Reporting the Real Names of Minors Questioned…The “Shivering Contents” of Past Violent Juvenile Crimes
Nonfiction writer Kota Ishii delves into the depths of Japanese society!
Continuing from “Part 1: The Horrific Details of Juvenile Cases,” nonfiction writer Kota Ishii reports on the reporting of juveniles’ real names.
In retrospect, there has been a long debate in Japan about the reporting of juveniles’ real names.
One of the most famous cases is the The case of Norio Nagayama in 1968. The famous case of Norio Nagayama in 1968 was one of the most famous. At the time Nagayama was 19 years old at the time. Nagayama, who was 19 years old at the time, shot and killed four people in rapid succession with a pistol he had stolen from a U.S. military base. Although he was a minor, the brutality of the case was reported in his real name and he was sentenced to death.
In those days, newspapers and TV stations, including those in the Nagayama case, were willing to report the real names of the victims side by side, depending on the case. It was not until the 1980s that magazines broke ranks and began to report the cases by their own judgment using the real names. 80’s and later. It was not until the late 1980s that magazines broke ranks and began to use their own names in their reporting.
One of the most controversial examples of real name reporting by magazines was the The first controversial real-name report by a magazine was the “Ayase Girls’ High School” in 1989. The Ayase high school girls were concretely stuffed to death in a high school.
A high school girl was confined for a month and a half.
The incident occurred when a high school girl riding a bicycle was 16 ～The incident occurred when a female high school student riding a bicycle was 18 The incident began when a high school girl was abducted by a group of boys between the ages of 16 and 18 while riding a bicycle. The boys held her captive for a month and a half, during which time they subjected her to torture-like physical and sexual violence day after day and night. They then killed her in a mass lynching, thinking that she would not be allowed to return alive. They put her body in a drum, hardened it with concrete, and dumped it.
The sheer horror of the incident shook society to its core. The Shukan Bunshun (weekly magazine) took a serious look at the case and reported the name of the boy who committed the crime. The incident provoked various debates in various places, and some people began to believe that if the incident was serious, the real name and photo should be made public, even if the boy was underage.
90s. In the 1990s, the following cases were reported with real names or mugshots.
. 92 Murder of the Ichikawa Family” in 1985 A 19-year-old boy killed four members of a family for money. A 19-year-old boy killed four members of a family and injured another for money.
… 94 1994 “Osaka, Aichi, and Gifu serial lynching murders” – 18-year-old boy killed four members of a family for money and injured one. 18 ~ 18 18 – 19 years old Three main suspects, aged 18-19, killed four people by lynching for the purpose of robbery, etc. They were sentenced to death. Sentenced to death.
… 97 Kobe Serial Child Murder Case” in 1997 A 14-year-old junior high school student A 14-year-old junior high school student, who claimed to be “Seito Shuukibara,” killed two elementary and junior high school students. The victims’ heads were cut off and placed in front of the school.
… 98 Sakai City Thinner Boy Street Incident” – 1964 19 A 5-year-old girl died, and her mother and another high school girl were seriously injured.
Thus. 90 Weekly and monthly magazines published the real names and photos of the victims in each case and covered them extensively. While some people argued that this was a violation of human rights, at the same time there were more than a few who said that the Juvenile Law, which protects criminals who have caused such a large number of crimes, was wrong, and some of the magazines’ arguments were accepted by the courts.
00s In the 1990s and later, the significance of reporting the real names of the victims changed slightly. With the spread of the Internet, major incidents were followed by a search for the perpetrators and the exposure of the privacy of the perpetrators by Internet residents.
Unlike magazines published by publishers, the search for culprits on the Internet is conducted by amateurs in a disparate manner, which has led to a number of problems. Information is leaked in a malicious manner, even the privacy of the perpetrator’s relatives and friends is revealed, and unrelated people are exposed online as perpetrators. …… I have been told that the “I’m not a good person” attitude is a good thing.
I have been working on a project that I call “ 43 The case of the murder of a boy in Kawasaki Junior High School, which I wrote about in a report titled “43 times the will to kill”, is a case in point. Not only the three perpetrators, but also other boys were accused of the crime, and information about friends and family members of the perpetrators was spread on the Internet. Many of them were obvious falsehoods.
In this sense, the anonymity of juvenile cases is no longer necessarily firmly protected. It was in such an era that the recent amendment of the law was made, but looking at the current situation one month later, there still seems to be some hesitation on the part of the government to make public announcements. In light of the current situation, it may be safe to assume that prosecutors will only release real names in the following cases.
Two elements of cases in which real names should be released
There must be two or more victims.
Even if there is only one victim, the social impact must be enormous.
In this light, it is safe to assume that there is not that much difference from the standards for reporting real names that were set by magazines before the law was revised. However, whether public opinion would accept such standards as appropriate or not is another matter entirely.
Recall the words of the lawyer in the case mentioned at the beginning of this article. He cited the boy’s “subordinate” status and the fact that his family would not be able to “live there” as the reasons for his request to refrain from reporting the assailant’s real name.
But is it logically correct to withhold the boy’s real name just because he was involved in a robbery and murder in a subordinate position? Whatever his position in the group, he must have been only one of the murderers from the perspective of the students who were killed.
Also, while the lives of the families of the perpetrators should be protected, it is the families of the victims that must be given priority before that.
Among the parents of the victims of juvenile cases that I have interviewed, there were many who were victims but could no longer live in their hometowns. The parents said that the exposure of their children’s names not only brought curiosity from neighbors but also rumors about things that did not really happen. If they appeared in front of the media, they were called “show-offs,” if they filed a claim for damages, they were called “money-grubbing,” and if they went to a liquor store on occasion to relax, they were told that they were “drinking happily even though their child was killed.
Many of the victims’ families left their hometowns to escape from this kind of situation. The reality is that the parents of the victims are on the run with their family tiles while the parents of the perpetrators are living in comfort. In this light, we should discuss protecting the families of the victims before the families of the perpetrators.
When covering juvenile cases, the bereaved families of the victims are always saying, “Why did the perpetrators and their families do this?
Why are the human rights of the perpetrators and their families only protected, while the human rights of the children who were killed and ours are ignored?
One of the reasons for protecting perpetrators is the argument that their rehabilitation should not be hindered. I myself have interviewed and written books on many rehabilitation cases, so I am not unaware of this argument. I have interviewed and written books about many rehabilitation cases myself, so I am not unaware of this argument, because perpetrators are also victims.
However, as someone who has also interviewed bereaved families, I cannot easily nod my head in agreement.
— 18 From the age of 18, one becomes an adult.
The only way for our society to move forward is to continue to discuss the meaning of this fact over and over again.
Reporting and writing： Kota Ishii
Born in Tokyo in 1977. Nonfiction writer. Graduated from Nihon University College of Art. He has reported and written about culture, history, and medicine in Japan and abroad. His books include "Kichiku" no Ie: Wagakko wo Kajiru Oyasato Tachi" ("The House of 'Demons': Parents Who Kill Their Children"), "43 Kichiku no Kyoi: The Depths of the Kawasaki Junior High School Student Murder Case", "Rental Child", "Kinship Murder", and "Kakusa to Segregation no Shakaichizu".
Photography： Shinji Hasuo