Robber Demands Cash At Store, Foreign Clerk Misunderstands

A robber tries to demand cash from a foreign store clerk, but clerk misunderstands, Tokyo.

Last Thursday, a man strode into a Tokyo convenience store armed with a knife, no doubt confidence in his plan to get some quick cash. However the would-be robber’s plans quickly came undone when his threats failed to register with the Nepalese employee who was on shift at the time. When told to hand over the cash, the worker apparently did not understand and simply responded with “Why?”. Thrown off by this question, the man fled empty handed. It appears that for once, having a language barrier actually proved useful!

The story calls to mind a nearly identical incident that occurred two years ago in Ibaraki Prefecture, as well as another attempted robbery in Osaka last year wherein a convenience store clerk stunned a criminal by trying to scan his knife at the counter .

Police are on the lookout for a twenty-something male dressed in black wearing a grey bandana.

From TBS News:

“Robber Unable to Communicate With Foreign Store Clerk, Flees Without Taking Anything

On the morning of September 10th, a man stormed into a convenience store near JR Ikebukuro Station demanding money, but fled empty handed when the foreign male store clerk couldn’t understand his threatening words.

At 3 pm. on the 10th, a man brandishing a box cutter rushed into a convenience store located near Ikebukuro Station and threatened the 20 year-old clerk by saying, “Take the money out the register and put it in the bag!”. Unable to understand what he meant, the part-time worker from Nepal asked, “Why?”. While the man was busy explaining it was because he “didn’t have money”, a customer entered the store, forcing him to leave empty handed.

The man is reported to be in his 20’s, roughly 175 cm tall, and is dressed in all-black with a grey bandana. Police are investigating the incident as an attempted robbery.

From 2ch:

栓抜き攻撃(禿)@\(^o^)/ :

Why? www


How is it that there’s a foreigner working as a store clerk who doesn’t know Japanese?


The criminal was probably the one wondering “Why?”


The robber should have kept saying “Money! Money!”

スターダストプレス(dion軍)@\(^o^)/ :

He probably meant something like ‘Why do I have to hand the money over to you?’

ジャンピングパワーボム(チベット自治区)@\(^o^)/ :

I think the robber is a pretty good guy for explaining it’s “because I don’t have money”

レインメーカー(東京都)@\(^o^)/ :

It’s not “Because I don’t have money”, it should be “Because if you don’t give it to me I’m gonna stab you”.

タイガードライバー(四国地方)@\(^o^)/ :

How is it that there’s a guy working the register who doesn’t know Japanese?

トペ スイシーダ(東京都)@\(^o^)/ :

Being Nepalese he’s already used to kukri, so to him a box cutter is like a toy

リキラリアット(東京都)@\(^o^)/ :

Don’t hire foreigners who don’t know the language!


Well, for sure you gotta think “Why?”. The thing about convenience store robberies is they involve a lot of high risks for very little reward.


I’m glad the Nepalese guy got through that ordeal without any injuries.
Give him a bonus.


The employee responds “Why?” when asked to hand over the money.
The robber responds, “Because I don’t have money”
It’s funny how overly reasonable both of them are.


Well this is a first wwww


“I’ve got an idea!” says Sukiya


There are people from countries far poorer than our own making an honest living, and then there are scumbags like this…
As a Japanese, it makes me sad (´;ω;`)


It’s getting hard to be a robber these days


From now robbers will have to study foreign languages.

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  • Anonymous Former Japan Gaijin

    Typical Japan. They’re more focused on the bad Napali who had the nerve to work at the convenience store, than the Japanese robber who tried to rob the clerk. They complain that you don’t speak Japanese, but when you do speak Japanese to them, they ignore you as if you don’t even exist because you’re not even a person.

    What xenophobic frog in the well country it is. The entire country is only focused on their race. What a strange country. I’m glad I’m out of that place for good finally, and stopped wasting 5 years of my life there being treated like a gaijin idiot monkey in a zoo.

    • Realist

      I’m not Japanese and I do agree that Japanese like to keep their groups relatively pure, but honestly, you sound like you went to Japan cus you thought you were gonna be admired for being white and speaking English and you were gonna be swimmin’ in pussy and when nobody gave a shit about you, you got pissed off and left. Just sayin’ that’s what it sounds like.

      • Lol

        To me, it just sounds like japanese people are cold and self-centred. Which is true. They, for the most part, only care about themselves.

        • Realist

          Why would you expect differently? A foreigner goes to another country and you expect them to immediately integrate you and take care of you? If you want people to do that, then you need to prove your worth first, no matter what country you’re in. If you show up with solutions to their problems, with talents that can advance their fields, they will give you the respect and love you want. If you went because your life hit a dead end back in your home country and you thought these guys would take better care of you, then prepare to run into the same dead ends again and go straight back down to the bottom of society.

        • Realist

          I dare venture that nobody here complaining about how he was treated in Japan had anything to offer them. Everybody with a complaint probably had it bad in his own country, has no job skills, doesn’t even look good, and went to Japan thinking he could be a fucking English teacher and be the most popular person on the block. Nobody with a complaint went to Japan as a renown neurosurgeon sent by his hospital to teach them cutting edge technologies. Nobody with a complaint went to Japan on a $500,000 per year salary to develop the next generation computer operating system. Because those people were winners at home and they’re winners everywhere they go. The complainers were losers in their own country and are now shocked and angry that they’re still losers in Japan.

    • Realist

      And you spent 5 years there? Good god! Most people who don’t like how they’re treated in a country leave quickly and simply tell the folks back home that that country was, “Meh, not for me.” If I didn’t like a country, I’d bounce in 7-14 days depending on why I was there. If I was stupid enough to sign a work contract without figuring out if I’d like the place first, I’d give it 6 months before hikin’ it; if I was sent by my company for a joint venture, then a year tops. But 5 fucking years?? That sounds like you weren’t treated well back home either, but you thought that with your qualifications (white, speaks English), you’d make it big in Japan, after all, the anime convinced you they’re really friendly over there. So you put all your last hopes of being respected and well-liked on Japan and spent the next 5 desperate years of your life trying to figure out the secret to meshing in with their society. When it became painfully clear that it wasn’t going to work out, you developed a bitter hatred for that country because your dreams were dashed. Japan became that woman who you loved and wanted to marry but broke your heart. Yet, you still care so deeply for her which is why you still visit sites like this and even attend your local Japanese cultural events. But when speaking about her, you’ll mask your undying feelings by speaking poorly of her, vainly trying to convince your heart that you love her no longer. LOLOLOL I really enjoyed writing this, by the way.

      • Paul

        You enjoyed writing that?
        Oh that’s nice. because no one will ever read it.
        Your opinion means nothing!
        You are not special, your wall of text is neither insightful or even enjoyable. But like..whatever.
        Wall of text/end
        Blah blah blah read the fine print *no one cares about your

        • Realist

          No one will ever read it? Well, I’m sorry I touched a raw nerve there, Mr. No one (who not only read it but bothered to reply angrily).

          • Ill kim

            hey realist dont listen to this mental midget paul what you said makes perfect sense dont ever let that negative dumb bitch convince you have no one on your side

          • Realist

            Not trying to get people on my side or form teams or anything LOL. Just did a few little simple extrapolations.

            1. He spoke Japanese to them. = He spent a lot of effort learning a new language most likely because he thought it would get him somewhere in life. You’re more likely to be frustrated if you fail after great effort.

            2. They ignored him and he was angry. = They didn’t bully him; they just let him do his thing and they did their thing. He wasn’t not happy with that, which means he didn’t wanna do his thing, he wanted to do their thing but they didn’t want him in their group. He’s thinking, “Why not?? I learned your language to be in your group! Why reject me?” And that rejection after such effort angers him.

            3. He hated it but spent 5 years there. = This one speaks volumes. He desperately tried to get it to work and he didn’t want to go home because he’s not well-treated at home either. Why so desperate? It was his last hope; he thought he could could suddenly end up integrated in the type of society that anime had portrayed Japan to be. If he’s not well-respected at home, it’s probably because he pissed his life away and has no admirable skills. Why would he think he could get away with it in Japan? Because he thought being white and speaking English would be enough over there.

          • metron

            you’re just being an asshole. all this text is saying much more about you yourself. i’m sensing some jealousy

          • Realist

            I can’t help it. I’m an asshole when I hear losers complain. I honestly didn’t mean to write so much; I wanted to keep it brief, but there were just so many aspects about that post to take apart, it all just flowed out naturally.

            Jealous… that he… went to Japan… couldn’t get people to like him and… left hating the place? LOL Your sensory skills sure are impressive… almost as impressive as the OP’s experience in Japan LOLOL

          • metron

            your text seems rather specific. like you are trying to compensate for something. i’m not surprised it flowed out naturally (twice)

          • Realist

            It’s actually not that specific. There are no details about any of the pathetic shit that he probably tried in order to make friends, nothing about his probable struggles in the workplace, nothing. I only assumed what was easily deduced. You have “specific” and “well-written” confused with each other. “Loser-beta-male-anime-freak-with-nothing-going-for-him-at-home-goes-to-Japan-hoping-he’s-gonna-be-a-hit-but-gets-rejected-by-Japanese-society” is not a particularly rare or specific story.

          • nineteen85

            He spent 5 years there because he could never save enough for his ticket home(bad lifestyle, drinking all day/night, living in squalor convincing himself otherwise, and not wanting to let go of “familiarity”). Probably got busted on overstaying, spent a few days in lockup and had his mom wire him money for the plane ticket home.

  • ProfessorNorth

    Why?? is great answer.

  • risotto

    These comments are giving me life.

  • FYIADragoon

    One of those guys probably nailed it. A box cutter is probably like a kitchen knife to him, if he’s from Nepal. He probably didn’t register it as a threat lol.

  • 魔女

    “From now robbers will have to study foreign languages.”


  • Smith_90125

    As per usual, the focus of some is on the nationality of the clerk instead of the criminal who is a Japanese citizen. Meanwhile, the Japanese government talks like Donald Trump, wailing and moaning about “foreign criminals”.

    True story: In the Asian countries I live and have lived in, I’ve encountered a lot of anti-foreigner attitudes, but nearly all of it was anti-yank, not anti-white. (It’s definitely not because I’m doing anything wrong.) Whenever a belligerent or drunk Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese or other person starts getting in my face, I start speaking French to them – something like, “Mange de la merde, chien”. Immediately they bugger off after realizing “He’s not a yank”. It’s a great form of self-defense.

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