Our local post office got robbed today, and three people got stabbed - nobody fatally, as luck would have it. The robber wasn't the clearest of thinkers apparently; could have been on drugs, or is perhaps mentally ill. He didn't have pants on, only undershorts, and was armed with a kitchen knife. He got a load of money (about 1450000 yen), and stabbed two people on the way out. A postal worker followed him as he fled onto Sakaisuji street, where he stabbed a third person, and down into our subway station. The police managed to grab him just as he tried to board the subway - a mode of transport not widely known as an efficient robbery escape vehicle.
The thing that really hits me when hearing about this (I was at work, of course, and haven't seen anything directly) is just how rare an event this is, even in a big city like Osaka. You certainly do have violent crime here - this is a center of yakuza activity after all - but the violence is more often than not gang-related or family tragedies, and random nearby people very rarely get involved or hurt in any way. There aren't many other metropolitan areas around the world where I could contemplate walking right through the worst part of town at night, alone, and still be perfectly safe.
I'd hate for it to be drug related. I think drugs are somehow related to most violent crime in the U.S., and the super-strict anti-drug policies in Japan have helped keep down violent crime here. Give me the Yakuza any day!ReplyDelete