Man Found Innocent Of Groping After Judge Overturns Verdict

A man is found innocent of groping a girl on a bus after judge overturns verdict Japan.

Yesterday came the unusual news that for once, a man had been found innocent of a groping incident after a judge overturned the guilty verdict on appeal.

After reviewing camera footage from inside the bus, the judge said that it was evident that the man, a 30-year old middle-school teacher, could not have groped the high school girl, unless, of course, he has a third hand that everyone has missed up to this point.

For a judge to overturn a guilty verdict is still relatively rare in Japan, where remnants of the old legal system still seem to linger despite the introduction of mixed juries. This incident certainly echoes the sentiments in Suo Masayuki’s well-known film, I Just Didn’t Do It, and the very fact that it makes big news suggests how unusual the situation is.

Netizens are extremely glad to see justice for an innocent man, but have nothing but hatred for the girl who accused him.

From Sponichi Annex:

Groping Incident: “Doubt About Whether Victim Made Mistake”, Teacher Found Innocent As Verdict Overturned

On June 15, during the appeal trial of a Mitaka municipal middle school teacher (30), who was being tried in violation of the Tokyo Anti-Nuisance Ordinance for having touched the bottom of a female high-school student while on a bus, the Tokyo High Court threw out the first ruling of the Tachikawa divison of the Tokyo District Court, which stated that the man should pay 400000 yen in compensation, because “there are still doubts as to whether the victim made a mistake”, handing down a reversal of the guilty verdict.

The victim had testified that the she had been touched on her bottom through her skirt by the teacher, who had been standing close to her on the bus. Judge Kawai Kenshi indicated that “In the footage from the bus’ security camera, the teacher is operating his mobile phone with his right hand, and holding a strap with his left. It is difficult to think that he groped anyone”. The judge rejected the reliability of the testimony given that there is the possibility that the girl thought that the man’s rucksack touching her was an instance of groping.

Furthermore, the judge severely criticised the ruling of the first court, saying “It is a mistake to rely on everything in a testimony, there is a leap of logic here. There was a lack of prudence in the judgement”.

The first court had found the man guilty, saying “We cannot say that it is easy to grope someone with one’s left hand while operating a mobile phone with one’s right; however, we also cannot say that it is impossible”.

The teacher was accused of having touched the high school girl on a bus that went through Mitaka City on an evening in December, 2012, and at present is suspended from his job due to the prosecution. At a press conference following the judgement, the teacher stated that “I fought it because of the texts and phone calls from my students, ‘We believe in you!’. I’m so glad that I’ve been given justice”.

Comments from


It’s only right.


So all this took more than 2 and a half years?


Yeah, but there’s no penalty for the girl.


Ah beautiful Japan, where if milady just points her finger, a man’s life is over.


I want this girl to be locked up for messing up an innocent man’s life.


I wonder why it is that with really heinous crimes they immediately find people innocent, and yet it’s only with groping they assume guilt?


Can’t he sue the district court judge?


“The first court had found the man guilty, saying “We cannot say that it is easy to grope someone with one’s left hand while operating a mobile phone with one’s right; however, we also cannot say that it is impossible”.”
We can’t say it’s impossible so he’s guilty…
The district court is really stupid.


She must have been an excessively self-conscious bitch.
It’s because they don’t punish women like this that false accusations continue to be made over and over again.


The district court must have abandoned all logic.


Even if you are found innocent, just by getting caught up in that kind of thing your life’s over, right? It’s awful.


A district court that finds someone guilty though they don’t even know whether there was any proof of groping in the first place should just die.

Comments from Twitter:

沖 緋色*:

Ah Japan, a woman-dominated country…?
What’s going to happen when, from the courts to the government, we’re too hard on men and too soft on women?

[email protected]脱Core2Duo(,,Ծ‸Ծ):

Now, I’m not gay, but I really relax when I’m surrounded by men on a full train.


I don’t want to ride trains with women.


So shit. Shouldn’t he counter-sue the woman, the judge and the prosecutors?


Sue the woman in the civil courts over this.

Xi / Musicarus:

With this incident I really would shudder if he’d been found guilty even in the High Court.


Ooo, it’s amazing to have the verdict reversed to innocent. Saying that, the first judgement was completely awful though.


To say that it’s not impossible — what a capable judge, to find him guilty just by this ambiguous possibility! ( ^ω^ )


And still, the woman has no crime, does she. So this is equality, huh?


Even at the time I remember that this was trending but I guess they reached a decision huh? The thing with false accusations is that it’s just so sad that even if you manage to get an innocent verdict, your life’s still in tatters.

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  • Masterchief

    so whats going to happen to the girl. charges to her now are: wrongfull accusation, false testimony, slander of the good man’s name and his loss of income. couple of years in mixed prison sounds about right.

    • FYIADragoon

      I would say some sort of compensation should be made. But I don’t know about jail time for this.

  • guest

    Mastercheif – “so whats going to happen to the girl. charges to her now are: wrongfull accusation, false testimony, slander of the good man’s name and his loss of income. couple of years in mixed prison sounds about right”

    That would be what would happen in an ideal world, but what is much more
    likely to happen is… absolutely nothing at all. She wont see an ounce
    of punishment or consequences for making an extremely serious
    accusation which, never mind the potential legal and financial
    consequences, also carries a very heavy societal cost, especially in
    countries like Japan. In fact, I’m honestly surprised that he was just
    suspended, and not fired from his job the day he was accused, especially
    since he’s a teacher.

    The simple fact is that he has the
    accusation on his record, even if it was proven to be complete bullshit,
    and it will not go away, coming up when he does things like search for a
    job, ect. It’s the same the world over when it comes to false
    accusations of molestation, rape, ect.

    Often times all it takes is a woman’s word against a man, and he is instantly judged guilty in the court of public opinion, his reputation ruined. That is not to say that these are not serious offenses, because they are, they are obviosuly crimes which must be punished, but in cases where there is clear evidence that it was a complete fabrication, there should be equally serious penalties for the accuser. This unfortunately almost never happens though, at most, there is only a slap on the wrist.

    • menontop

      yeah how dare a woman make a fuss over nothing! deep down they all want it anyway! you tell them son!

      • guest

        …too bad I said nothing of the sort.

        • guest

          You may not have, but it is heavily implied in that sort of mentality in your post.

          • Anonynonymous

            Gee, are you claiming to be a mind reader or something?

            Well, two can play this game. You might have said this out loud. But it is heavily implied in your past posts that you secretly think Jewish people are the devil. Don’t ask how I know. But I know.

          • guest

            they are.

          • FYIADragoon

            Yes, please continue to abstract absolute bull from a statement that had no hint of it.

          • guest

            Wouldn’t bother abstracting anything from you since there’s nothing worthwhile

    • Boris

      That is a double edge sword.

      The girl could have simply made a mistake.

      If that was it, does she still need to be punished because she thought she was groped?

      You’d need to prove the accusation was intentionally false (‘a complete fabrication’ as you put it). And if you cannot, then there isn’t much you can do. Because if you go after her based on not knowing if it was indeed a a complete fabrication, other people who are actually victims of this may not come forward in fear of ending up payout while they were actually groped.

      Now, in the UK we have seen women who have accused men of false rape actually get sent to prison. The reason was simple, there was evidence to show that it wasn’t rape. If the evidence is clear that the girl in this instance made it all up, then go for her.

      “Often times all it takes is a woman’s word against a man, and he is instantly judged guilty in the court of public opinion, his reputation ruined.” – This is true. We judge people instantly as guilty until the court case has been decided. If the perp is found guilty, we take smug pleasure in thinking ‘I was right about him.’

      • guest

        That is true, I do agree with you that unless there is some pretty concrete proof that it was not rape, or molestation, or whatever is being claimed, then the accuser should not face punishment, so as to not scare away true victims.

        However, when there are things like photographic and video evidence proving innocence, then there should be consequences. I did not know that that was something that was done in the UK, that is what I am talking about, prison time is appropriate for making something up like that.

    • Xio Gen

      Do you not know about Japanese shame culture? This girl made a mistake. And now she’s going to be judged by everyone she knows for the rest of her life. She’s brought shame to her entire family.

  • japaneseculture

    Why was this even in front of a judge? Is the woman a foreigner who don’t understand it’s how men say hello in japan? nothing illegal about that

  • zachary T

    well good news first, no body was touched inappropriately! A woman who felt she was attacked on a subway actually did something about it! ( I hear that is rare, but am not in Japan so I don’t know for sure) A man successfully proved his innocence in a court of law! bad news- it took two and a half years…and their was video of him standing with both of his hands occupied where you could see them….so lets just be happy with the first three things on my list.

  • Plot twist: he groped her with his DICK

    • Boris

      His dick is so big, it is like a third arm?

  • Murasaki

    So… someone actually did grope the teenage girl. They just caught the wrong man. Now everyone is blaming a high school girl for the wrongful accusation of this guy. What’s wrong with this picture?

    1. the case couldn’t have gone to court based solely on her words, so she shouldn’t take on all of the blame. Plus, such harsh criticisms for a minor. Shame on all of you. To take the case to trial was the decision of the prosecutor, once the girl had submitted her testimony, the case is in the hands of the judicial system.

    2. if she believed that he did it, then she can’t be held responsible, as you cannot prove that she knowingly falsely accused him. Or does Japan not care for the concept of mens rea? If anyone want to expand on this as I’m no expert in Japanese law. Sue her in civil court? Ha! Don’t make me laugh.

    3. there’s something fundamentally wrong with the society, where women have to be subjected to bs like groping on a near constant basis. If the men, instead of victim blaming, learn how to keep their hands in their own pockets, then one of their own wouldn’t have to go through all of this.

    Lastly, LOL 口が悪くてごめんね. Sorry if I’m being a bit harsh.

    • Boris

      Japan is a country with a high guitly rate. I am told something like 99% of cases that go to court end in a guilty verdict. The fact that this got overturned made news because it is rare. The other reason it is in the news is that there was video evidence that the guy didn’t grope her, but was still judged to be guilty the first time round.

      The other thing is, we cannot be sure she was actually groped. She may have thought she was groped when she wasn’t. It could have been someone else, that would be where the CCTV footage might help. So, I do not agree with the abuse she is getting as it might put of victims of coming forward next time.

      The girl should only get the blame if she intentionally made it up and that is proven.

      I did watch the movie mentioned in the article. I had forgotten the title until now. It’s a good movie. If you watched the movie, you see that the detectives procedure in getting a guilty verdict. The same may have happened here. We don’t know.

      Agree on number 3.

      • Murasaki

        You’re right about that 99% conviction rate. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. Google came back and says prosecutors only take on cases they feel strongly about. Well, in the context of this case, both the prosecutor and the first judge felt that there was enough evidence to render a guilty verdict. This, could not have came from her words alone. The camera or whatever else evidence they had must have suggested criminal wrongdoings.

        And if they convicted the guy purely based on a case of ‘he said and she said’? Then wow… just wow… The judge and the prosecutor need to be fired.

        I totally missed the mention of the movie. There’s an entire movie based on this subject?! This runs deeper than I thought. And, I shall trust your recommendation and watch that movie.

        • tomoe723

          Unfortunately, contrary to what you have presumed, most of these cases actually just boil down to a case of “he said and she said”. All other “enough” evidence is fabricated and/or circumstantial to sympathize with the judge to get them to pass a guilty verdict. And seeing how guilty verdict benefits the judicial system the most (financially), it’s 99% conviction rate regardless of the sappy backstory. Feminism and whatnot ideals are just scapegoats for the ultimate goal of getting more funds flowing into the judicial system.

          Sorry, I don’t believe in all that judicial system bullshit.

          • Murasaki

            Why are guilty verdicts the most financially lucrative option? Are prisons in Japan privatized? In parts of the world where I live, the system avoid sending people to jail, because it is too expensive, and a huge drain on the taxpayer’s money.

            If it boils down to funding the judicial system, well, then that’s just unfortunate. Really. It shouldn’t be this way.

            I can see your point that if the judicial system is seen as broken, then of course, the people stop believing in it.

          • tomoe723

            It’s not only prisons, but also the rehab options. Every paper trail requires money, and it all comes from taxpayer’s money. Prison is just one end possibility, there are other end games in a judicial battle. Every step along the way requires every bit of some form of funds. But an innocent verdict puts a stop to this judicial journey quickly. So it’s the least lucrative option from the people in the system’s perspective.

            I have yet to see a government that truly cares how to spend taxpayer’s money wisely/prudently. I’m just stating what I’ve figured out about how the judicial system works.

            But in fairness, I can still muster some faith if it’s truly local, where the “judicial system” is community based and far from the corruptive influence of national/state government.

          • Murasaki

            Nah, every system is broken in one way or another. I was so deeply entrenched in the system over here, and fundamentally believe in judicial impartiality. I still do, and in all fairness, it is still a good system. But, I wish for change, as I’m sure you do as well.

            People are just imperfect, and it is impossible to please everyone. Government spending, whether we agree with it or not, in the end of the day isn’t up to us, but we wind up bearing the consequences. Yep.

          • Boris

            Judges also get promotions based on how many guilty verdicts they give. That there is a big incentive for giving people guilty verdicts. I am not sure, but I think prosecutors get bonuses (can correct me if I am wrong).

            Also, as Tomoe said, some cases boils down to he said, she said and the accused basically ends up in prison based on an accusation without other evidence.

          • Murasaki

            Okay, please tell me this isn’t true. That’s a huge conflict of interest! How is a judge, who is supposed to be impartial, be the interpreter of the law and pass judgements, if he/she is looking out for his/her own self-interest?! That is not okay.

            Prosecutors, fine, I can see this happening in some instances, they call it conviction rate, I call it self-glorifying, sociopathic a-holeness.

            I found this article:

            It suggests that Japan should mirror the way US and UK appoint their judges. I think that’s a good idea.

          • tomoe723

            I’m sorry to say that you have a very naive perspective of things. Judges impartial? If not for trivial cases, most of them are in somebody else’s pockets already. It’s really about politics, money, and power.

            I’ve been to a few of these judicial hearings and usually some TROs passed, (out of curiosity and free time and because my friend works as a recorder), I feel a deep sadness for most of these cases. Sometimes, I think “Justice” is just a figment of my imagination.

            I could cut some slack and say its tiring to have to pass judgement many times a day/week. And some may err or have a slight slip of integrity. But we’re dealing with people’s lives here, so I think its a must to keep up the idealism. But people are people, can’t say they’re all evil, they’re just human. But the least thing I would expect is justice/impartiality.

            Or we may simply have entirely different sense of what justice really means.

          • Murasaki

            Probably we just live under different systems.

            Over here, judges who preside over trials are carefully selected as to prevent any conflict of interests concerning personal, financial, or political aspects. If the judge is found to have erred in his/her decision in any way, the trial would forfeit and there will begin a new one with a different judge.

            Judges are also paid very handsomely, quarter of a million$ and above, as to avoid the temptation of bribery. Combined with the potential punishment, there’s seldom any negative instances associated with judges. If this doesn’t convince you, there’s the appeals courts x2 and the supreme court, where multiple judges preside. I simply don’t believe that they are in “someone’s pocket”, being a. way too many judges, and b. cross jurisdiction.

            Lastly, the judicial branch of government is independent from the executive and legislative branches, which means that judges don’t take crap from politicians. You can’t fire a judge unless the judge did something seriously wrong. The supreme court can strike down laws deemed unconstitutional, but this is as far as their power can reach. The courts are not above the law and they most certainly are not above public opinion. The public seems to think they do a fairly decent job, other than the fact that it takes 2 years before you even get your day in court, and the fact that we are letting people out of jail way too soon due to budgetary issues. But this is caused by the system and the system has constraints.

            I regret hearing that the judicial system is broken in Japan. I am also sorry that judges do not seem to care for the ideals, of which they are suppose to embody. But, please believe me when I say, all hope is not lost. Or, I along with the rest of my countrymen have just been brain washed.

          • tomoe723

            I’d like to believe what you have written… “carefully selected as to prevent any conflict of interests”, “paid very handsomely…to avoid the temptation of bribery”, “there’s the appeals courts x2 and the supreme court, where multiple judges preside…” etc, etc. It’s all very nice and perfect.

            I wouldn’t really go so far as to say the entire system is broken, but I just can’t bring myself to believe in the judicial system. There are probably a few persons who strive to uphold justice and amusingly come about it in a naive way like some free state attorneys assigned to those who can’t afford one. But majority of the people in the system couldn’t really care much about true justice and would just go about things in their own personal interests. That’s human nature.

            I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s difficult to expect justice and impartiality from a group of people if they are all working for different personal reasons. The least person I would trust even is a lawyer. From the above statements you’ve mentioned, I’ve seen a number of instances where they are “violated” and nobody seems to be bothered by it because its already normal. It’s difficult to be bothered by it, too, because so many factors contribute to it and to bother with one is to bother with them all. I hope I’m expressing clearly enough.

            But please don’t let my cynicism get to you. ^_^

          • Murasaki

            You’re right, in that humans look out for our own best interest first and foremost. That’s why we need a “good system” for governing, so we don’t end up killing each other. Every system has its flaws, but ours (yours and mine) are far from the worst.

            So you have free state attorney as well? See? At least we have that. I’m sure in a lot of the countries in the world, if you can’t afford a lawyer, you’re screwed. The reality (at least over here) is that prosecutors, defense attorneys, and court judges are paid much less than their peers in the non-criminal line of work. They have made the conscientious choice to do so and accept less pay (but more regular hours). Maybe they were naive and wanted to do something good. 🙂

            No no, please do not worry. I do see your point of view, and can understand that it can definitely become discouraging facing the willful indifference and unethical bahaviour of others.

            At the end of the day, there’ll always be a-holes who spoil things for the bunch of us! At least, when they are caught, and issue public apologies, it will be turned into something hilarious like this!


        • Boris

          Watch the movie. It basically shows that the procedure is slanted from the start. The guy who directed the movie put in at least 4 years of research before making the film. I’d like to say more, but do not want to ruin the movie for you.

          Also, if you read why the first judge gave the guilty verdict, it is ridiculous reasoning for giving the guilty verdict considering there was video evidence to the contrary.

          • Murasaki

            Okay, I’ll watch it 🙂

            I was reading that too, but I thought there must’ve been more to that. As in maybe he wasn’t using his hands… Um… read the comment below by Rex.

            Although, yes I agree that it was very stupid. If you can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he did it, then he’s innocent. Somehow in Japan, or this case at least, it’s the other way around.

          • Boris

            “As in maybe he wasn’t using his hands… Um… read the comment below by Rex.”

            Rex is a troll. I responded to him nevertheless. Also, it’s very difficult to grab someone’s bottom with one’s dick. At best, you can rub up against someone. But then the CCTV would pick up on that and the second judge does mention the defendant’s bag being there. So it could be the bag rubbed against the girl, who thought she was molested but in fact wasn’t. Then the police, prosecutors and the judges did the rest for the original guilty verdict.

    • One for all

      So…what you’re saying is the guy is guilty because he’s the same gender as someone that may or may not have groped the girl?

      Now that he has been found to be irrefutably innocent, how would you suggest he be compensated for the pain, humiliation and suffering he’s had to endure for the past 2 years?

      Do you think he would be entirely justified in taking legal action against his accuser?

      • Murasaki

        If you have read the comments above, the men have this “us vs. them” mentality. I was merely mocking their stance by mirroring their attitude.

        The compensation for false imprisonment is always monetary and informing the public of a man’s innocent. Now, this guy was never imprisoned (I think, unless he couldn’t make bail). He didn’t lose his job. He does not have a criminal record on file. If anything, the first judge, who rendered the guilty verdict had failed him. The victim shouldn’t take the blame. If he wants to someone to pay for his pain and suffering, talk to the legal system, hell, sue the first judge. I high doubt he would get anything out of this.

        You have to understand that when it comes to a criminal case, it is not the accused vs. the accuser. It is the accused vs. the judicial system. It is out of the victim’s hands. The prosecutor, in his/her legal opinion, deemed there to be sufficient evidence to move on to a trial. Do you think the victim had a say in it? The prosecutor wouldn’t take on a case where he/she felt that they couldn’t get a conviction out of it.

        Then there’s the first judge, who ruled the guy guilty. Yet somehow the public anger had entirely been fixated on the teenage girl, which is totally misplaced.

        • One for all

          “when it comes to a criminal case, it is not the accused vs. the accuser. It is the accused vs. the judicial system”

          There would be no case without the accuser. For instance, if the accuser suddenly decided to drop all charges, that would be the end of the case….no questions asked.

          You honestly think the innocent man did not endure much suffering while the case panned out? Is that from your own personal experience? He was suspended from his job (I assume without pay), his name was and will forever be associated with sexual assault among his cohort, family, colleagues etc. And that’s before we start to think of the mental torture he would have gone through for 730+ days….but he should just suck it all up right?

          Without the girl’s input, this guy would not have endured 2 years of hell, she should at least bear some responsibility for her part in the story.

          I am not denying there is an issue with regards to groping in Japan, but there is still no definitive proof the girl was groped in the first place, something for us to all ponder on.

          • Murasaki

            Right, there has to be a case put forth to the police, then move to the prosecution and courts. The girl falsely believed that the man was guilty, I’m not denying this. But the prosecutor and the judge are equally if not more blameworthy. I hear no criticism toward them.

            I’m not saying what he went through was justified, considering that he didn’t do anything wrong. I said monetary compensation only occurs for those falsely imprisoned for years. Thus he is unlikely to get anything out of this. Never did I say that it is fair, it is just the way it is. He has no option but to suck it up.

            He can’t sue the girl in a civil court. That’s costly, ineffective, and he has an very high unlikelihood to gain anything from that. The girl would not be criminally penalized because she believed that he groped her. That’s the end of the story as they can’t prove otherwise.

            If there’s no evidence of the groping, then the system has truly F’ed up and failed the guy, since both the prosecutor and judge moved forward with the case and issued an eventual guilty verdict. So, I’m thinking there must’ve been other evidence to suggest criminal wrongdoings. But again, the girl is hardly to blame here. It’s the system. The system had failed.

          • One for all

            Absolutely they are equally blame-worthy…but they would not have a case without the imput of the accuser. Her testimony and hers alone ultimately had more impact than the CCTV evidence, resulting in the false conviction the first time around.

            I’m pretty sure she saw the footage. she could have put 2 and 2 together and thought “hey, this guy’s hand really were engaged in other activities” and that would have been enough to free him.

            If I were the guy, I would be calling for someone’s head…as he could easily still be in jail today if not for someone showing some common sense.

          • Murasaki

            We’re just debating below on how broken the judicial system of Japan truly is. I had no idea. Where I live, witness testimony is the weakest kind of evidence and should be taken more lightly than hard/physical evidence, because people make mistakes. Also, there’s the guilty beyond a reasonable doubt ideology, which for me meant there had to be other evidence present to successfully convict someone.

            I’m in totally agreement with you that the guy should be furious. His life would be totally ruined if it had not been for the appeals court judge.

        • Boris

          Agree with your last paragraph.

          The only time blame can be put on the accuser is when there is evidence that clearly and irrefutably show that the accuser made it up.

  • commander

    I wonder whether the accused man who is cleared of the sexual harassment charge in the appellate ruling can receive any compensation for mental trauma and tarnished reputation at the school he works for.

    Should he file a compensation lawsuit against the prosecutors or the girl who proved to make a false accusation against the teacher?

    • sarah

      I don’t think she thinks she was wrong. They mentioned his bag was rubbing against her and she probably legitimately thought he was touching her and she did the right thing to report it. The lack of logic is the courts fault for not watching the video the first time and making a logical verdict.

      But I’m sure there will be plenty of misogyny here.

      • commander

        So, your point is he can sue the lower court for compensation over pain he has suffered while he was being stigmatized as despicable molester and condemned for committing the mean sexual crime as a teacher who was supposed to lead an example for his pupils?

  • Xio Gen

    There’s no translation for chicken-wing-face-crusher’s comment. Can the mods fix that?

    • besudesu

      There is a translation there…not sure why you can’t see it…

      • Xio Gen

        I get “Yeah but there’s no penalty for the girl” in English and some Japanese that was definitely not in the original comment.

        • besudesu

          Ah! I see what you mean. It was showing differently on my screen but there was a mistake in the code — does it look better now? Thank you so much for pointing that out, Xio!

          • Xio Gen


  • eplizo

    “It is a mistake to rely on everything in a testimony, there is a leap of logic here”
    Definitely. I feel like this happens all too often. It’s great to actually listen to the story of a supposed “victim”, but if there is no incriminating evidence, you can’t convict someone of such a crime. It’s great they let him go. It’s crazy how long it dragged on for……

  • 내가 제일 잘나가

    Wasn’t there a film about this situation happening before?

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