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.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Goto Takes Deprogrammers to Court

It was announced on Feb 3, 2011, that Mr. Goto filed civil suit in Tokyo District Court demanding damage compensation of 200 million Yen  (= US$2.4 Million) against a deprogrammer Takashi MIYAMURA, a Christian Minster Yasutomo MATSUNAGA and relatives.

Mr. Goto (picture–right) was confined for 12 years and 5 months (Sep.11, 1995 - Feb.10, 2008) against his will in an attempt to abandon his faith. 
The Tokyo Prosecutors Office failed to indict the deprogrammers in Dec 2009. Insufficient evidence was the reason.   The Tokyo No 4 Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution decided on Oct 6, 2010 that the Prosecutor’s Non-Indictment decision was appropriate. This ended the chance of criminal trial.

Mr Goto is now seeking civil trial. 

In America, civil cases had stronger impacts than criminal cases. 

In Eilers case, the grand jury dismissed all the charges brought against deprogrammers.  But in the civil case in 1984, the judge stated that “there is no question that the plaintiff was actually confined”.
In Scott’s criminal case (1993), the deprogrammer Rick Ross ended in acquittal.  But in the civil case (1995), Scott was awarded almost US5 million in damage compensation and punitive compensation from deprogrammer Rick Ross, his assistants and CAN, which brought CAN out of business.



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Korean Man Sent a Letter to his Fiancee's Parents

I reported the kidnapping/confinement case of Ms T (36) at my previous article.  
The Religious Kidnapping & Forced Conversion Victim's Association in Tokyo reported that the Mr. Lee sent a letter to his fiancee's parents, and the website uploaded the letter in Korean and its Japanese translation.
Letter in Korean
Letter in Japanese

I translated the letter into English.  Please note the English translation below is done by myself based on the Japanese translation, and it is not official translation.

The Letter Mr. Lee sent to his fiancee's parents, translated by Yoshi from translated Japanese (Original letter is in Korean.)

Dear T’s Parents,

Hello, I’m Lee Jang-Hee.  I should come and see you for the greetings, but please forgive me to write to you.

Let me introduce myself briefly.  I was born at a small village in Hwasun-gun, Jeollanam-Do as the youngest son. I have 4 brothers and one sister.  We all grew up happily together with a strict father and a loving mother even though we were not rich.  

My father died when I was in the year 8 (2nd year in the junior high school).  It was shocking experience to me.  We all moved to Kwanju where my elder brother lived.  And I received education up to University in Kwanju, and now I live in my brother’s home with my mother.   

When I was a student, my mother used to tell me not to cause someone trouble.   I’m still keeping my mother’s word, and I now have important roles at the workplace and in society.  I’m working for the biggest bus company in Korea.

I was introduced to the Unification Church through my senior friend, and I chose to be a member of the Church and I started to pray for my family.  I met Ms T in 2008 introduced by the church, and we attended a church wedding ceremony.  I was not interested in marriage personally, but the church taught me the value and meaning of family, which made me decide to join this church. 

When I met Ms T at the airport for the first time, she was very beautiful with an intellectual atmosphere. I felt as if I was dreaming. I fell in love at first sight.  I became to know that she has an angelic heart as our relationships were deepened.  I think her beautiful heart is from her parents’ education, and I became to respect you.

Our love has grown since the engagement in Japan.  The more I know her, the more I’m convinced that she is my eternal partner. I can feel a loving and respectful heart within her.  People around me tell me that Ms T resembles me. I feel it is like fate linked by heaven, which we live on for the rest of the life.  Even if we don’t speak same language, there’s always love and respect for each other.  I certainly love Ms T who is so beautiful like an angel.  But I can’t see her, I can’t even hear her voice.  How can I express my heart?

Dear respected Ms T’s parents!

I hear that International Seminar “Religious Freedom and Human Rights” was held in Japan on Nov 29 – Dec 2 last year.  Japan is the most advanced nation in Asia, and has high standard in economy and culture internationally. I have to be bewildered by the fact that religious freedom is violated in Japan.  Korea, which is behind Japan does not kidnap and confine someone because of the religious faith.

Dearest Father and  Mother,

I suppose you two loved each other and married.  Ms T and I love each other across national boundaries.  I don’t understand why I don’t even know where she is.  I do my best so I can receive your love as you love your daughter.  This is my expression from my bottom of my heart, not just in the letter.  I will love your daughter more than any other person, and I promise we build a happy family.  Also it is my joy to be a good son of yours as I lost my father when I was young.  I prepared for an apartment to move to in Feb and planned and dreamed lots of things.  And unpredictable things happened.  

I suppose you married because you loved each other.  If you look back at your heart at that time, I believe you understand our love.  I really want to see Ms T.  Even just want to hear her voice.  Please let me have a chance to do so.

I ask you again.  We love each other.  Please do not tear our love.

I will write to you again. 
Good Bye.
Jan 26, 2011
Jang-Hee  LEE
Husband who loves Ms T.
End of Translation

Source of Information:

Also read my previous article on Ms T.