have to sign a register.

Nobody is talking about dangerous chemicals it's all about purchasing gasoline and using an ID. This adds nothing other than Hey look you have to sign for this so what's the big deal.So what? You have to sign a credit card receipt for purchasing something in many places too.

It is VERY easy to get around this new regulation. Anyone can purchase a dangerous chemical that could be used as a propellant at your local DIY hardware store. And without using a signature too!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Once again, the government nudges the stable doors a little closer together after the horse has fled. Are they going add the charge of "obtaining petrol under false pretenses" to the arson and murder charges? Do they honestly think that anyone intent on committing arson would find this a deterrent?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If people had to show ID for buying gas in a bottle might discourage anyone with criminal intend but hoping to escape detection.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Good policy change even if its not 100% fool proof. Can buy gas for a car then siphon it off.

Wouldn't have to since this law doesn't stop you from putting it right into a container. It merely requires you show some ID.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Stupid overreaction. One crazy person knifes people in public, and Japan passes a law that nobody can possess a knife past their front door without special approval. One crazy person lights a building on fire, and now everyone buying gasoline has to show ID and state a reason for the purchase?

Let's ban all the things!

"Because I'm going to light a building on fire and kill dozens of people" is not a response that anyone ever will give.

This is a nuisance law that will stop no crimes. It certainly would not have prevented the Kyoto Animation fire. If it serves any purpose, it's only to keep normal people afraid and subservient. More likely, laws like this will add up over time until people are so annoyed that they lose all respect for government.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The banning of take way cans from petrol stations is ridiculous, In the uk were restricted to 1 small can 4.5 Ltr or 1 gallon this would be enough to get you a petrol station if your car runs out, so if all stations are banned from selling petrol in take away cans what happens to people who run out? a restriction to 1 can is ok but a all out ban is to far, if some one has full intentions of getting a large amount he could go back and back time and time again filling larger can up, if someone has these full intentions of committing a serious crime with it, your never stop them any way, all you will do is alienate the general motorist, also contractors who use these small cans to top up there generators, etc also as a tree surgeon we get through a 1 gallon can every week which we use in our chainsaws, what about people who hire a small mechanical digger to do some work at home?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Skeptical,  There was no fire escape. The internal stairway was a spiral. The door to the roof did not have a panic bar to open it. The number of deaths would likely have been halved if these conditions didn’t exist. 

I frequently siphon gas from my truck into spare tanks – using the plastic siphon that is typically used to fuel kerosene space heaters. This takes about 3 minutes for 20 liters. Doing so keeps me from needing to haul the spare tank to the gas station and back, as well as break the rules which are against self-filling the spare tank at the station. I’d have no issue with showing an ID and stating my purpose, so long as that doesn’t require a significant amount of time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well we are all safe from further arson attacks, because bad people don’t know how to siphon from their own gas tank. /s

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wonder if just having an alert security guard at the front door would be more effective.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

because bad people don’t know how to siphon from their own gas tank

You have obviously never tried to do this on a modern passenger vehicle.

I’d have no issue with showing an ID and stating my purpose, so long as that doesn’t require a significant amount of time.

You should begin to pay attention to how much red tape is taking up your time, including waiting in line for the people ahead of you. This will take up your time for waiting for a busy attendant to get to you....and that attendant may well be tied up with other red tape.

I really wish people would show more backbone.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%9B%E3%83%AF%E3%82%A4%E3%83%88%E3%82%AC%E3%82%BD%E3%83%AA%E3%83%B3

Available at any camping store. Will they have to id for this, too?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

will this apply only to gasoline, and not kerosene I wonder.... or can kerosene not be used for arson?

As a former firefighter, I can speak on this a bit. While kerosene is flammable, the thing that makes gasoline so useful and so dangerous is that it aerosolizes or fumes much, much easier than kerosene. First, realize that it's not the actual liquid that burns in a fire, but a vapor layer that's created as the fuel is exposed to oxygen.

Gasoline is basically a 'thinner' petrochemcial than kerosene, and this gives it the ability to combust much, much more easily. This is useful in your car, it allows the gas to explode (read, explode) quickly and powerfully, pushing the pistons in the cylinders.

Kerosene, on the other hand, while still flammable, doesn't spread, evaporate, or combust as easily or quickly as gasoline. In fact, a quick YouTube will show a pool of kerosene, if you drop a match in it oftentimes won't burn. Kerosene needs to be essentially pre-aerosolized, sprayed, or pre-heated to create sufficient vapor to ignite and create flame. Once ignited of course, it's difficult to put out. But in terms of just 'splash a pool and drop a match,' kerosene is a poor choice compared to gas or diesel.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Very true about kerosene; however, as someone who's started many a campfire with it, I can attest to its efficacy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Firstly, I have a genuine question to the more fluent Japanese speakers: is there no Japanese equivalent of the expression 'hard cases make bad law'?

Experience has repeatedly shown that bringing in restrictive legislation in response to a one-off incident is never a good idea.

And this proposal is just so pointless, as it will not achieve its aim. After all, what deterrent is showing your ID to buy petrol or diesel or suchlike? Hundreds of people will be doing so (for perfectly legitimate reasons) at every point of sale, and therefore this will not identify you as an arsonist. And if you really want to avoid showing ID, you can simply fill up your car and then siphon the fuel off.

Sorry, but this is a ridiculous knee-jerk response.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

People would only have to provide iD for buying gas in a can not for your cars/trucks and not for diesel used by farmers and gardeners.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People would only have to provide iD for buying gas in a can not for your cars/trucks and not for diesel used by farmers and gardeners.

Acquiesce to doing it for gas now and then diesel and kerosene will be next just as soon as something else happens...such as a complete accident.

as someone who's started many a campfire with it, I can attest to its efficacy.

I had some old kerosene to get rid of. I put like a couple shot glasses worth in a wheel barrow. I got a huge pillar flame shooting up into the sky. It really made me appreciate the amount of power contained in the stuff. Don't try this at home kids!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, I guess any would-be arsonist will have to switch strategy and look for basic 101 Chemical Warfare using Household products:

https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/dangerous-household-chemicals-clean-explosion-13873101

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They need to have fire sprinkler system in every public building.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If I were you, I'd start shopping for an ELECTRIC-ONLY car!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why is nobody asking the obvious thing? "Which ID?"

Japanese do not have an ID. They could refer to the driver's license and probably most of the people getting gasoline will have one, but there are things others than cars that need gasoline.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You cannot stop everyone buying gasoline. There are too many legitimate uses.

I don't think you can make every building resistant to firebombing either Do sprinklers even help with gasoline fires? What percentage of fires result in that kind of explosive releasing of smoke? The only solution I can see is security. Lock your door if there is no-one to monitor it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I advise you to never ever use gasoline in a campfire or outdoor fire. I saw two near misses with drunk guys messing around. One was actually a lawyer and he had to go to work with eyebrows and front hair singed off after throwing gasoline on a fire on the weekend.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

OmachiOct. 27  05:57 pm JST

Skeptical, There was no fire escape. The internal stairway was a spiral. The door to the roof did not have a panic bar to open it. The number of deaths would likely have been halved if these conditions didn’t exist. 

Thanks for your enlightenment, you are right about the spiral staircase.

Precise account of the incident according to Sora News 24:

https://soranews24.com/2019/07/24/kyoto-animation-studio-in-arson-attack-found-to-have-been-in-compliance-with-all-fire-codes/

Though spiral staircases are allowed by the Kyoto fire department, provided there is also a hanging protrusion from the ceiling, called a tarekabe in Japanese, to block the flow of smoke to the upper level in case of a fire, and Kyoto Animation’s studio did have tarekabe sufficient with the legal requirements.

The number of victims who perished there caused some to speculate that the door to the roof had been locked, but investigators have found that this was not the case, and that the door could be opened from the inside, though one Kyoto Animation employee describes the door as having an unusual two-lever mechanism that could be difficult for those who’d never used it before to operate.

Investigators believe that employees were overcome by the effects of smoke inhalation as they attempted to flee to the open air of the roof, and as victims collapsed in the stairwell, it stands to reason that the clogged pathway made it harder for others trying to get to the roof to make progress up the steps, compounding the problem as each new arrival collapsed.

However, in a report to the city council on July 22, the Kyoto City Fire Department says that Kyoto Animation’s Fushimi studio had taken the proper fire protection measures, including performing employee fire drills, as laid out in the city’s fire code.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They'd might as well have background checks on people buying rubbing alcohol high-proof booze as well since they're both flammable too

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Seems like expanding mental health care to make it easier to get would be more effective.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

However, in a report to the city council on July 22, the Kyoto City Fire Department says that Kyoto Animation’s Fushimi studio had taken the proper fire protection measures, including performing employee fire drills, as laid out in the city’s fire code.

Thanks - this portion was news to me.  But then I would add - IMO, the Kyoto Fire Department (and others around the naytion) need to review their fire code restrictions.  I'd never allow a spiral staircase or an exit door that didn't sport a panic bar.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So I have 3 kegs for gasoline at my home. Two 18L and one 20L and 4 heaters (Three 9L and one 16L). Only in winter time do I buy gas. So you're telling me that EVERY TIME I buy gas, I have to show my ID and tell them the same reason because of 1 stupid crazy nutter who had some personal issue lit a building on fire?

Japan makes all these stupid little fly-by-night-laws for everything instead of tackling the real issue that caused the arsonist to carry out his act! I mean what's to stop some other clown to look at other flammable liquids? Why not go all out and make a law against lighters! Because that's what he used to light the gas if you wanna get crazy with laws!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I can see that stupid law in effect now!

Gas attendant : Why are you buying gas?

Customer : I uh......uh.......well...um......*runs away

Gas attendant : Ah, he's just shy!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's really not rocket science or even advanced psychology, for the morons feigning stupidity. There are many people who will be put off from doing something they shouldn't when there are simple deterrents in place, like the one discussed in this article.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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