Each week, here at Osaka.com, we bring you a selection of some of the top stories about Osaka making the local and national news here in Japan. Sometimes it’s serious, sometimes it’s funny, but it’s always direct to you, from Osaka.
Here’s a look at some of the stories hitting the headlines in Osaka this week.
Table of Contents
School Principal Feels the Heat Over Bus Punishment
A school principal in Osaka Prefecture faced a severe reprimand this week for endangering students. The incident occurred during a school trip in June. The school in question was a junior high school in Izumiotsu, According to testimony from students and parents, two students were confined to the bus as a punishment for breaking accommodation rules during the trip. Allegedly, one female student stayed at the male students’ accommodation for one night during the trip. She, and the male student who invited her were ordered to stay on the bus while the rest of the school party went sightseeing.
In total they were confined to the bus for around 2 hours. Due to local rules around traffic pollution, the bus’ engine was off throughout. So, there was no air conditioning on the bus during this time. School officials emphasized however that the students were given drinks and windows were open throughout. However, upon returning home the school students detained on the bus complained of headaches. Additionally, the also exhibited other symptoms conducive with heatstroke.
School “Disregarded Dangers” of Situation
The school principal was given “the strictest possible warning” by the Izumiotsu Municipal Board of Education.
A spokesperson for the prefectural board said: “This was a life-threatening incident and should not have happened.” In response, the school principal said: “We provided food and drinks to the students, and they were supervised at all times.”
“It’s not as if we just locked them up”.
However, the guardians of the students concerned were not convinced by the school response. The guardian of the female student spoke of her anger at a press conference this week. She said: “This is a form of corporal punishment. The school put these children’s lives in danger.”
Terror Suspect Identified as Osaka Student
Japan continues to grapple with the fall out from the recent assassination of Shinzo Abe. As such, terrorism prevention continues to take on a growing significance. So, riot police near the US Embassy in Tokyo acted quickly when they saw a man acting suspiciously outside the premises. After detaining the suspect, police discovered he had gunpower in his possession. The suspect admitted to police that he intended to target Americans. “I learned how to make gunpowder on the internet. I came to throw it at the embassy”.
The suspect is a university student in his 20s from Osaka. His exact motives remain unknown, however the parallels with the home-made weapon used to kill Mr Abe are undeniable.
Hatred and resentments towards Americans is a fairly common trope among extreme elements of Japan’s far right. However at the moment, it remains unclear if the student had political inclinations or motivations. Police are treating the case as a possible violation of the explosives control act. They did not rule out further charges as the investigation continues.
We’ve all done crazy things after a few too many alcoholic beverages. However, one young police officer in Osaka took things a bit too far this week.
The officer, a 22 year old from Osaka’s Kita Ward, was arrested for trespassing. He scaled a high fence and broke into the premises of a transport company.
By his own account, the officer had spent the evening drinking at a local hostess bar. Having had a few too many, he claims he “blacked out”.
“I lost my memory, I thought this transport company was my home.”
“When I came to, I had been arrested.”
Considering that the wall he scaled was 2 to 3 meters in height, one wonders what kind of external security his home has! In the meantime, the officer has been released and is cooperating with police investigations.
He admitted to having 6 drinks, including a number of “highballs” (a particularly potent whisky based cocktail). Police issued a statement in response to the incident. They said: “This is a very regrettable incident. We apologize to all those affected by this officer’s conduct.”
In a grim turn for the officer concerned, the statement added: “We will respond to this in matter strictly. We take breaches of officer discipline very seriously.”
So remember folks, next time you’re out having a night of drinks and partying, leave the wall crawling to Spider-Man!
That’s all for now but be sure to check back again same time next week for another round of This Week in Osaka!