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Near-Rape Perpetrator Offers Confession to Police

Date Posted: 2000-03-17

A 27-year-old man is now on trial for having walked into a police station in Mooka last October and confessed having tried to rape a 16-year-old schoolgirl. However the case is attracting much attention because it has been linked by the media to the series of scandals that have shaken the Japanese police establishment most recently.

Actually, according to several reports, the man known as Yoshinori Takeuchi had showed up at the police office and asked for a detective. His intention was to confess his fault. But, asking no questions, the duty officer told him to come back later because no detectives were available. He came back the next day and confessed.

“Arrest not possible on Sunday,” said a headline in last Friday’s edition of the Yomiuri, Japan’s largest newspaper. Other major newspapers and TV networks also reported the story prominently.

Hidetaka Ohke, of the Mooka police, said police would have immediately arrested the man had he given his name or confessed, and that the officer turned him away only because he did not know he was a suspect wanted for questioning.

Police in Japan have been taking a pounding lately. Just about a week ago, the county’s top law enforcement officer was punished with a pay cut after a major bungle in the case of a woman who was abducted and held hostage for nine years. According to recent revelations on the case, the police might have been able to free the woman years ago had they not ignored requests for help from the mother of the kidnapping suspect. However, when she was finally freed, police issued a news release taking credit for liberating her. Many observers found that particular act ridiculous and overdone.

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