Senator Mihara’s Personal Loss Drives Car Theft Fight | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Senator Mihara’s Personal Loss Drives Car Theft Fight

A Rank Cruiser filled with family memories was stolen overnight from ...... Security devices and buzzers were useless, and GPS could not track it.

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As in the famous line from Kinpachi Sensei, “The face is dangerous, go for the body,” Mihara showcased a powerful left straight punch.

It was Junko Mihara, the 59-year-old Liberal Democratic Party member of the House of Councillors, who showcased a left straight punch aimed at the reporter’s body.


Around 2 a.m. on April 3, Mihara’s beloved white Toyota Land Cruiser 200ZX (hereinafter referred to as the “Land Cruiser”) was stolen from her home. Her anger towards the car thief has not subsided.

“I think I bought it around 2019. I was looking for a big car so I could travel with my four dogs. My car is filled with irreplaceable memories. I often went out with my little ones, and I wanted to continue doing so, but it’s hard to find a large car that can fit four dogs.”

The Land Cruiser was parked at her home in Naka Ward, Yokohama City, in a parking lot without a roof or enclosure. However, she had implemented various anti-theft measures such as a relay attack prevention device that blocks signals from smart keys, a security buzzer, dummy surveillance cameras, and motion sensor lights.

“I realized that no matter how much you prepare, it’s useless if you’re targeted. Five days after I was robbed, another Land Cruiser was stolen in Machida City. That person had a GPS installed, but it could only be tracked up to three locations. After that, the signal was cut off, and the location information disappeared. The surveillance camera lens was covered with something like duct tape, and that was the end of it.”

It appears that the latest device used in the theft was something called a “Game Boy.” When the thief touches the car door while holding a device similar to a handheld game console in both hands, it receives signals from the car, analyzes the information, and creates an electronic key. This key can unlock the door and start the engine, all within a minute. The relay attack prevention device is now considered an outdated measure and can be quickly disabled.

As thieves become more high-tech and new devices are constantly being developed, it becomes a cat-and-mouse game despite countermeasures. Mihara expressed her frustration.

“I’ve heard that the thing thieves hate the most is a tire lock. It takes time to cut a tire lock, and even though it’s an old-fashioned device, it’s a hassle.”

With vehicle thefts occurring nationwide and becoming a social issue, Mihara has expressed her determination to tackle this problem as a politician.

“It might be a bit outside my expertise, but I want to work hard on vehicle theft countermeasures. Additionally, I believe we need to consider broader community security.”

Originating from “Tsuppari”

Mihara speaks with a sharp gaze. Her career, which took off when she played the role of the rebellious girl Reiko Yamada in the 1979 TV drama “3-nen B-gumi Kinpachi-sensei” (TBS), is no mere fluke. As a talent, she gained popularity as a delinquent idol.

“At that time, there were no delinquent roles in school dramas, and Reiko’s image from ‘Kinpachi-sensei’ spread rapidly. I wore a leather jacket and rode on the back of a motorcycle, that kind of thing (laughs). I was told to do whatever I wanted, so I was really into it on set. I dyed my hair and flattened my school bag.”

In the drama “Highly Inappropriate!” (TBS), which concluded this January, Mihara’s name frequently came up. After the broadcast, she reacted on X (formerly Twitter) with “Huh? I appeared! (laughs).” She humorously reflected on her past, eliciting laughter.

“Even my secretaries watched the drama and said, ‘We didn’t expect your name to come up like that, it was funny.’ Seiko Noda also told me, ‘Junko, I’m watching,’ almost every time.”

As a politician, she wants to implement measures to crack down on vehicle theft gangs, a matter that cannot be dismissed as merely inappropriate.

The stolen vehicle was Mihara’s Land Cruiser. In the foreground, her four beloved dogs, affectionately referred to as “the little ones,” can be seen.
Unpublished Photo from Our Magazine: Junko Mihara, House of Councillors member, reveals the “Tragedy of Her Stolen Beloved Car.” “It’s outside my expertise, but I will focus on vehicle theft prevention!”
Unpublished Photo from Our Magazine: Junko Mihara, House of Councillors member, reveals the “Tragedy of Her Stolen Beloved Car.” “It’s outside my expertise, but I will focus on vehicle theft prevention!”

From the May 24, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO. Hiroyuki Komatsu

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