A sexual minority network has sent complaints to toy giant Tomy and Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) over a new version of Tomy’s Kurohige Kiki Ippatsu game that uses a character based on television personality Razor Ramon HG, alternatively known as Hard Gay.
The Kyoto-based sexual minority teacher’s network is demanding that Tomy halt sales of a version of the game titled “Kurohi-gei Kiki Ippatsu.” In the game, which is scheduled to go on sale on Dec. 30, plastic swords are inserted into holes in a barrel until the character inside jumps out.
The game was planned by TBS, the channel on which Razor Ramon frequently appears, and Tomy is marketing it. The complaints claim that selling a toy in which a gay or similarly associated person is put in a barrel and people ‘enjoy’ poking swords into it discriminates against homosexuals. They also raise fears that the game instills the impression in children that discrimination against gays is fine. Officials from the sexual minority network are seeking a response from Tomy and TBS over the issues.
Tomy officials said they would respond. “We have taken the matter seriously, and want to respond. The concept of the game is not to stab people with swords, but rather it is to have the character jump out from the barrel. We want to explain that there has been confusion,” a company official said.
A police inspector faces punishment for hitting a sergeant on the head with a truncheon after finding officers napping at a police box during working hours, it has been learned.
The Metropolitan Police Department is questioning the 54-year-old inspector, whose name has been withheld, over the incident. He has reportedly admitted overstepping his authority.”I was offering instructions, but I went too far. I’m sorry,” the inspector was quoted as saying.
Investigators said the inspector called on a police box outside Akabane Police Station in Tokyo’s Kita-ku shortly before 9 a.m. on Feb. 12. Officers at the police box were supposed to have been working outside that morning, but the inspector found two officers napping.
“When the inspector told them off, a 52-year-old sergeant stood in front of him and attempted to offer an explanation, but the inspector pulled out a 70-centimeter-long truncheon and clubbed the sergeant on the head.
The sergeant was taken to a hospital for examination, but he was not injured in the incident. The inspector was transferred from his position in May. Police said they would punish the inspector after deciding whether to form a case against him.
MOTOBU, Okinawa — Hundreds have thronged to Sesoku island to watch this year’s goat sumo ceremony, a clash dating back to prewar days where goats battle it out in the middle of a ring to determine which animal will become champion.
Goat sumo involves putting two goats into a ring with a radius of about 6 meters and then setting them against each other as they butt horns, stand on their hind legs and attack each other. Each bout can last for up to 15 minutes unless one of the goats runs away before that time. In the event both goats remain in the ring for the duration, the animal that has made the most hits with its horns is declared the winner.
This year featured 18 combatants at weights ranging from 60 to 130 kilograms. Goats have a reputation for being relatively docile, but organizers said they become extremely aggressive when pitted against a competitor in the ring. Goat sumo bouts are apparently extremely stressful for the animals involved, which tend to become very quiet after being forced to fight.
OKAYAMA — A jobless man, arrested for hanging around in the predawn hours of Monday in a famous park here stark naked, has told police that he was trying to shake off stress, according to investigators.
Yoshihiro Katagiri, 39, a resident of Okayama, is accused of trespassing. “I climbed over the northern wall of the park to enter into its premises. I took off all my clothes in a bid to shake off stress,” he was quoted as telling investigators.
…. now I don’t feel so silly when I go the park to relive stress
(What a way to go!)
OSAKA — A middle-aged woman died after a gust of wind ripped a supermarket parasol from its stand and sent it flying into her head, police said Friday. Killed in the accident on Wednesday was Misaho Kuwahara, a 57-year-old housewife.
The supermarket’s operator has halted operations at the store in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture, until Saturday and removed similar parasols from 133 other stores in five prefectures. Police are questioning workers on suspicion of negligence resulting in death.
Investigators said the parasol had a diameter of 2.6 meters, a pole height of 2.4 meters and a weight of 4 kilograms. It had been placed within the store compound to shade fruit and other items. At about 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, the parasol was hit by strong winds, and was ripped from its metal stand, investigators said. It flew into the path of Kuwahara, and one of the 10 metal ribs of the frame pierced her head. Kuwahara was rushed to hospital but died the following day.
The parasol was designed to be inserted into a 30-centimeter deep hole in the stand and secured with a screw. Police are investigating whether the parasol was correctly positioned.
Tokyo – The Supreme Court on Thursday supported a post office’s decision to sack a worker who was issued about 1,000 instructions and reprimands over seven years, throwing out the worker’s claim that his dismissal was unfair.
In making the decision, the court overturned earlier district court rulings that had sided with the Akita Prefecture worker, and said the dismissal was appropriate. Between 1990 and 1997, while working at the Omagari Post Office in Omagari, Akita Prefecture, the worker was issued instructions and orders 937 times for refusing to work overtime or participate in training, not wearing a uniform and using violent language. In addition to the instructions and orders, the worker was reprimanded 118 times, and subjected to disciplinary action five times.
In June 1997 the employee filed a suit claiming that a dismissal handed down by the head of the post office was unfair, saying, “I was only acting under the assertion of my rights, and my actions didn’t hinder my work.
“The court, however, said that the dismissal could not be described as illegal. “During three reprimands by a superior, the defendant was silent from beginning to end and showed no change in attitude,” the court said. “There is a high possibility that work could not be carried out smoothly, and it cannot be said that the dismissal was illegal.”
This give a whole new meaning to “Going Postal”
NIIGATA — Surgeons operating on an elderly man to remove a stomach tumor have found a bandage left there 27 years ago, hospital officials said Tuesday.
The man in his 60s went for a checkup in December last year, complaining of stiffness in his stomach, and tests revealed a fist-sized tumor.During an operation at the Niigata Prefectural Central Hospital in January to have the tumor removed, doctors found a clump of bandage inside the tumor.
After checking his medical history, hospital officials learned that the elderly man underwent a stomach operation in November 1977.The doctors believe the bandage was left in the man’s stomach during the earlier operation and caused the development of the tumor. The hospital offered an apology since the earlier operation was carried out at their hospital.”
That (leftover bandage) was clearly our mistake. We feel sorry for the patient,” an official of the Niigata Prefectural Chuo Hospital said.
OKAYAMA — The Okayama-based “Tomato Bank” admitted Tuesday that documents containing highly private information of more than 1,600 of its account holders had been stolen.
The documents, which listed 1,651 Tomato clients’ names, addresses, phone numbers, and their date of birth as well as the current balance in their accounts and how much they borrowed, were stolen from a bank clerk’s car on March 4. “We thought we had a diligent private information control system in place. We offer our sincerest apologies,” Tomato Bank director Takatora Komatsu said. He declined to elaborate on why it took five days to disclose the matter.
Tomato officials said the 34-year-old employee of its branch in Seto, Okayama Prefecture, took the list with him after work on the night of March 4 because he intended to continue his work at home. On his way home, he visited a rental video shop in the city. He left the bag containing the documents in the car parked in front of the shop. When he returned about 30 minutes later, his car was ransacked and the bag was gone.
Officials said they would visit all Tomato account holders on the list before the end of the week to offer their apologies in person.
Tomato Bank adopted its current name to get rid of “boring and unfriendly images” associated with banks when the national Sogo Bank group broke up to become smaller local banks in 1989.
YOKOHAMA — A former Olympic athlete has been arrested for stealing two items from a supermarket in Kanagawa Prefecture Monday afternoon, police said Wednesday.
Kanagawa Prefectural Police arrested Itsuo Takanezawa, 52, a former pole-vaulter, Monday on suspicion of shoplifting, and handed him over to prosecutors Wednesday. Takanezawa stole a high-pressure pipe cleaner and a hose, worth 27,600 yen, from a Cainz Home outlet in the Kawashiri district of Shiroyama Monday afternoon, according to investigators.
Takanezawa established Japan’s highest record of 5.32 meters in the pole vault and participated in Montreal Olympics in 1976. He won the eighth place in the Olympics. He is currently operating a noodle shop in western Tokyo.
…He must spill a lot of noodles while vaulting over the customer’s tables.
Shooting will begin in May on “Godzilla Final Wars,” where the monster’s record of merciless destruction of urban centers will be bolstered by the addition of New York, Shanghai and Paris. Ten other monsters which appeared in past Godzilla movies will also appear in new forms in the final version.
“Godzilla” told the story of the huge monster awakened by the explosion of a hydrogen bomb. A huge hit, “Godzilla” sparked a series that has drawn 98.25 million people to movie theaters since Toho first released the film in 1954.
“We decided to make the best possible movie to mark the memorable occasion of (Godzilla’s) 50th anniversary,” Shogo Toyama, producer of “Godzilla Final Wars,” said. Though hailed as the end for Godzilla, Toho has retired the monster several times in the past and Toyama did not rule out the creature emerging from the depths again some time in the future.
I can’t wait to see him blow out the candles on his birthday cake!
OSAKA — A woman miraculously escaped death after she fell off a platform onto the tracks and an express train passed over the top of her.
Police said the 40-year-old woman fell 1 meter from a platform at Rinku Town station on the JR Kansai Airport Line moments before a limited express train rushed pass the station. The driver of the train, which was traveling from Kansai International Airport to Kyoto Station, slammed on the emergency brakes, but was unable to stop in time and passed over the woman.
The woman had fallen between the rails of the track and suffered a scratch on her hand when the train passed overhead, but escaped major injury. Local police officials said the woman had dropped one of her belongings, and when she bent down to pick it up she became nauseated and toppled over onto the tracks.
The width of the tracks was about 1 meter. There was a gap of about 30 centimeters between the ground and the bottom of the train, and the woman had fallen face down on the tracks, police said.
YOKOHAMA — A Kanagawa Prefecture public elementary school teacher has been suspended for one month for holding a boy upside down as he carried him over a pedestrian crossing, education officials said.
The 11-year-old pupil sustained injuries to his neck and ankles, causing him to miss 10 days of school, but his absence was prolonged even further because he developed a fear of the 54-year-old teacher who punished him. “We would like to deeply apologize to prefecture residents,” a spokesman for the Kanagawa Prefectural Board of Education said. “We want to thoroughly instruct our educators so that this sort of incident does not occur again.”
Board officials said that while on an excursion on Oct. 7, the boy persisted in trying to climb up the side of road signs, constantly ran out onto the road and repeatedly acted in a dangerous manner. The teacher warned the boy about his behavior several times, but the pupil from a public school in Ebina, Kanagawa Prefecture, ignored the teacher and persisted in messing around. Finally, the teacher bent down and grabbed the boy’s ankles, flung him upside-down and carried him across a pedestrian crossing. He then slapped the boy to the face several times and dragged him for some distance by the scruff of his neck.
KUMAMOTO — A former university lecturer arrested and charged with drug possession used his twin brother as a stand-in to counsel troubled students, despite the brother having no qualifications, it has been learned.
Furious Kumamoto Prefectural Education officials plan to file a criminal complaint with police against the former lecturer, Yujiro Sonoda, and his twin brother, accusing them of fraud. “These were actions that trampled on the feelings of troubled students,” an education official said. “They defamed education. It was extremely malicious and we therefore decided to file a criminal complaint.”
Despite knowing about the fraud, however, the principal did not report the incident to the Prefectural Board of Education for months. The Prefectural Education Board also paid him 260,000 yen.
Man nabbed for 1,300 fake emergency calls in 1 month
NAGASAKI — A man who made over 1,300 prank emergency phone calls to police in one month to vent his pent-up feelings has been arrested, law enforcers said.The man, Kazuya Nishimoto, 41, was arrested by Nagasaki Prefectural Police for obstructing officials from carrying out their duties. He has reportedly admitted making the false emergency calls.”I did it to vent my frustrations,” he was quoted by police as saying.
Police said Nishimoto began making prank emergency calls from about February last year. In August this year, he was allegedly making between about 30 and 120 calls a day, and more than 1,300 were reportedly recorded in one month, before his arrest on Wednesday.Between 8:24 p.m. and 11:01 p.m. on Aug. 26, he made 98 fake calls to police from his mobile phone, saying things like, “I’ve been stabbed,” and “I’ve got drugs,” investigators said.
Smoking snapshot sparks brawl
KAWASAKI — A man has been arrested after he bashed another man because he took a photo of him as he illegally smoked on a train station platform, police said Monday. Hiroshi Matsumoto was arrested for assault after allegedly unleashing an attack that left 42-year-old Taro Goto with a broken nose.
Matsumoto, 25, admits to the allegations. “I was just furious when he took my photo, so I thumped him. Police said Goto admonished Matsumoto for smoking on the platform while the pair waited for a Tokyu Denentoshi Line train. Matsumoto ignored the older man’s warnings, so Goto took out his camera-equipped mobile phone and took a photo of the younger man.
I told you… Cell Phones ARE dangerous!