Japan is often assumed to have low levels of violent crime, and certainly compared to many other nations this seems to be the case.
But a recent incident in Nakano Ward, Tokyo, has shaken netizens after the rapist entered through an unlocked door and raped a woman as she slept, with police now investigating several other rapes in the vicinity that took place in similar circumstances.
Many commenters point out that women living alone shouldn’t leave their doors and windows unlocked, but others rightly note that the emphasis should be on building a society that focuses on the actions of the perpetrator, rather than those of the victim.
The story was the most watched video of the day on Yahoo! Japan. The transcript is translated below.
34 Year Old Man Arrested For Putting Woolen Hat Over Woman’s Head And “Assaulting” Her As She Slept
A 34 year old unemployed man has been arrested for having raped a 27 year old woman after breaking into her apartment in Nakano Ward, Tokyo.
Suspect Yano Tomoyuki is accused of breaking into a Nakano Ward apartment at dawn on April 20 and assaulting a female company employee as she slept in her room on the ground floor. At that time, he put a woolen hat over the woman’s head so that she would be unable to see his face, and threatened her with a small pair of scissors, saying “I’m gonna stab you”.
According to police, Yano emerged as a suspect following analysis of the neighborhood’s crime prevention CCTV cameras, and articles left at the scene matched Yano’s DNA. When interviewed, Yano admitted his guilt, saying “Yes, I was the one who did it”. Since autumn 2013, there have been a number of cases in the vicinity where victims have been women who were assaulted while they slept after the perpetrator entered their apartments through unlocked doors, and police are investigating possible links.
Comments from Yahoo! Japan:
Even though this stuff is always in the news recently, I’m surprised that there are so many women who live alone but leave their doors and windows unlocked.
Probably best to castrate him, right?
I cannot believe that she did not lock her door.
I mean, still, we do live in a time where criminals can open the door even if it is locked (笑)
I feel like there are a lot of girls about who are pretty defenseless on the street at night with their earphones in and fiddling with their cell phones.
Let’s take care, ladies.
There are lots of reasons as to why this happened, but it’s dangerous to leave your door unlocked if you live on the ground floor.
It’s pretty amazing to me that she could actually sleep with the door unlocked.
I feel really sorry for the woman.
She can still be helped seeing as he didn’t murder her, but how traumatic.
When I think of how the victim is going to feel, we just can’t forgive the criminal.
If I was her father or her boyfriend, I’d probably murder him.
It’s a downward spiral.
Be sure to lock your doors, ladies
It’s pretty mysterious to me how someone can sleep without locking their front door. I mean, I think it’s normal to come home from work and lock your door. Plus this was in Tokyo, right? Not that you’d do it in the countryside, either. Kinda feels like they’d call out to neighbors oh I’m just popping out, keep an eye on things, and then go out with just the mosquito screen doors closed but without locking up the house. Is that what female university students and office ladies do when they go up to Tokyo from the countryside? Really? I guess that in April/May, as the new school year starts, there are still people like that about who don’t know how the world works. The criminal was probably targeting people like that. I suppose he went around checking door by door, but then I guess he had a lot of free time. Or maybe he was just looking for somewhere like that night after night. If not, then it’s impossible that he hasn’t committed this kind of crime before. Plus he’s got a criminal record already. The DNA test proved that. I wonder if they still had his data from before? This is exactly what they mean when they say that sex offenders have a high rate of re-offending. I don’t hold out any hope for him reforming in prison, and I think they should investigate ways of preventing him from doing this ever again. I don’t think it’s the case that if you do the crime, you atone for it by doing time. Particularly not for the woman he raped.
And how was this 34 year old man getting by?
Don’t tell me they were handing out social security to him…
Makes me wonder whether they can’t regulate his sexual appetite by giving him hormone pills to prevent him from re-offending.
We can’t expect that people who do something like this will ever be reformed. Make them eunuchs I say. If not then we’re not helping the victim.
Sure, she was probably careless, but the criminal is the one who should be blamed. It’s not like the probability of him getting into her apartment would have been zero, even if the door had been locked.
The problem is that the sentences are too light.
I’ve lived abroad, and I’m someone who’s very nervous about locking doors. Still, there have been times when I’ve forgotten to lock the door because I’ve been concerned with luggage or shopping, when I’m tired from work, or when there’s been a kerfuffle and I’m busy when I get home.
I wish people wouldn’t make out that the victim had any blame in this.
The perpetrator is the one who is 100% in the wrong.
As far as sex offenses go, the sentences are too light.
But you have to take care locking the door when you come home, and when you come home drunk out of your mind.
Of course, you absolutely should lock your door, but Japan has also become dangerous.
They need to castrate this guy. What’s more, when you think of how the woman must feel psychologically, I think they could probably give him a life sentence.
If this kind of incident is happening in the area you live, then I think the police should be sticking up posters in places people will notice them, like on mailboxes and telephone poles telling people to look out and informing them that an incident has taken place. Wouldn’t that also act as a deterrent to criminals?
Still, even if it’s obvious that you should lock your front door, it’s pretty difficult when your window is open on a hot night and you can’t get to sleep.
“The victim didn’t lock the door so they’re at fault too”
It would be pretty weird if this argument was presented at court.
It should make NO DIFFERENCE whether her door was locked or not.
Kinda feels to me that there are lots of comments here where the blame is being shifted onto the victim…
I think the problem is:
・The police have not followed through when this has happened before.
・The police are unable to prevent this kind of thing from happening
I think it would be better if we had more debate about why we’re employing them with our tax money.
Judges go easy on rape here. Even if you’ve committed 5 or 6 rapes, you’re only looking at about 10 years. We should have a cumulative system like in the UK where you get 10 years for one rape and give people 50 or 100 year sentences.
I’m scared I’ll forget to lock my door.
Because even among other suspects there have been those who just go around turning door handles as they go along.
It’s probably better to think of it like if you just make a mistake one day, and leave the door open, you’ll get raped.
Particularly in one-room apartments in nice places where women generally live.
Why didn’t she lock the door?
It’s like women don’t even understand that they’re defenseless when they’re walking alone at night fiddling with their smartphones and listening to music with earphones in.
Even in the town or the station, they’re all playing with their smartphones. The other day I was unable to dodge one of them and she walked straight into me, but went on as though nothing had happened.