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back to article Cat cuffing: Japanese cops collar suspect for mass murder e-threat

Japanese cops have cuffed a suspect in a high-profile cyber threat and computer hacking case that had police examining a cat for clues at one stage of the investigation. Police said a memory stick found on a cat's collar led them to make the arrest. However, a whopping four innocent people, including an anime director, have …

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Big Brother

They have the stray cats under CCTV surveillance in Japan? Or, was it an undercover police cat?

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Stop

Stool cat?

Rats!

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Anonymous Coward

Somebody's been watching 1965 Disney...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059793/

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Coat

The Arrestocats?

Yeah I'll get me coat.

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Trollface

Everybody is guilty of something...

... now get those suspects to confess something they actually did!

Nasty, when 'plausible deniability' is replaced with 'plausible guilt'.

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Paranoia Agent

... now get those suspects to confess something they actually did!

"Confessions" under duress are pretty common in Japan.

Additionally, all this sounds like a plot of a Satoshii Kun movie.

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As a little background, the Japanese police convict 99% of the people they accuse - largely on the back of confessions. The society places such high importance on 'doing as you're told' and following authority that people will confess to pretty much anything, apparently.

I read a bit in The Economist about this same case (and this is all from my admittedly fallible memory, so some bits might be out of wack) which quoted some of the previous 'suspects'. One of them was a young guy - 19, maybe? - who said he confessed basically because it would bring more dishonor to his family if he tried to say that the authorities were wrong. The cops just held him and beat on him mentally until he fell apart. At the time I read the article, they hadn't found 'the real culprit', presuming they have already.

I think this is probably a bit difficult for Westerners to understand, since individuality and personal autonomy are so important to us. So it's easy to project our expectations of what a criminal is like or what police will do onto the Japanese when it doesn't really match.

The whole thing is also becoming a big deal over there, as people start to question the government more - I'm guessing Fukushima might have something to do with it - so it's not far-fetched.

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Anonymous Coward

I still find it perverse that everyones still so excited by a broken nuclear reactor and the generally low levels of radiation and have forgotten the 15,000+ people that died, 2,000+ people missing and, the hundreds of orphans, people whose entire families were wiped out and entire towns wiped off the map.

Anyway as to the confession thing, the suspect also generally doesn't access to a lawyer for a large part and even when they do the lawyers job tends to be getting you to admit you did it. They tend not to really do much police work in general and have been on the record as saying if they lose the ability to mentally abuse people into making confessions they'd have no other way of proving crimes (while going onto say that they have to do things like ask for wire tapping and warrants - shock horror)

They also don't really have a jury system.

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Holmes

I think it's the taint of radiation...

I better add a disclaimer that I know someone who's involved in the relief efforts and I've seen a lot about both of these stories on Japanese TV (but my aural understanding of Japanese is limited).

There are three big problems with the Fukushima reactors even though only a few people were directly killed by them (and as far as I know, all of them were employed more or less directly by TEPCO). The first big problem is the cost of the cleanup, both in cash and time. The second big problem is the risk of a secondary radiation disaster, such as the collapse of the #4 reactor building causing a large release from the spent fuel pool. The third big problem is the radioactive 'taint', which inhibits the normal recovery. Kobe suffered a similarly massive disaster, but without the looming threat of radiation, and the Japanese quickly restored the city, whereas the recovery work in the entire area around Fukushima remains slow and even inhibited.

On the cat story, I think he is crazy and playing crazy games with the police. The latest wrinkle is that he may have created fake evidence to discredit the other evidence. There may have been other cats and other collars involved... Insofar as I don't trust the cat's 'testimony', this looks like it might be a good circus in the making.

You also tapped on the topic of jury duty, and I recently read about that from the Japanese perspective. However, I mostly dismiss juries from the American perspective of 12 novices trying to figure out who has the best lawyer.

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For the life of me I can't figure out why I got so many downvotes for this - all I did was reference something I'd read in a pretty middle-of-the-road, well-respected magazine, and mildly present a personal hypothesis. Am I missing something here?

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Yes, you are missing retards who pass here.

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Wot David W Said

The japanese mentality is "he's been arrested, he must be guilty" - which leads to even jury trials with clearly dodgy evidence gaining convictions - but in the meantime yakuza operate fairly openly without fear of arrest.

The japanese government has supposedly been trying to root out this type of police corruption since the late 1980s but I don't see they've gained much headway.

(FWIW, you don't _ever_ want to be caught speeding in Japan)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wot David W Said

The Japanese authorities tend to operate under the opinion "Organised crime is better than disorganised crime"

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Re: Wot David W Said

When I was in Tokyo, I was hanging out with an expat acquaintance of mine, and he was telling me about this street he lived on where some advertising loudspeaker was blaring constantly, keeping everybody awake. The police had been called multiple times to no avail; finally, a Yakuza moved into the area. Suddenly, the speaker stopped.

I suggested to him that, based on my short period of observation, the Yakuza are the most well-adjusted people in Japan. He paused for a moment, and said, "You know, I think you're probably right."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wot David W Said

The thing about expats in Japan.. especially white males .. is that they all have a lot of stories. Most of them having little or no connection to reality.

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Re: Wot David W Said

I think this guy was too crazy himself to have bothered to make anything up. Hell, he was nutty enough that he might as well have been Japanese!

That said, I'm not sure how anyone could live in Japan without going a little crazy. I mean, this is a place where it only took five minutes of walking before I randomly found a middle-school themed strip club.

No, really. And no, I didn't go in.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wot David W Said

No connection to your reality, but every connection to racism and abuse. If you haven't lived and worked in Japan at a Japanese company for over 10 years, it sounds like BS. You need to hear what Japanese guys talk about. Then you'll really be shocked. You must remember, keeping face is *the* most important thing to Japanese. This is why outsiders (literally what you are called here) only see nice smiling faces, bows, and excellent service. It's the way the samurai trained them to be.

A short tale by AC:

"Here come the invaders! Remember to all smile and be really nice. Maybe they won't realize how ####ed up I am." Later on. "Good. Now that we have this US sanctioned government and I'm in control of it, I can keep being ####ed up."

I once read a book called Big Men Little People because I was living in those parts. Japan has a similar history of big men and little people.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wot David W Said

>I think this guy was too crazy himself to have bothered to make anything up.

What he thought was a "yakuza" was probably just a normal "yankee".

>Hell, he was nutty enough that he might as well have been Japanese!

Eh?

>That said, I'm not sure how anyone could live in Japan without going a little crazy.

I live in Japan, have children here etc.. and I'm not crazy.

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Re: Wot David W Said

>No connection to your reality, but every connection to racism and abuse.

>If you haven't lived and worked in Japan at a Japanese company for over 10 years,

Expats in Japan also like to pull that trick out of the bag don't they.. they either have more stories or their stories are more valid because they have lived here longer blah blah blah.

It usually goes something like this:

A:"This one time when I was out with my 50 super model Japanese girlfriends some yakuza started having a go at me so I beat him up"

B:"Sounds like bullshit to me.. sure you didn't get shouted at by some yankee kid, pissed your pants and ran home to your leopalace room?"

A:"Hey man, you know nothing about JAPAN.. I've lived here for a million years and I work at a Japanese company!"

B: "I've lived here longer for you, have PR, kids and JLPT N1 ..."

A: "ugh ugh ugh... Did I tell you about this one time I beat up 50 yakuza with my fists even though they had samurai swords?"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wot David W Said

> This is why outsiders (literally what you are called here)

I somehow missed this. Yes, gaijin does mean literally "outside person" but it's meaning isn't exactly the same as foreigner in English. Think about how a lot of Japanese use the word kaigai (overseas) to mean "anywhere that isn't Japan".

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Re: Wot David W Said

"I beat up 50 yakuza with my fists even though they had samurai swords"

I get the idea that 'stories expats tell' might not necessarily be true, but I think there's a bit of a difference in the plausibility department between claiming a yakuza got an annoying advertising loudspeaker shut up, and claiming the single-handed personal defeat of 50 of said yakuza.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wot David W Said

There are those kind of posers, but they are not restricted to Ekaiwa teachers in Japan. Most of the jaw dropping stuff is not, "Look what I did!" Yeah, who cares. BTW, I've not heard this kind of talk since I was in elementary school. It's more like, "Look what I see over there!" "Holy cow! I can't believe my eyes! Where the F are we?" "Japan" "Oh..."

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Re: Wot David W Said

Speaking of 'what I see over here', two of the more amusing ones - though presumably based in the classic English errors rather than genuine nuttiness - were a store called "Beady", which had the catch phrase, "I SEE YOUR BEADY EYES!", and a youngish girl carrying a purse with large, be-sparkled text saying "USE ME".

Indeed.

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