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Old 2008-06-08, 08:37   Link #381
LynnieS
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: China
Yeah, I was very surprised when I saw the news on the JR Yamanote train's video screen tonight. That intersection, on weekends, is usually very crowded from noon and throughout the entire afternoon. Further up the street - and near the Animate store - are usually some street performers, and if they are cute girls, can be crowded also; luckily, they have been cracking down on them recently.

I have seen accidents there in the past - the most recent being a motorcyclist whose bike got away from him and crashed as a result - and there were always a few Good Samaritans who go to try and help. If 1 or more of the injured got hurt because of that, man...
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Old 2008-06-08, 08:43   Link #382
MakubeX2
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Logically speaking, if he intends to kill lots of people as reported, he should target Shibuya. Not Akihabara. So why didn't he ?
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Old 2008-06-08, 09:08   Link #383
LynnieS
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For that Akihabara crossing and if Chuo-dori was sealed off from car traffic, cars can only come from the Kanda Myojin-dori directions. I don't remember either being too crowded with cars on weekends - it has been a few months since I last went there - but you can still accelerate into the opposing lanes and into the crossing if you want. The major crossing in Shibuya near the Hachiko entrance, while crowded with people, is also almost always crowded with cars stopped while waiting for the green light. Lots of cops around there also with the Japanese nationalists talking at the crowds usually.

I can only think that the guy knew that... Or he has some other reason that will come out later.
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Old 2008-06-08, 11:30   Link #384
Kinny Riddle
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I don't know what to say about that Akiba psycho, and I was planning on going there sometime this year.

I do hope this is a freak one-off incident, but I'll have to be extra vigilant next time when walking on those "pedestrian free" zones during weekends.
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Old 2008-06-08, 11:46   Link #385
cyth
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Let's just hope the media don't identify him as an otaku...
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Old 2008-06-08, 12:07   Link #386
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinny Riddle
I do hope this is a freak one-off incident, but I'll have to be extra vigilant next time when walking on those "pedestrian free" zones during weekends.
For a city as big and heavily populated as Tokyo, I felt very safe while walking its streets during my holiday there last year. (Common sense would still apply - wandering Kabukicho or Roppongi alone past midnight is not a good idea.) And, yes, I visited Akihabara too. It is the last place you'd expect to see such rampage - too "nice boat" to be real. This is just a tragic anomaly. The chances of you landing in such a predicament (touch wood) are probably as good as your chances of getting hit by lightning.

That said, I think the more chilling side of the story comes from what 25-year-old suspect, Tomohiro Kato, told investigators: "I am tired of the world. I came to Akihabara to kill people. Anyone was OK."

Link that to another story that appeared last week:

Suicides top 30,000 for 10th straight year
Quote:
Tokyo (28 May 08): The number of (Japanese) who committed suicide in 2007 is estimated to have topped the 30,000 mark for the 10th straight year despite a recovery in the economy, a tally based on police data showed.

The number of suicides passed the 30,000 threshold for the first time in 1998, when the total was 32,863. The figure swelled in 1998 amid an economic slump marked by a large number of businesses that went under. The annual total has remained above the 30,000 mark each year since.

Japan's suicide rate, or the number of suicides per population of 100,000, stood at 24.0 in 2004 — the ninth worst in the world and second worst among the Group of Eight nations, behind only Russia, whose rate stood at 34.3, according to data compiled by the World Health Organisation.

- Kyodo News
To be sure, that's not really news anymore. Most of us are already aware of Japan's suicide problem. What's disturbing however, is that it correlates with rising knife crimes in the country. It would appear that the disgruntled and disenfranchised are starting to grow more violent.

I want to stress the word "appear". This incident is probably going to trigger some sensational soul-searching for the next few days, but by and large, life will go on as normal in the rest of Japan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toua
Let's just hope the media don't identify him as an otaku...
Kato apparently called himself "yakuza". I suspect he wasn't clear-headed when he said that. More likely than not, his profile is probably going to look similar to those kids who went on shooting sprees in America last year - meaning to say, he's likely to be a lonely, isolated individual shut out from social interaction. Yup, like it or not, he'll probably look like an otaku.
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Old 2008-06-08, 12:16   Link #387
Mystique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MakubeX2 View Post
Logically speaking, if he intends to kill lots of people as reported, he should target Shibuya. Not Akihabara. So why didn't he ?
Precisely.
Logically.
Does it look like this dude was in a sane frame of mind? :\
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I want to stress the word "appear". This incident is probably going to trigger some sensational soul-searching for the next few days, but by and large, life will go on as normal in the rest of Japan.
As is the case for most of us
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Old 2008-06-08, 12:25   Link #388
Claies
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Join Date: May 2007
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Akihabara Stabbing Spree

Related thread on 2channel:
http://mamono.2ch.net/test/read.cgi/...212943586/-100

Suspect image:
http://tv.be-to.com/jlab-live/s/145757.jpg
http://xtp0001.s3.x-beat.com/cgi-bin...nata_24869.jpg

The guy is described as a "model student" who is also very capable in sports. Yes, they'll probably find something to mark him an otaku. Good thing they don't have a Jack Thompson as far as I know.
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Old 2008-06-08, 19:17   Link #389
yezhanquan
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I think TinyRedLeaf will know this reference. My local paper pointed out that with the "maid cafes", the place is becoming a bit sleazy. Granted, it is unavoidable. Still, it might be worthwhile to keep an lookout.
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Old 2008-06-08, 20:03   Link #390
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
I think TinyRedLeaf will know this reference. My local paper pointed out that with the "maid cafes", the place is becoming a bit sleazy. Granted, it is unavoidable. Still, it might be worthwhile to keep an lookout.
nothing sleazy about maid cafes.

MOAR MAIDS
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Old 2008-06-08, 20:12   Link #391
Kang Seung Jae
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Korea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
nothing sleazy about maid cafes.

MOAR MAIDS
Depends on the kind of Maid Cafe.
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Old 2008-06-09, 01:48   Link #392
Ichihara Asako
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More on the Akiha murders:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news...na015000c.html

Quote:
The suspect in a stabbing spree that left seven people dead in Tokyo's Akihabara electric town on Sunday had posted an advance notice about his plans for the crime on a mobile phone site just hours before the rampage, police said.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) said it had received reports that there were similar entries on an Internet site accessible from personal computers. Officers were on alert but could not prevent the fatal rampage.

Tomohiro Kato, 25, the suspect in the random street stabbing on Sunday afternoon, told police that he had announced his plan to assault people on a mobile phone site between the early morning hours of Sunday and shortly past noon on the same day.

The MPD has confiscated Kato's mobile phone and is analyzing its communication records.

Kato first announced his crime on a mobile phone site at 5:21 a.m. on Sunday, according to MPD investigators. The message he posted was titled, "I will kill people in Akihabara," and started with the lines: "I will drive into a crowd, then I will use a knife after I've finished with the vehicle. Goodbye everyone."

He later apparently entered such messages as: "It's about time. Let's go," (at 6:31 a.m.); "Well, I don't care. Even though it's going to be a small-scale attack, I will do it even if it rains," (7:47 a.m.); "It's a day for pedestrian paradise today, isn't it?" (11:45 a.m.); "It's about time," (12:10 p.m.)
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Old 2008-06-09, 03:05   Link #393
TinyRedLeaf
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yezhanquan
I think TinyRedLeaf will know this reference. My local paper pointed out that with the "maid cafes", the place is becoming a bit sleazy. Granted, it is unavoidable. Still, it might be worthwhile to keep an lookout.
I believe you're referring to this article?


Japanese youth's fave hangout turning sleazy

Quote:
TOKYO (9 Jun 08): Proliferation of 'maid cafes' in geek haven has led to rise in crime.

TOKYO'S Akihabara district used to be known the world over as a paradise for computer buffs and people in search of the latest electronic gadgets that Japan has to offer. It was also one of the safest areas in the capital.

But the growing incidence of crime involving young women that accompanied the mushrooming of 'maid cafes' in Akihabara has tarnished the area's image in the past months.

In April, a woman who billed herself as a 'sexy idol' on her blog was arrested by police for exposing her underwear in highly suggestive poses during a 'performance' along Akihabara's main street while scores of men snapped away happily with their cameras.

In recent years, the district has also seen a growing number of young men who are drawn to its 'meido kafue', a kind of role-play restaurant which originated in the area, where young women dressed in classic maid costumes greet male customers with 'Welcome home' salutations and massage their egos by treating them as masters.

Following yesterday's stabbing, the employee of one of the electronics shops that line Akihabara's main street said he was worried that it would scare people away from the district. Fortunately, his fears appeared unfounded as Akihabara returned to normal just a few hours after the incident.

Nevertheless, it is likely to haunt the Japanese capital, which has long prided itself on being one of the world's safest cities.

- The Straits Times
And the moralising has begun, as expected.

Japan shocked and bewildered by random knife killings
Quote:
TOKYO (9 Jun 08): PASSERS-BY prayed and placed flowers on a busy Tokyo shopping street on Monday where seven people were killed the day before in a stabbing rampage, as Japan tried to make sense of the attack and others like it.

The killings follow a string of similar incidents in recent months, shocking Japan and sparking talk of failing communities and declining morality in a country proud of its low crime rate.

"Recently, peoples' relationships have become strained," said 29-year-old Taishi Ikeda, who works in the publishing industry. "There's no-one to talk to when you're troubled."

The suspect in Sunday's attack lived alone and had a temporary job at a car factory, media said. He was reported to be a regular visitor to Akihabara, known for high tech electronic products sold alongside "anime" cartoon goods and specialized cafes where waitresses dress as French maids.

"Japan has entered a period of selfishness. People have the feeling that they can do anything," said Jinsuke Kageyama, a criminal psychologist at Tokyo Institute of Technology. "But when these people fail to fulfill themselves in socially acceptable ways, they are treated as losers and their frustration builds up," he added. "A series of disappointments can lead them to try to regain their sense of self through crime."

Kageyama blamed Japan's obsession with exam grades for making many feel like failures, and said the decline of the extended family was one factor cutting support for troubled youngsters. Tackling the root causes of such attacks would be a complex task, and harsher penalties would likely not be helpful, he said.

- Reuters
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Old 2008-06-09, 03:07   Link #394
Kang Seung Jae
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Quote:
He was reported to be a regular visitor to Akihabara, known for high tech electronic products sold alongside "anime" cartoon goods and specialized cafes where waitresses dress as French maids.
I'm glad they mentioned the electronic stuff before the otaku culture
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Old 2008-06-09, 03:16   Link #395
yezhanquan
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TinyRedLeaf: Yeah, that one, although I was looking at the "hard copy". Kwan Weng Kin's a pretty good man on the ground.
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Old 2008-06-09, 04:02   Link #396
spirits having flown
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This is one of those things that you would never want to experience, especially when it is your first time to visit Akihabara...

When this happened, I was busy looking for a Nintendo DS TV tuner in an LaoX store. As I exited the store, I was surprised to see a lot of police cars surrounding the Toranoana and the Animate stores (which so happened to be the next places I planned to visit). Due to the huge barricade, I had to take the following shots from afar (WARNING: THESE ARE NWS DUE TO THE GRAPHIC NATURE OF THE PICTURES)

Some medical personnel giving CPR to a victim

More victims being helped by medics and police

A shot in front of the Softmap building

Rather than enjoying the day visiting Akiba to buy anime/manga stuff, this kinda turned my day rather sour; after seeing this, I decided to call it a day and return to my hotel

I feel sorry for the victims of this horrible incident and I swear that the person who did this audacious act should be given the punishment due to him. >.<

kj1980 once said that it is better that you keep Japan in your dreams rather than see the harsh reality yourself. He has a point there and now I finally realized what he meant by that...
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Old 2008-06-09, 04:03   Link #397
LiberLibri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toua View Post
Let's just hope the media don't identify him as an otaku...
Fortunately(?) they have been unsuccessful to prove he is an otaku.

The interesting point in this case is that the suspect belongs to the so-called working poor class; he worked at a child company of Toyota as an informal employee with a remarkably low wage. His despair and anger are to be considered in the context of modern alienation of labourers in Japan. Although this crime is in itself a matter of individual personality, I hope it will be a stimulus for people to focus on the problematic recruiting services.
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Old 2008-06-09, 05:34   Link #398
Mystique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
And the moralising has begun, as expected.

Quote:
TOKYO (9 Jun 08): PASSERS-BY prayed and placed flowers on a busy Tokyo shopping street on Monday where seven people were killed the day before in a stabbing rampage, as Japan tried to make sense of the attack and others like it.

The killings follow a string of similar incidents in recent months, shocking Japan and sparking talk of failing communities and declining morality in a country proud of its low crime rate.

"Recently, peoples' relationships have become strained," said 29-year-old Taishi Ikeda, who works in the publishing industry. "There's no-one to talk to when you're troubled."

"Japan has entered a period of selfishness. People have the feeling that they can do anything," said Jinsuke Kageyama, a criminal psychologist at Tokyo Institute of Technology. "But when these people fail to fulfill themselves in socially acceptable ways, they are treated as losers and their frustration builds up," he added. "A series of disappointments can lead them to try to regain their sense of self through crime."

Kageyama blamed Japan's obsession with exam grades for making many feel like failures, and said the decline of the extended family was one factor cutting support for troubled youngsters. Tackling the root causes of such attacks would be a complex task, and harsher penalties would likely not be helpful, he said.
I'll go with that.
Although to give a little credit to the government, referring to a post I made in the 'japanese culture' thread in which me and Liberlibri were briefly mentioning about crime there and (lack of) reporting it, there are usually two ways all that pent up frustration is gonna manifest:
suicide or killing sprees, simply because they no longer care.
And so it was about autumn 2007, there was a stupid amount of news reports on teen suicides and bullying, the government have been trying to campaign for students to learn how to talk to someone and express their problems, rather than feeling like there's no where to turn to, therefore taking their lives.
As to how effective it is against a culture where for hundreds (if not thousands) of years suicide was seen as the honourable thing to do - time will tell.
Quote:
Originally Posted by spirits having flown View Post
kj1980 once said that it is better that you keep Japan in your dreams rather than see the harsh reality yourself. He has a point there and now I finally realized what he meant by that...
For that reason, I kinda keep quiet when i come across starry-eyed people on the internet. To visit Japan as a tourist can and most likely be one of the most magical and amazing times of your life.
To visit Japan as an long term exchange student or to live there is another entire ball game altogether.

Nonetheless, a little bit of reality shouldn't harm your dreams too much regarding Japan, just don't place the culture and country too high on a pedestal.
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Old 2008-06-09, 05:41   Link #399
yezhanquan
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystique View Post
For that reason, I kinda keep quiet when i come across starry-eyed people on the internet. To visit Japan as a tourist can and most likely be one of the most magical and amazing times of your life.
To visit Japan as an long term exchange student or to live there is another entire ball game altogether.

Nonetheless, a little bit of reality shouldn't harm your dreams too much regarding Japan, just don't place the culture and country too high on a pedestal.
I think this is true for almost any country. For a country that receives a lot of flames, long-term stays will often reveal the better sides of the place. Conversely, for a country that is "hyped", longer stays will reveal the darker sides.

Anyway, RIP to all victims.
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Old 2008-06-09, 05:59   Link #400
Fynal_Fyre
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
I think this is true for almost any country. For a country that receives a lot of flames, long-term stays will often reveal the better sides of the place. Conversely, for a country that is "hyped", longer stays will reveal the darker sides.

Anyway, RIP to all victims.
I have the Strait's Times's copy and New Paper's in front of me, and I must say, this is very saddening news for Akiba, I mean, it was already under police surveillance after Ms. You-Know-Who, I hope the Akiba I knew will not become a police state.

And indeed, the power of acceptable social norms and standards is great indeed, even more so if one lives, works, and stays in a very competitive country like Japan.

And RIP indeed.
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