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Patrolman commits suicide in toilet at Yokohama police station

33 Comments

A 25-year-old police officer committed suicide by shooting himself in the toilet at a police station in Yokohama on Saturday.

According to Kanagawa prefectural police, the body of the patrolman, with a bullet wound to his head, was found in a toilet on the first floor of the police station in Izumi Ward at around 8:25 a.m., Sankei Shimbun reported. He was taken to hospital where he was confirmed dead.

Police said a gun was found in the toilet cubicle beside the body and that one bullet had been fired.

The patrolman had been due to go on duty at 8:30 a.m. His supervisor was quoted as saying he had noticed nothing unusual in his behavior over the past few days.

The officer joined the police force in February last year and was assigned to a "koban" in the Izumi district last July.

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33 Comments
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This is the third case I've read here in the last few weeks. Tragic.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

What is going on? Why would such young men do this? Is there no mental health check for recruits?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

RIP.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

May both he and his family find peace!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@sillygirl. I was thinking the same thing. I realise the way you carry yourself doesn't necessarily reflect what's really going on in your head. The police here don't strut about as much as they do in some countries. Does that have an effect on mental toughness? An old friend became a policeman and I remember him saying that part of the training was a psychological interview which he said was tough.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What's going on with the cops here? There seem to be constant reports of suicides. Or is it just that they have the means for a quick suicide when other young men of a similar age don't ??

6 ( +7 / -1 )

His supervisor was quoted as saying he had noticed nothing unusual in his behavior over the past few days.

Yes, Im sure he took his physical beatings and constant beratings as usual.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

This seems to happen very regularly in Japan. Some twenty odd years ago the Australian government banned guns in an attempt to lower the rural suicide rate, which did work and lowered the rural suicide rat by 80% in the first year. Does Japan have to adopt the same tactics with its police force? Further to this point, Japan already has a very high suicide rate, even without guns. I shudder to think how high the rate would go if guns were not so strictly controlled.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"This seems to happen very regularly in Japan"

How regularly????

Yer drawing statistics out of yer ...ss again?!

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

Gambling is illegal in Japan, yet pachinko parlours (and those little prize exchange places) operate with impunity. The Yakuza can't be touched despite everyone knowing that they're involved in criminal activity. Human traffickers operate legally, their victims are called 'trainees' and 'entertainers'.

With all this, it's not hard to see why being a policeman must be one of the most depressing and least satisfying jobs in Japan.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Japan has a high suicide rate, it's a top 20 country for that according to statistics I have seen and is really only eclipsed by Korea in terms of the modern, wealthy countries.

Japan has a problem...and where would that stem from?

Here my guess:

Ridiculous working hours.

No work/life balance.

No substantial holidays, or more succinctly, the ridiculous prevailing idea in the Japanese workplace that you shouldn't really take holidays as you will burden your co-workers.

Bullying and archaic management practices and strategies in the workplace (and beyond).

A failure in general to seriously acknowledge that any of this is a problem.

A failure or inability by government to implement laws that actively deal with the above.

A failure to properly acknowledge and educate the general populace on mental illness, it's prevalence and how to treat or support those who suffer from it.

etc

etc

It's not good enough to just carry a shockingly high casualty rate of average citizens from day to day life and pretend that it doesn't mean anything, that it's not a symptom of a much broader and deeply rooted set of issues. Wake up Japan.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Bullying in the Japanese police is rife, especially towards new recruits, according to some senior police offers I worked with.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Since ancient times, Japanese people have been relatively tending more toward carrying out a suicide such as HARAKIRI, KAMIKAZE, double suicide and you name it. Rightly or wrongly, I think the suicide of the 25-year-old police officer this time is considered one of them. RIP.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Japanese police don't need to be armed. Why not follow Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK, and do away with the guns?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

What's going on with the cops here? There seem to be constant reports of suicides. Or is it just that they have the means for a quick suicide when other young men of a similar age don't ??

Leaving aside whether or not this claim is accurate, it needs to be understood that in Japan almost anything can become national news. A cop committing suicide in Newark would probably not makes the news in NYC but one doing it in Yokohama makes the Tokyo news. A traffic accident involving fatalities or a house fire involving fatalities in Fukuoka 1100 km will be on the news in Tokyo. A traffic accident or house fire with fatalities in LA would probably not make the news in San Francisco let alone the national news in the US unless the incident was very large and spectacular.

Also, as a quick Internet search will show, police in the US are also known for having a suicide rate higher than that of the general public. In some years more American police have died by their own hand than have been killed by felons or in traffic accidents combined.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"This seems to happen very regularly in Japan"

How regularly????

Yer drawing statistics out of yer ...ss again?!

Peeping Tom - Calm down. "seems to happen very regularly" is not a statistic.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japanese police don't need to be armed. Why not follow Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK, and do away with the guns?

I've often thought the same. Over the years, I think I've read of more cases of the police using their guns in a suicide than in the course of their work.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Peeping Tom - Calm down. "seems to happen very regularly" is not a statistic."

So, what yer saying is that coppers commit suicide regularly in Japain?

All I asked was “how regularly"?

Now regularly means, ordinarily, usually.

Is a copper's suicide inside of toilet usual in Japain?

And don't go on telling me it has happened 10 times in the past 20 years as this does not fit the definition.

I work with definitions therefore I’m very picky about them.

Still waiting for the answer.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Over the years, I think I've read of more cases of the police using their guns in a suicide than in the course of their work

...or had their own guns seized and used against them, sometimes fatally (1990s?? in Nakano???)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Why not follow Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK, and do away with the guns?"

Our UK police force does have an Armed Response Units; there is also Authorised Firearms Officers (AFO).

AFO is the basic designation for a British police officer who has been trained in the use of firearms and has been authorised to carry them on duty.

Our British police are not entirely disarmed, contrary to what some would like us to believe.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

And to add my 2 cents Hollywood style. He may have been murdered. Suppose he was in a particularly corrupt precinct, one where every cop was on the take, but he just wouldn't do any bad no matter what. That might bother other cops. I watch too many movies.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I know this is a straw man argument here, but the second saddest thing about this guy taking his life is that he did it in a toilet. I mean - really? That is where you want to end it all? Couldn't he have found a nice grassy meadow somewhere? View of the ocean? I know - it's a weird comment. It's just not the first time this has happened and....well....it just make me think.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Only a year? It's usually the older workers that end it all not the fresh recruits. While suicide is high in Japan, so is blaming something on suicide, so not clear which here

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Peeping Tom,

All of the countries I mentioned have highly trained armed response units. Regular cops are unarmed, though, and populations prefer it that way.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

When more police die by firearms than "bad guys" then methinks it's time to take away the guns.

Never understood the need for regular patrolmen to be armed in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RIP to the patrolmen.. They should investigate on what was the cause that led him to kill himself. As we all know, because of the hierarchy system that Japan has, bullying not only in schools but on workplaces are rampant. This guys is young, only 25 years old, maybe a new recruit that was bullied, and can't take it anymore. As the above comments mention, they should really have psychological screenings for people wanting to become police officers. Their job is not like office work, they see people killed, go to murder scenes, etc.. It's a high stress job and if even in the office they're are getting bullied, this will really be the result.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Something is going on in the force. What is the problem? This is the third time I read this story and they are almost exactly the same.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Something happened that he could no longer live with. If he left no note we can only speculate what made him do this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, Japanese "coppers" (Are you James Cagney in disguise? No one has used that term since about 1941) have shot themselves in Koban toilets several times in the last few years. Only the most anal retentive person would concern themselves with silly little language caveats about regularity.

Start working out, get a girlfriend. Something to work off your little tantrums.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If pervingtom must know, there has been three suicides (reported) in the space of a year, I'd say that's quite frequent.

Moderator: Please address other posters by their correct user name.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sadly in Japan, suicide is an accepted ritual throughout history. Whether for honor or to end some social stigma or pain it just seems to be accepted as an honorable way to deal with the problem.

It is not!…and never should be. It is a selfish act that causes pain to your loved ones who have to give with the guilt, shame and pain.

Wake up Japan and deal with this!!

It is not in any shape or form honorable.

RIP Young peeler.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

First thought this article must have been a re-print of an earlier article. Japanese police officers + guns + toilets = a lethal mix.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is not in any shape or form honorable. Wake up Japan and deal with this!!

Its already ingrained in their DNA. You can't just "change" their way of thinking.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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