Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Japanese Bus Hijacking, July 16, 2008

Japanese police in Aichi prefecture are holding a 14-year-old boy for allegedly hijacking a JR bus at knifepoint. The boy told officials he wanted to "run away." Or, alternately, he did it to "cause trouble to his parents, who had scolding him."

The boy was from Yamaguchi prefecture, but he seems to have started the trouble in Okazaki and was arrested there in Aichi, which is Shizuoka's neighbor. So it's practically local news. I heard about this yesterday during my Bentenjima class and completely forgot to look it up last night after work. So here you have it this morning. Fortunately no one was injured in what seems to have been a stupid stunt or call for attention from a troubled young man.

I think I've been to Okazaki. It was a long time ago, and so much has happened since then I can't be sure. Seems like that was the first place I tried Indian food way back in my life before my present life. If it is the city I'm thinking of, it's home to one of the best Indian buffets in the area and it's much larger than I thought.

After doing some further reading on Okazaki, I found the account of Miss Okazaki, a friendship doll the people of the city sent to America in 1928. Here's an excerpt from the mayor's farewell speech to Miss Okazaki (the idea of which I admit choked me up a little):

Miss Okazaki, you are going far across the sea to America just as Miss Ruth and Mr. Lincoln have come to Japan. Please carry to the children of America a message of good will and friendship from the children of Japan. Miss Aichi and others have gone before you. I hope that you will all work together and show the true worth of Japanese dolls by doing well your great errand of love. I wish you a fair and prosperous journey.

Anyway, back on topic- you should watch the BBC video in that first link. You'll get to see Japanese police working a crime scene (in this case a huge highway bus) by a busy expressway on a broiling summer's day. The official announcement for the ending of rainy season hasn't come yet but it seems pretty obvious we've reached high summer- temperatures are in the lower 90s and humidity is off the scale. I'm sure those guys were miserable out there on the asphalt.

No comments: