Monday, February 21, 2011

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction - Story Behind Unjust Arrest

A man was unjustly arrested in Tokyo by the Japanese police. The man has faith in the Unification Church.  Japanese media reported the arrest, but it lacks important information behind the incident.  This blog reveals the unreported facts behind it.    

This article is based on the Mr. Kazuhiro Yonemoto’s articles in his blog.   

Mr. Yonemoto is an investigative reporter who published a book in 2009 called “Our Unpleasant Neighbours” (A story of a woman’s tragedy who was “rescued” from the Unification Church.   

Major Japanese media reported on Feb 7, 2011 that a Unification Church member in Japan, Mr. Takashi Usami was arrested on suspicion of violating Stalker Regulation Law by the Public Safety Bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.

Here is the newspaper article.  (Mainichi Shimbun Daily Newspaper on Feb 8, 2011.)
All the major media reported, but they had almost same contents.

--------------- Start of the newspaper article --------------------- 
The Public Safety Bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department announced on Feb 7, 2011 that they arrested Takashi Usami (42, Member of the Unification Church) of Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture under suspicion of stalking a woman (36) who he met at the church’s mass wedding ceremony.  Usami denied the suspicion, saying it was not stalking activities.

According to the Public Bureau of the Police Department, Usami and the woman were engaged at the Unification Church Wedding Ceremony held in Korea in Feb 2007.  The woman left the church in Dec 2008, then cancelled the engagement, and repeated to change the residence.  Takashi Usami is suspected on stalking activities as he waited in ambush for the woman, walked together, and demanded to talk for 5 times between Jun 8, 2010 and Nov 28, 2010 in Shinjuku and Suginami (both in Tokyo).  It is said that Usami and the woman was engaged in the church ceremony, but the woman left the church after the church wedding.

It is said that a GPS mobile phone unit which was registered under Usami’s name was fit underneath the body of her car, and it was transmitted 760 times between Oct 1, 2010 and Oct 14, 2010 to relay the location.  The Public Safety Bureau searched the Usami’s house, and seized more than 80 items such as writing pads or PC.

The woman filed a complaint in Ogikubo Police Office on Jan 13, 2011, and the Bureau is carefully investigating the organized involvement as there’s possibility of stalking activities to other women.
-------------------------- End of the newspaper article ----------------------

There are important facts missing (or intentionally omitted) in the newspaper article.  The missing fact is that the woman was kidnapped and confined for deprogramming purpose, and 10 months later she renounced the church and cancelled the engagement. 

You may remember the article of 6 weeks ago in this blog.  It is about Ms MA who was kidnapped and confined in an apartment, but escaped by climbing down an electric pole.   As soon as Ms MA was kidnapped and confined in an apartment room, deprogrammer Miyamura visited the Ms MA’s confinement site.  Miyamura brought 3 women.  1 of the women is the woman who alleges that she was stalked.  The woman will be mentioned Ms K in this blog.

Relating Facts of Ms K and Mr. Usami
  •  Feb 2007: 
    The woman (Ms K) & Mr. Usami attended the Unification Church Wedding and they were matched (engaged).
  • Jan 2008: 
    Ms K was kidnapped and confined to break her faith.  Takashi Miyamura was   a deprogrammer.
  • Dec 2008:   
    Ms K renounced the church and cancelled the engagement.
  • Jun 8, 2010 to Nov 28, 2010:
    Ms K alleges that Mr. Usami stalked her for 5 times.
  • Nov 28, 2010
    Mr. Usami saw and talked to Ms K for 1 minute.
  • Jan 2, 2011:
    Ms K appeared together with deprogrammer Miyamura at the apartment where Ms MA was confined.
  • Jan 13, 2011:
    Ms K submitted a written complaint against Usami in Ogikubo Police.
  • Feb 7, 2011:
    Mr. Usami was arrested.
Mr. Usami is still under custody of the Police.  Mr. Yonemoto visited the Police Office and he could talked to Mr. Usami for 20 minutes on Feb 15, 2011 to clarify the details.  The following facts were revealed.

Police accuses him that he stalked Ms K for 5 times.  Mr. Usami explained as follows;

Mr. Usami followed Ms K’s parent’s car using the GPS system fitted to Ms K’s parent’s car, and reached at the Shinjuku 1-15-9 area.  Mr. Usami saw Ms K’s parents entering into a building.  There’s Ms K’s lawyer (Mr. Hiroshi Yamaguchi)’s office in the building.  But Mr. Usami never saw Ms K.  2 more similar incidents followed.  So Mr. Usami even did not see Ms K for the first 3 incidents.

Then what happened to the 4th time?  Mr. Usami explained;

Ms K’s father’s car moved towards the Ogikubo 1-33 in Suginami area, and Mr. Usami followed it.  Then Mr. Usami witnessed that Ms K and her parents walked into a ground floor room of a small apartment.  Then Mr. Usami was walking around the area, and he saw Ms K walking by herself.  He said he was so nervous that he could not approach to her.  Mr. Usami

Mr. Usami saw Ms K walking, but did not talk to her. This was the 4th time.  Then what was the 5th time.  Mr. Usami continued;

The 5th incident happened in Nov 2010.  GPS stopped working by then.  Mr. Usami decided to go to the area of the apartment. He saw a car stopping in front of the apartment with the engine running, and 2 or 3 women getting into the car.  Mr. Usami followed the car.  The car stopped in front of the Mr. Miyamura’s house (the deprogrammer’s house).  But he didn’t follow the car because he thought Ms K was not in the car.

Truth Is stranger than fiction.  Mr. Usami decided to go to the Sauna (bath) in the area.  The reception is on the ground floor level, and sauna area is upstairs.   He was sitting in the chair.  To his surprise, the deprogrammer Miyamura and 3 or 4 women passed just in front of him.  And he saw Ms K among them.  Miyamura shouted, “What the hell are you doing here?” 2 women screamed at him, “I sue you for stalking”.  Mr. Usami didn’t say anything.

Mr. Usami went into the bath area and confronted Mr. Miyamura.  Mr. Usami asked Miyamura,”Can I talk to Ms K?”  Miyamura replied “No”. 

Mr. Usami didn’t give up.  He waited in the sofa by the reception.  Then Ms K came down from upstairs by herself.  It was first time in 3 years to see face to face.  There was conversation for 1 minute.  Ms K said, “It was over.  Didn’t I send you a letter in the autumn 2 years ago?”   Mr. Usami was finally able to confirm Ms K’s cancellation of the engagement from her directly.  It ended his “confirmation process” (to confirm Ms K’s decision from her mouth directly).

Are his behaviours stalking behaviours?

No, they are not.  First 3 incidents, Mr. Usami even didn’t see her.  At the 4th time, he saw her, but didn’t talk to her nor confront her to demand something.  Only at the 5th time which was Nov 2011, they talked each other for 1 minute.  As Mr. Usami confirmed her decision directly from her, he stopped to look for her whereabouts. 

Mr. Usami and Ms K were engaged in the church ceremony in Feb 2007.  And I suppose they had communicated with each other to develop relationships until Ms K was kidnapped and confined in an attempt to break her faith. Ms K disappeared completely from Mr. Usami all of sudden.  What would you do in this situation?  Mr. Usami was desperate to look for her and “rescue” her from the captors.

Ms K sent a letter to Mr. Usami in Dec 2008, notifying her cancellation of the engagement after 11 months of sudden disappearance.  In such confinement situation, victims often pretend to renounce the faith in order to be freed.  There are many cases in deprogramming process that victims are forced to do something against their will.  Victims have to follow the deprogrammers instruction during the “pretending” period, otherwise they fear that they are confined in a prison type room again or forever.  Even if Mr. Usami received a letter from Ms K, he needed to confirm her decision directly from her.

During the period of “stalking activities” mentioned in the newspaper, he was desperate to look for Ms K to confirm her decision.  Imagine you have a engaged partner, and the partner disappeared all of sudden from you, and you received a piece of paper telling you your partner cancelled the engagement.  Don’t you want to hear directly from the partner?  Even if it was just for 1 minute, Mr. Usami heard from Ms K face to face.  This ended Mr. Usami’s confirmation process and he did not have to look for her anymore.  Mr. Usami’s action is the action in the confirmation process, not stalking behaviours which are normally driven by feelings of hate/loneliness as a result of love.   If he chased Ms K after the confrimation process, it could be regarded as stalking behaviour.

To fit a GPS unit on someone's car is criminal?

There’s no law in Japan to directly regulate fitting the GPS unit on someone’s car.  Mr. Yonemoto’s lawyer replied to him, “There’s no law to regulate.  It is not illegal to fit GPS unit on someone’s car.”  In fact Mr. Usami said that the police are not interested in the GPS.            

This is an unjust arrest. 

Mr. Usami said that he wishes the prosecutors formally indict him so he can fight the charges at the court.  If so, more details of the deprogrammers’ activities will be revealed, which could help deprogramming practice in Japan cease quicker.

I strongly support Mr. Usami.  He’s still kept in custody in Ogikubo Police. The detention may continue until Mar 2 which is the legal limit of the detention period.  I would like to support his lone fight against lies.  He also needs your support.

If you wish to write to him directly, send to the Police Office.  I suggest you should send by post card.  Letter takes longer before reaching him as the police sensors it.  Also I suggest you should use plain Enlgish, so Mr. Usami (and also the police) can understand easily.  Your letter/card may arrive after Mr. Usami is released. No guarantee if police will forward the letters to his residential address if reaching after the release.
Mr. Takashi Usami
c/o Ogikubo Police
Momoi 3-1-3, Suginami-ku
Tokyo 167-0034

Added on Mar. 13, 2011
Mr. Usami was transferred to Tokyo Detention Centre.  You can send letters to the following address.

Mr. Takashi Usami
c/o Tokyo Detention Centre
1-35-1 Kosuga, Katsushika-Ku
Tokyo  124-8565

Again, thanks to Mr. Kazuhiro Yonemoto who visited Mr. Usami in Ogikubo Police Office and wrote 2 articles in his blog. This article is based on Mr. Yonemoto's reports.


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