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    We’re all gonna die! VI

    I know this isn’t really funny, but I’m kind of febrile from the flu, so I’m doing that cough-giggle thing while I type this. Holy moly:

    Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made an unusual angry outburst on Tuesday after seeing a police officer flee from a bat-wielding man in a news program.

    “I watched a scene in which a police officer fled from a criminal. It’s disgraceful for an officer to act like that,” Koizumi reportedly said during Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.

    The case Koizumi spoke of involved a 26-year-old man suspected of being addicted to drugs.

    After he caused a traffic accident in Tokyo’s Minato-ku on Feb. 19, an officer rushed to the scene and tried to arrest him. During the process, the man grabbed a metal baseball bat and approached the officer, reportedly saying, “Don’t come near me or I will kill you.”

    Jeez Louise. You can only hope the cop completed the effect by fluting, “Help me, mommeeeeee!” as he ran along. Those reports a few months ago that the police here feel overwhelmed are starting, disquietingly, to make more sense.

    I do understand that most Japanese police don’t have to deal with much more dangerous than someone’s getting a little huffy over being busted for having an outdated bike license. It does seem to me that if you’re going to freak out at having a blunt instrument brandished at you, though, you might want to consider a different line of work from being a police officer.

    BTW, those outside Japan may not know this, but Koizumi is thrillingly convincing when he gets pissed. There’s not a trace of the scripted high dudgeon you often get with politicos; his eyes narrow, his voice gets clipped, and by God, you notice. I’ve said this many times before, but his speeches in support of the Bush administration’s approach to the WOT and preservation of democracy are often, to my mind, more stirring than Bush’s.

    9 Responses to “We’re all gonna die! VI”

    1. Sean Kinsell says:

      Well, yes, I realize that the major question is whether he should have found himself in this particular pickle in the first place. It seems to me that a law enforcement officer should still, even in Tokyo, be able to handle some druggie with a baseball bat without fleeing to safe territory to gather his wits first.

    2. John says:

      If he was by himself, then it was a failure of procedure. I have a black belt, and I’d rather not handle a druggie with a bat, thank you very much, although I always wanted to beat up those poseurs on the hot rod bikes in Harajuku.

    3. Sean Kinsell says:

      That was what I wondered about. I mean, not only do police officers travel with their partners for obvious reasons, but here in Tokyo (I’m going by experience and not stereotype here) you usually see them in gaggles. When I lived in Shibuya, the number of crimes committed by foreigners was increasing, and there was a seedy neighborhood a few turns from my apartment building, so occasionally I’d have a bunch of cops come up to me and ask to see my ID. But it was always at least 5 at a time, and they made a circle around me as if they were performing an exorcism. They were very courteous, especially when they saw that I’d lived here for years and spoke Japanese, but they’d made sure they weren’t going to be outmaneuvered. Very odd. I mean, this case is very odd.
      As for poseurs in Harajuku–buddy, let’s remember that taking on and shedding identities is not quite the negative thing here that it is in the States. I mean, yes, those slumming middle-class kids do look kind of silly, but it’s better than their getting themselves into real trouble.

    4. John says:

      Well, those pissant snubnose .38s they keep in those toy holsters wouldn’t stop a hamster at 5 meters. They don’t carry mace, most don’t carry effective nightsticks, so what was he going to do? From what I hear half of them don’t even keep their piece’s loaded.

    5. John says:

      I guess tough-guy acts rub me the wrong way. If any of those @#%&*woods ever walked into a real biker bar in the States they’d pee their pants in fear.
      I once took a Japanese b-school buddy to my gun club. Just so happened that day that a group of bikers had come up to skeet shoot – there were about 50 Harleys on the gravel out in front of the lodge. They were all sporting 12 gauges as we walked past to the pistol range. Kunio was cool at the time, but afterward he remarked about the size of, tattoos on, and number of guns sported by the women. Apparently he didn’t even notice their “escorts”.

    6. Sean Kinsell says:

      Yeah, the hidden strength of Asian women may be much underestimated, but the sort of overt, pistol-packing strength you sometimes see at home really is pretty much unknown here. I can see how the guys would just look like so much wallpaper, especially assuming your friend was straight.

    7. John says:

      Yeah, Kunio was straight. There was only one gay Japanese guy in my class. He was in banking, too, I wonder if he knows Atsushi.

    8. Sean Kinsell says:

      Uh, sweetie, there really isn’t a gay conspiracy whereby we all know each other. 😉
      Then, too, who knows? If he lives in Tokyo, either of us might know him, assuming he tends to like foreigners; that particular scene is relatively small.

    9. John says:

      Exactly, most Western-educated MBAs in Japan hang out with foreigners at least some of the time, striaght or gay.