Background of Rampant “Sneak Peekings of Ordinary Women” at One of the Largest Overseas Car Festivals in History
On August 11, “FuelFestJAPAN” was held for the first time in Japan at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture.
FuelFest is an event that recreates the world of the popular Japanese movie “Fast & Furious” and also serves as a charity event to support the activities of the non-profit disaster relief organization ROWW “Reach Out World Wide The organization was founded in 2013 to support the efforts of ROWW, a non-profit disaster relief organization.
The late actor Paul Walker, who starred in the WASPy series and died in an accident in 2013, founded this support group, and now Paul’s younger brother, Cody Walker, has taken over his will.
Since the first event was held in Los Angeles in 2019, it has been held around the world, and this August was the first time it was held in Japan, as well as in Asia. The number of visiting vehicles that came to the venue to participate in the event amounted to 7,500. In addition, 2,200 vehicles were gathered for display at the event, including a wide variety of vehicles such as those seen in the movie “Y-Spy” and U.S. police vehicles. The event was not only for viewing and enjoyment, but also for participating in parade runs and showdown races.
With 33,000 visitors, the event was one of the largest ever held in Japan. General admission tickets were sold for 5,500 yen, so at least 110 million yen in ticket revenue was collected, from which donations are expected to be paid.
It seems that the participants were highly satisfied with the event, but the number of people who gathered was probably too large. However, the number of participants was probably too large, and criminal acts that could not be tolerated were rampant here and there.
First, there was shoplifting at the booths. A vendor who has participated in such events many times confided, “There were many people at the booths, such as at races and auto salons.
Whenever we open a booth at a place where many people gather, such as a race or an auto salon, we are sure to be the victim of shoplifting. I don’t think we suffered any damage this time, but there was shoplifting by junior high school boys at a nearby store. There were so many people there that they were too busy dealing with customers to chase them down. It may well be that what was stolen was a small amount, a few hundred yen…”
That’s not all. A “voyeuristic scene” of a man trying to look up a woman’s skirt using a smartphone was uploaded to a social networking service and viewed more than 250,000 times. Although some have pointed out the possibility that it was a “fake,” the video has attracted attention in a different way as a shocking video.
Two women are looking at cars in a pit lane when a man in his 20s wearing a white T-shirt approaches them from behind with a smartphone in his hand. He sets that phone under the skirt of the woman on the left. He appears to be moving the phone to take a picture of the inside of her skirt. The video ends when three men, who appear to be his friends, follow behind him. The first poster uploaded the video to TikTok, but has since deleted it, and a video he gave to TikTok and shared on Twitter has been spreading.
It appears that those who gathered were not only those who knew the etiquette of visiting a car event, but also many visitors who did not know the etiquette at the circuit. Some of the behaviors that raised eyebrows even among car enthusiasts during the test drives on the course included blasting, burnouts (high-powered cars spinning tires at high speeds and emitting white smoke while stopped), driving outside of the designated course, and driving at speeds approaching 100 km/h on the premises, where the maximum speed limit is 30 km/h.
When we asked Fuji Speedway, the venue of the event, about this, they replied, “There are strict rules for races, but this is just an event to have fun with cars…. It is believed that the organizers were aware that this was a breach of etiquette, but they tacitly accepted it.
It appears that the unexpected congestion of the event allowed such “criminal acts” to become rampant. Tomoya Ichiraku, CEO of KAMIWAZA JAPAN, which organized the event, analyzed the situation as follows.
Tomoya Ichiraku, CEO of KAMIWAZA JAPAN, the organizer of the event, analyzed the situation as follows: “It was officially decided to hold FuelFest in January of this year. However, after the event information was announced to the media in early June, the number of applications for participation increased rapidly. We sold out with 20,000 paying visitors, but since we offered free admission to junior high school students and younger, we were able to attract an additional 10,000 people, for a total of 30,000, plus 3,000 exhibitors and staff members. We only had 80 security staff on hand.
Normally, 200 to 250 security staff are deployed for large-scale races such as Super Taikyu and Super GT. In addition to the “happy miscalculation” of adding 13,000 more people to the 20,000 we had expected, we also wanted to keep policing as low as possible, saying, “It’s just an event to enjoy cars…” However, the number of security guards for an event of 30,000 people was only 80. However, 80 security guards for an event that attracted 33,000 people was not enough.
How does Fuji Speedway, the facility operator, view these criminal acts? How does Fuji Speedway view these criminal acts, and what is their on-site response manual?
If it is a Fuji Speedway-sponsored event, the security staff will always listen to any criminal activity they find, and if it becomes clear that a criminal act has been committed, they will turn the matter over to the police. Unlike a race at a circuit, an event like this FuelFest is limited to a certain extent in terms of where people can gather, so I heard that it was very crowded.
This time, people were concentrated in popular spots, such as participating in the parade run and taking pictures with popular actors Cody Walker and San Cann, and the crowd did not scatter to various parts of the course as they do when watching a race. Although there were no reports of arrests or any other kind of criminal activity at the event, it is important to at least observe the bare minimum of manners so that visitors will not be disappointed and say, “I never want to go back.
Interview and text by： Kumiko Kato Photographed by： Hiroto Kato