Man caught driving the wrong way on expressway: “I went too far and was going back the way I came.”

On 22 September at around 10:40 a.m. a 77-year-old man was caught driving at high speed in the wrong direction along the Takamatsu Expressway in Japan’s Kagawa Prefecture. According to police, the unidentified man was trying to retrace his steps after traveling one kilometer the wrong way.

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Osaka woman arrested for attempting to kill husband after he saved her life

Osaka prefectural police announced on 20 September the arrest of 48-year-old Masumi Nishino for the attempted murder of her husband and arson of their home and office.  This arrest was made possible only after Nishino’s allegedly intended victim/husband saved her life by pulling her from the very same building she set on fire.

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Would-be bank thief just fails at everything

Working in a bank seems like a fairly boring job most days. You talk to customers, fill out some paper work, deal with large sums of cash that you can’t use in awesome rap videos, and hope there aren’t any crazy people looking for a quick payday. But what happens when one of those crazy people walks into your branch and demands a bunch of money? Well, if you’re lucky, it goes about as well as it did for this bumbling bank robber in Chiba Prefecture.

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Pensioner pretends to be deceived by telephone fraud, helps catch criminals

Telephone fraud is a serious problem in Japan and many elderly people fall victim to it each year. Known as “ore ore sagi“, fraudsters often pretend to be the call recipient’s son, using such lines as, “Mom, it’s me, it’s me! I’m in trouble!” to trick large sums of money from the unsuspecting party, and banks now post warnings next to their ATMs asking people only to send money if they’re 100-percent sure of who they’re sending it to.

Thanks to increased awareness of the problem, however, more and more people are beginning to see through this type of scam. One particularly clued-up 69-year-old who realized something was wrong, in fact, has recently been co-operating with local police by pretending that she had been duped by a call she received from fraudsters, ultimately leading to their arrests.

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“You’re taking peeping photos, aren’t you?” Smartphone extortion scam hits hard in Shinjuku

Many would agree that smartphones are the easiest and most convenient way to stay entertained no matter where you go, provided there’s reception. Although, they do distract us from what’s happening in the immediate vicinity. Texting and checking apps while walking through the streets of a busy city can lead to collisions with people or signposts, or even traffic if one isn’t careful! Now, a recent string of scams in Tokyo shows that the distractedness we experience when on our phones also make us a target. Read More

Japanese pro boxer condemns the law for classifying him as a dangerous weapon

On September 9, Hozumi Hasegawa, a second-division professional boxer competing successfully at a world level, made a very angry post to his blog condemning the nation’s laws for preventing him from raising his hand against anyone outside of work, regardless of the circumstances.

We’ve probably all heard the story in unspecific terms: rumor states that a trained fighter must register his own fists as lethal weapons. It would then stand to reason that any scuffle involving that person would put him on the receiving end of severe charges for battery and assault with a dangerous weapon. Could it be that all the hearsay is actually true?!

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Japan’s shopkeepers get tough with petty thieves, threaten death, man-on-man action

Be it a show of bravado, the result of peer pressure, or a misguided act of teenage rebellion, shoplifting – or manbiki as it is known – is a crime that thousands of kids across Japan commit each year. Most, no sooner have they pocketed some trinket or other, regret their actions immediately and are terrified to return to the scene of the crime lest they be apprehended by the store owner or a SWAT team lying in wait. A few, though, make a habit of stealing little odds and ends from stores, and before long it becomes a serious problem.

Rest assured, though, that Japan’s shopkeepers are on the lookout for sticky-fingered school kids, and are giving them fair warning of the terrible things that will happen should they be caught pilfering, with promises to hunt down, and in some cases physically violate, petty thieves.

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Supermarket rampage leaves 103 groceries in critical condition

A tragic scene unfolded in a supermarket in Kurashiki, Okayama last Thursday as 32-year-old Shinji Kuroki went on a mass poking and squishing rage inside. Details of the total damage are sketchy but we received reports that packs of meat had holes poked in them with a finger and loaves of bread have been seen lying on the ground, smashed in cold blood.

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Man walks 1,400km home after getting mugged on the other end of Japan

The mother of a 25-year-old man was stunned to see him arrive home after he was declared missing for several days. When she last saw him he left his hometown of Sendai to attend a national trading card game competition in Kitakyushu city on 23 August.

However, when he never made his return flight on 25 August, she got worried. It turned out that her son was robbed of his wallet and mobile phone and spent the following 11 days traveling back to Sendai on foot. Upon his return the son said, “I never wanted to make a fuss. I’m sorry to everyone I inconvenienced.”

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Man in Taiwan arrested for… polishing other people’s cars

Recently in Taiwan, authorities finally apprehended a man who had been terrorizing a Taipei community for an untold stretch of time. This possible terrorist had been brazenly walking from car to a car with a cloth and wiping them down until they sparkled. The fiend!

Thankfully, a brave citizen saw their own car being shined by the man and reported him to the proper authorities. Unfortunately, the people of Taipei only had a brief respite from the horrors he unleashed as police released him shortly afterwards.

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Appalling string of thefts targets religious offerings in tsunami-damaged town

Living in Japan, it’s easy to take safety and honesty for granted. This is, after all, the country where public trains make ideal spots for a nap.

That said, with over 150 million people in the country, you’re bound to have a few bad apples, such as the lowlifes who’ve decided there’s no better place for a crime spree than the town of Yamamoto, which was hit hard by the massive earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

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Allegedly abusive passenger judo-thrown by female station worker

It’s an old stereotype that all East Asians know martial arts and one that’s far from the truth. However, you never know when someone you least expect is going to pop out some taekwondo, karate, judo, or, in the words of James Brown, ka-razy.

Hiroshi Ebina learned that the hard way when a 21-year-old female station attendant he got mixed up with took him down in one move having good old-fashioned judo under her presumably black belt.

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15-year-old girl tries to scam adult out of $40,000 – gets caught dressed like a businessman

What is with the kids these days? First, it was high school students committing gruesome murders and now it’s middle school students getting involved in telephone scams.

It’s enough to make you shout, “Are the kids alright??”

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Man arrested for trying to take a video up girls’ skirts, recorded self as well

Kanagawa Prefectural Police had an easy day of work this Thursday when they arrested 31-year-old Hirotaka Kikuchi on charges of voyeurism (deemed ‘harassment’ by Kanagawa Prefecture). Although it took some time, the suspect was quite easy to find after he accidentally videoed himself while setting up his so-called hidden cameras.

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Man photographed robbing ramen shop at knife point

Kurumaya Ramen is a peace-loving chain restaurant in Eastern Japan where you can enjoy a nice Kimchi Miso Ramen and the staff appear to be dressed like Super Mario. However, on 27 August it was the scene of an armed robbery.

Luckily in this day and age everyone is carrying a phone. As this potentially violent robber had his back to group of customers one of them pulled out their phone and did the first thing that came to mind in such an emergency.

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Man arrested for stealing 200 bicycle seats for their “scent of a woman”

It’s been nearly three days since we last reported on the arrest of a sexual deviant inventing a new way to get himself arrested by throwing pee at young women. So we’re clearly long overdue for another guy pushing the envelope of creepy crime.

On 24 August, Kanagawa Prefectural Police picked up Joji Kondo for stealing three seats from women’s electric bicycles in a housing complex at around 4:00 in the morning. After searching Kondo’s home they uncovered a further 200 seats.

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One million cockroaches escape from farm in China

Remember that scene from The Mummy where what seems like a million scarabs pour out of every little crack and crevice, creating a sea of writhing beetles? Yeah, that actually happened in real life. With cockroaches.

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Four teenagers mug man to buy special attack uniforms for meeting AKB48

On 22 August, four youths between the ages of 15 and 17 were apprehended for robbing and injuring a man in the streets of Tokyo. While in custody one of the teenagers confessed they had taken the man’s money because they “wanted to get some special attack uniforms [tokkoufuku] and go to an AKB48 handshake meet.”

Well, that certainly clears up everything!

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Woman ties herself up at home and calls police to get out of going to work

No matter how great your job as a chocolate taster may be, there will eventually come a day when you wake up, roll over, and think, “Oh, gawd, I do not want to go to work today!”

Now, if you were a normal person, you might lounge in bed for a few minutes before sighing and forcing yourself up. Or, if you were really desperate, you might even call in with a fake cough or a miserable story about your Aunt Mildred who fell and broke her spleen and needs a spleen cast.

Then again, if you were this 20-something woman in Tokyo, you might come up with an altogether more, uh, unique plan.

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