That wasn’t the only piece of police equipment left behind either.

In comparison to their counterparts in some other parts of the world, convenience store bathrooms in Japan are pretty unremarkable. The country’s focus on hygiene and customer service means convenience store restrooms are generally clean and tidy, with few terrifying stains or mysterious odors.

However, at around 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning a customer at a convenience store in Osaka’s Kita Ward found two startling things inside the shop’s restroom: a pair of handcuffs and a loaded gun.

The customer informed the manager, who in turn informed the police, who then were able to trace the handgun and restraints to none other than one of their own officers. Earlier that morning, a 30-something Osaka Prefectural Police sergeant who was assigned to a security detail in the area had also been at the convenience store in order to take a dump.

How do we know that the officer deposited an on-duty doody? Because he felt the need to remove his belt entirely and hang it on the hook on the inside of the bathroom door (more commonly used for hanging the occupant’s bag or coat), and attached to the belt were his holster, pistol, and cuffs. While we’ll give the officer the benefit of the doubt regarding remembering to wash his hands when he was done with his intestinal business, he forgot to strap his belt back when he left the bathroom to go back to work.

In total, about 30 minutes passed between the officer leaving the items behind and them being recovered, and it’s a testament to how safe Japan is that not only did the people who found them promptly contact the proper authorities, the officer himself hadn’t even noticed he was missing his firearm or restraints until he was told, implying that he believes the likelihood of using them is low enough that he feels no need to regularly recheck that they’re still there. As for not noticing that he was missing his belt, the officer was using a squad car during his shift, and sitting down likely made him less likely to notice his pants were riding at a different height than usual.

There are no signs that the gun or handcuffs were used during the 30 minutes they were unattended, but it’s still a serious screw-up, prompting an Osaka Metropolitan Police spokesperson to say “We will strive to more properly control and secure police equipment, so that this does not happen again.” You’ll notice, though, that the statement doesn’t say “so that this does not happen a second time,” which might be because Wednesday’s incident is already the second time a police officer has left a gun in that convenience store’s bathroom, with the last occurrence happening three years ago.

So why does that exact bathroom keep becoming an inadvertent weapons storage locker? It might have something to do with its location, which is close to Osaka’s U.S. consulate, and thus the increased security requirements for the neighborhood. More police officers in the area means more police officers stopping by to use the bathroom than at other convenience stores, and so more chances that one of them might be forgetful. The heightened security may also mean more officers in cars than on foot, which, as discussed above, would make it harder to notice a missing belt.

That said, Japanese police officers forgetting their guns in public restrooms isn’t as rare as you might think. All the same, we figure the latest member of that club is in for some harsh words from his chief, though he can at least take solace in the fact that his blunder didn’t lead to him being outed as a sex worker on the side.

Sources: NHK News Web, Nikkan Sports, Jiji, FNN
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
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