Shiga Prefectural government employee arrested

Shiga Prefectural Government in Otsu.

NHK TV news in Otsu and other mainstream Japanese media have reported that a Shiga Prefectural government employee has been arrested for using his camera phone to take upskirt photos of a 27-year-old woman sitting next to him on the train. The incident occurred on June 19, 2013 at around 5:45 pm while the suspect was on a JR Tokaido Line train on his way home to Kyoto’s Fushimi-ku. The train was running from Yamashina Station to Kyoto Station.

The suspect has been identified as 32-year-old HOTTA Satoru (堀田 悟), an engineer (主任技師) in the Agricultural Operation Division of Shiga Prefecture’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (農政水産部・農業経営課). According to Kyoto police, the suspect held out his smart-phone camera above the napping woman’s knees to snap a photo up her skirt. The woman awoke, saw the camera phone, and screamed. Nearby passengers took notice and apprehended the suspect. They turned him over to police upon arrival at Kyoto Station. The woman was a 27-year-old government worker living in Kyoto city. It was not reported where the woman worked (Shiga or Kyoto), but she and the suspect did not know each other.

The suspect has basically confessed, saying, “She caught me doing it so there’s nothing I can do.” (「女性に捕まったのでいまさら仕方ありません」) The prefecture’s Personnel Department commented by apologizing for the arrest that lessens the people’s trust in the prefectural government.

As of this writing, no apology or notice about this incident has been posted on the prefecture’s official Web site. Maybe the prefectural government should hold regular seminars about public morals and ethics for its workers.

Compliments to the nearby passengers who responded and apprehended the suspect. Every few years when something like this happens, the public image of the respective government, BOE, or other “lofty” organization falls down by a few notches. Whenever there’s a conviction of the culprit, the governor ends up writing a letter of apology, no doubt one of her least desirable tasks. They always say that they will do everything to prevent it from happening again, but of course, it’s almost impossible to prevent corruption and crime in government. And who knows what goes unreported in the news.

To all women and girls, beware of perverted men. They are everywhere.

Japanese mainstream news sources:

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