Since the infamy in Akihabara, a wave of copycat would be stabbers has arisen, not to mention a number of actual stabbers, with police now having investigated a total of 300 incidents of threatened or actual violence, chiefly being posted to online bulletin boards.
Of course, of the copycat threats, the majority are of less than serious intent (not that this will stop arrests for the sake of caution), but of those 300 serious enough to investigate, 20 have resulted in prompt arrests based on them being of especially malign intent.
The plague’s onset was fast: only the morning after the incident a would be slaughterer posted to 2ch that “I’m gonna go to Ikebukuro and kill a hundred people” – 16 minutes later Ikebukuro police were alerted to the threat, only the first of many nationwide.
Police are taking no chances: “We can’t allow it to happen even if the chance is exceedingly remote”. Accordingly, they act in whatever cases they can; we hear they recently arrested a 29-year-old man in Hamamatsu who made such threats, soliciting the cooperation of his ISP in getting the details they needed to pounce on him, and then charge him with interfering with police duties.
Hearteningly, even as police have leapt to investigate these cases by demanding private details from ISPs, ISPs for their part have not been entirely supine in handing over details of all and sundry: “There have been ISPs who have declined to provide us with information, stating it to be private information” police investigators grumble – of 2,000 providers, only 30 provide a ready conduit for police to demand and receive information.