Shonen Jump manga writer’s lawyer says he’s already been punished by society.

Fans of the manga Act-Age, as well as fans of human decency in general, were shocked last summer when the comic’s writer, Tatsuya Matsumoto (also known by his pen name, Tatsuya Matsuki) was arrested for groping a 14-year-old schoolgirl as he rode past her on the streets of Tokyo’s Nakano neighborhood. Following his arrest, Matsumoto admitted to the charges, but it wasn’t until this Tuesday that his trial opened in Tokyo district court.

In the courtroom Matsumoto once again admitted to having groped the girl, and when asked to explain his thought process leading up to the incident, replied with:

“I was feeling worried and uneasy about many things, but didn’t express that to anyone, and had fallen into despair. I also have mental complexes regarding women, and so forced myself onto a stranger.”

“My actions towards the victim are something for which there is no sufficient apology,” Matsumoto added. However, a request from his defense lawyer shows a less than complete willingness to subject himself to the full force of the law. The prosecutors are seeking a sentence of one-and-a-half years in prison for Matsumoto, but his lawyer is asking that the sentence be suspended (i.e. that Matsumoto serve no jail time as long as he abides by the terms of probation). In explaining why he feels Matsumoto should not be required to spend any time in prison, his lawyer said:

“[Tatsuya Matsumoto] has received societal punishment, such as the cancellation of his manga’s serialization.”

It is true that manga publisher Shueisha cancelled Act-Age, which ran in its Weekly Shonen Jump anthology magazine, and the decision came swiftly, with Shueisha announcing the decision just two days after Matsumoto’s arrest. However, whether that should be considered a form of “societal punishment” against Matsumoto is debatable, especially since the loss of the manga also has a negative financial effect on Shueisha and Act-Age artist Shiro Usazaki, who had no involvement in the crime.

Matsumoto’s sentence is scheduled to be handed down on December 23.

Source: NHK News Web
Top image: Pakutaso (edited by SoraNews24)
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