Chalk up another victory for the fun police.

On 27 May, Yamanashi Prefectural Police announced the arrest of 45-year-old Minoru Horiuchi on charges of violating the Currencies and Securities Imitation Control Act. He is accused of creating a counterfeit 10,000-yen (US$92) bill using a color copier at his home in the town of Fujikawaguchiko.

According to police, Horiuchi crafted the fake bill in December of last year. It was determined to be fake because it was lacking the official watermark of Japanese legal tender. Moreover, it was two pieces of paper pasted together…which really makes me wonder why they even bothered mentioning the watermark in the first place.

▼ A real 10,000-yen bill

Horiuchi reportedly told police that he would place the fraudulent bank note on the street because he “enjoyed watching people pick it up.” After which they would likely express annoyance at its obvious uselessness and throw it back onto the street.

By the strict letter of the law, he was engaging in a crime since he crafted the fake currency with the intent of deceptively using it. He simply wasn’t “using” it in the traditional sense of exchanging it for goods and services.

Readers of the news online were largely sympathetic to what appeared to be little more than a harmless prank.

“Lol, dude’s got too much free time.”
“He’s just a fan of social experiments.”
“The poor guy doesn’t even know how to print on both sides of a single sheet of paper.”
“The guy’s 45 and making play money. I think he’s suffered enough.”
“That actually sounds kind of fun.”
“It’s sort of adorable.”
“I don’t feel like this should be a crime.”
“There’s way worse stuff going on in the country. Let him go.”

Taken at face value, this does seem to be mere goofing around, but the plot thickens…

According to Yamanashi Police, since May of last year, scores of fake 10,000-yen bills have been found scattered around the streets and parking lots of Fujikawaguchiko. Littering aside, all it would take is one extremely naive person to attempt to use one of these crummy bills for this prank to blow up into more serious criminal charges.

▼ Our own writers, for example, tend to be the types who spend first and ask questions later.

It’s a prime example of the importance of picking up one’s own toys and, considering the overarching stupidity of the incidents, would seem likely to result in a suspended sentence, which ought to be enough to scare Horiuchi straight.

Then perhaps, after clearing it with any potential spouses, he could focus that playful nature of his into becoming a YouTuber, showing people the sights of Fujikawaguchiko in fun and interesting ways.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun, My Game News Flash
Images: SoraNews24