Police are advising not to approach the suspect who may also be capable of hurling complements or playing “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel from a distance.

On 15 July Hyogo Crime Prevention Net issued a “suspicious person report” regarding an incident that took place earlier that morning.

According to the report, at about 7:35 a.m., a bearded man wearing sunglasses and dressed head to toe in blue-collar work clothes was seen in Suma Ward of Kobe City. The middle-aged man reportedly waved and blew kisses from his car window directed towards a young girl who was walking to school.

Unsettled by the man’s gestures of affection, the girl fled the scene, and unsettled by her reaction, the man also left quickly.

The girl then went to police, who published her report which would later cause the internet to react with incredulousness and interesting takes on Italian culture.

“I think he was Italian.”
“Well, he is suspicious…but…”
“Huh, so this is a crime now?”
“That stuff is normal in Italy.”
“Is blowing a kiss an obscene act?”
“I bet if the suspect was good-looking none of this would have happened.”
“Back in the 90s no one would even think twice about something like that.”
“In Italy, it’s rude if the woman doesn’t return the gesture.”
“We live in a repressed society.”
“Hey wait a minute! If the guy was in his car, how did the girl know he was dressed head to toe in work clothes?”

Some comments also pointed out what most likely happened in this odd scenario. Have you ever walked along the street and come across a total stranger waving or calling out to you? Then you return the wave or greeting only to find out that they were really calling to someone behind you.

In the same way, it wouldn’t be hard to assume that a guy dressed in his work clothes early in the morning may have been seeing off a girlfriend, wife, or daughter who just happened to be standing near the schoolgirl who filed the report. That would also explain why he escaped too, having realized what it must have looked like he was doing.

But that’s only a theory. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and the girl did the right thing in reporting it. In the end, whether this is excessive vigilance or actual predatory behavior can’t be known for certain.

But one thing we can all agree on is that the Italian government really ought to start some cultural awareness raising campaigns in Japan.

Source: Hyogo Bohan Net, Itai News (Japanese)
Top Image: Wikipedia/Presidenza della Repubblica (Cropped by RocketNews24)