Police have released one of Sunrise’s anime directors after arresting him for threatening to go on a killing spree in Osaka’s otaku district, having ignored his protestations of innocence whilst doggedly maintaining “we have proof – your IP address!” – only to discover his PC was being remotely controlled by a virus inflicted on him by 2ch.

42-year-old Masaki Kitamura, an anime director with Sunrise whose many credits include Gundam 00, Tiger & Bunny and Planetes, was originally arrested for making a criminal threat to commit indiscriminate violence (“I’ll kill lots of people at Otaroad!”) via a form on the Osaka city homepage.

Elite cybercrimes investigators with the Osaka police force could not believe their luck upon discovering that the threats made no attempt to conceal their sender’s identity, and promptly arrested and charged him with interfering with the activities of a public official.

The fact he made the “threat” using his real name has been pointed out as a dead give-away  that something was amiss, but Osaka police were having none of it and attempted to coerce him into confessing anyway, telling him “we have proof called your IP address!”

Police did notice he had also incorrectly spelled his own name (using an incorrect reading of the kanji in question) in the threatening mails, but again decided to press charges anyway.

They could also find no evidence he had ever visited the Osaka city homepage on his computer (and missed the fact his computer was infected with a virus), but put it down to him cunningly destroying evidence of his crimes.

Investigators eventually managed to establish that his PC had been infected with a virus, and decided to release him. Several weeks elapsed between his initial arrest and police managing to determine he was innocent, although it is not clear how long he spent incarcerated.

It is thought the virus found its way onto his new purchased second-hand PC after he downloaded some free software from a link he found on 2ch, which as it turned out harboured a virus which enabled an unknown attacker to remotely control his PC.

Such viruses are commonly circulated on 2ch and elsewhere, and information and screenshots pillaged from the PCs of victims are often shared on the shadier parts of the Japanese Internet.

2ch itself is subject to almost no moderation, and is consequently overflowing with spam and viruses of all kinds thanks to this and its “anonymous” character, although police are still fastidious about arresting those who make threats on it if they are foolish enough to do so under an untraceable IP.

Kitamura explained that he repeatedly protested his innocence during their interrogation, all to no avail:

“I had never heard of the ‘ota-road’ I was accused of mentioning in the threat, and I’d never even visited the city’s homepage.”

“I told them there was no doubt the mail was made by someone else, and that I had no idea what the contents were.”

Police instead only insisted “we have your IP!” and “if you admit you did it you’ll get a lighter punishment.”

He says he is “relieved to finally have been released after what was a very tough ordeal, but I’m frightened each time the police contact me.”

Some reports initially declined to reveal his name, although enough did reveal it that there was widespread disbelief amongst anime fans that he could be responsible. After his release he indicated to the media that he would prefer they use his real name.

Police, after finally accepting their suspect was in fact completely innocent, have belatedly begun an investigation of the software in question, a free timekeeping application which was operated by unknown parties using overseas servers (although given that the threat was in Japanese and delivered to a very specific target, Japanese hackers seem the most likely culprits).

The investigators responsible have only conceded that “if people say the investigation was deficient it can’t be helped” and “we even thought he was trying to provoke us by using his real name and deleting the evidence thinking we would not be able to pin it on him.”

In what may not be a coincidence, Tokyo police also admitted they released a 28-year-old man (from Fukuoka at the other end of the country) for sending threats to a Tokyo kindergarten, after discovering his PC was infected with a similar virus – although in this case they had already managed to wring a confession out of him.

They are just as grudging about admitting the innocence of a suspect in this case: “We don’t know if his PC really was being manipulated, but we released him to be on the safe side.”

A similar case and recent release occurred in Mie prefecture, suggesting that police may only just have worked out that convictions based solely on IP addresses and forced confessions may not be amongst the most reliable.

Online there is not much doubt about how Japanese police get most of their convictions:

“They are never going to live down the stuff about ‘we have your IP, it’s proof!'”

“I’m not confident I could stop myself from laughing if a cop came out with that to me.”

“They ought to sack these dregs who think an IP address is somehow direct proof of a crime.”

“How can they have someone with this level of knowledge investigating cybercrimes?”

“Terrifying that they have these types investigating sophisticated crimes.”

“If an IP address could assure guilt like that we wouldn’t need all these cops.”

“Giving these imbeciles the power of arrest is frightening.”

“You think these guys are smart? They are high school educated at best.”

“This is how they get confessions from all those supposed perverts.”

“People think the cops are somehow on the side of justice, when in fact they are just the state’s gangster enforcers.”

“A clear and unconstitutional violation of the rights of a suspect.”

“They get all their convictions by saying they’ll be lenient if they get a confession and lying about witnesses.”

“Somebody probably told them an IP address is like a digital fingerprint.”

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    Avatar of Kinny Riddle
    Comment by Kinny Riddle
    19:51 10/10/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    No wonder Japan has such low crime rates and high conviction rates - more than half of the "criminals" arrested are probably innocent and coerced into confessing for "a lighter sentence".

    It's about time someone educate these people to learn to stand up for their rights.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:48 10/10/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    People are scared because the japanese police don't serve as protectors of the country, but more as gangster-bullies with badges.

    An Anime director of a popular show like GUNDAM threatening to "kill" Otakus, which are basically his own fans is utterly ridiculous.

    Even fans know something is off when statements claimed to be made by an anime director suddenly pop up!

    There is a virus that infects computers by remote access and turn them into zombie-pawns. I wonder by the dude who sent the threats knew he got lucky to get ahold of an anime director computer?

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:06 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The guy could've gone crazy from doing all the anime and end up wanting to kill otakus, it is a legit possibility if you see that kind of kill message.
    How else do you want the police to act? Not arrest him before it's too late if he really went crazy?
    How else can you make a criminal confess?
    They found out later that they were wrong so they let the anime director go. He wasn't beat or anything, so I rather a small group suspected of doing a crime give up their rights sometimes for the better good of everybody.

    Committing an innocent of a crime is no good but ppl shouldn't bitch about people being detained if there were legit reasons to detain them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:55 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It's not just this story. The Japanese police are brutes who just want to increase their conviction rate no matter the cost.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:32 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wonder what this guy was downloading in 2ch to get this supposed "virus" in the first place? >.>

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:03 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fucking Adobe.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:46 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Downloading executable binaries from the internet is hardly the only way to get infected. There are plenty of other attack vectors such as remote exploits against vulnerable services, exploiting broken broken software *cough* Adobe browser plugins *cough*, infected removable storage, etc...

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:37 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why don't people just stop using Windows?
    Linux, it's free...

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:26 16/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    what a waste of a good opportunity. That hacker could have used his viruses to get a good number of those corrupt police imprisoned.
    But instead, he wastes it on innocent people.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:03 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Well the Japanese don't exactly come from a long tradition of democracy. We shoved than on them less than a century ago. It hasn't exactly overtaken all aspects of the culture and it never will.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:21 10/05/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Seems like the police force needs a reform.

    Comment by Anonymous

    You mean low crime rates are a bad thing? Please.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:55 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    No. Fail strawman.

    Avatar of fxc2
    Comment by fxc2
    19:42 10/10/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Fact is that the Japanese police suck. If you're a tourist asking for advice they'll no doubt be nice and friendly but if you're suspected of doing something even remotely criminal the police can apprehend you for several weeks and subject you to interrigation methods comparable to mental torture.

    They're running one of the safest countries in the world like a god forsaken drug war run-down precinct in Chicago and when they fuck up, they "offer their deepest apologies" and deny all further involvement on their part.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:27 11/10/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    "fall from grace and save face."

    That should be their new motto.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    23:33 10/10/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    The Osaka police are worse then the LAPD and that's really saying something.

    They're going to be lucky if he doesn't sue the fuck out of their asses.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:46 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Suing in Japan....
    You have a better chance at finding a bad cop in the US and getting jailed then suing... then trying to play their legal system imo. lol

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:17 12/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm not too sure about that. The last time something like this happened in Japan (it was like 6 years ago) the police had a good judgment against them.

    In American dollars, it was 50K. Not sure what it was in japanese yen.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:56 10/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    better than the american police. all they do is taze/shoot people 100% of the time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:54 11/10/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Only if you are black

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:18 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Or mexican >.>

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:14 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or white trash.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:06 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    ^^^ haha true that

    Comment by Anonymous

    I've been pulled over numerous time and never been tazed or shot, stop spreading fairy tales.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:48 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    What a stupid argument. Google "police abuse taser" if you wish to be proven wrong.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:10 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)


    cops are called pigs for a reason.

    i respect swat, dea (to some extent) and other branches of non street level cops.

    most cops will only really be threatened once in their whole career, if that. some areas are more dangerous than others, i dont shit on those cops. but every cop i have ever met demands respect like he just got stopped a terrorist from blowing up an orphanage.

    small town cops are real fucking cunts, and dont ever argue anything less. they have less crime, and because of a "everyone is doing something wrong, so few arrests means you aren't doing your job right" mentality, even good cops become cunts in that kind of a situation.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:40 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    07:48 Of course a minority of cases represents trend of the majority. Fucktard here.

    Also, in many of those cases they don't realize cops are under just as much scrutiny if not more and needlessly act out against the law enforcement, thus exacerbating the situation needlessly. In my experiences of being pulled over/questioned, if you just answer the questions and be upfront with nothing to hide, there is little room for complications.

    Not that any of these adolescent minded cunts on these boards bitching about 'fuck the cops' ever notice they are the ones with attitude problems.

    Comment by Anonymous

    @10:45 Little cunts who downvoted you are probably the same ones who touch electric fences than blame the security for putting them there.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Amused to the comments that say the JPN police is better the US police. At least in the US, as annoying and long as the police and law can be... "having your IP" is not enough evidence for the police to lock you up for several weeks.

    You can point to all the "police abuse videos" but tell me the last time you heard of your friend whip out his camera to capture a police officer doing an awesome job and go out his way to show the world he is doing an awesome job...

    Just because there is videos of abuse doesn't mean the majority of the police force is corrupted. You may hate the police in the US, but if its because you have an attitude or hostile when talking to the police... you just asking for trouble.

    Dressing like you are looking for trouble is also your own fault. You can say you have the right to dress like that, but they can also have the right to be cautious of you because there is a correlation between crime and the way people dress or act. Want to be able to dress in fashion that is considered questionable these days? You can thank the idiots who dressed like that and at the same time and broke the law.

    I rather have the US police force than the Japanese or Chinese one. A force that generally respects and is limited by the law, unlike China or Japan... where the chances of getting 100% screwed with no way for help is much higher.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Exactly how would that prove me wrong? I'm not the faggot claiming "people get taze/shoot 100% of the time". Dumbass.

    Comment by Anonymous

    u believe google?

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:31 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    All according to keikaku >.>

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:03 10/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually... Don't generalise too much here, I was once in a rather... complicated... situation a couple years ago and despite all the stories about how such offences are treated with implicit guilt...

    The interrogator was very friendly and professional, didn't assume neither guilt nor innocence and pushed me on all the right questions and such. Realised it wasn't what the girl claimed it was and let me go.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:58 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Sugoi monogatari aniki. Though you gave it away with "Realised it wasn't what the girl claimed".

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:35 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    oh please, he just didn't want an international incident on his hands.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:39 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Isn't that part of the whole "good cop" thing? They let ya think they are a nice gu and WHAM into the slammer you go.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Fuck yourself. Accusations levied by a female in Japan against a male, particularly a foreigner, result in a pass for the male. Time and again. Gropings too, in spite of that asinine movie that everyone thinks represents anything other than Japan's obnoxious daytime TV quality "true story" fictional entertainment subindustry. You raped a girl and she was bothered enough to call you out on it. Keep your worthless circumsized gaijin nob in your goddamned employed-by-yearly-contract sensei slacks. You fucking rapist piece of shit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:52 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous

    The fact is that it's one of the safest countries in the world BECAUSE of their attitude and fast action.

    Surely, sometimes they do banal things and even get crap wrong, but which institution doesn't? I wish police was as efficient over here.

    Avatar of jizz
    Comment by jizz

    I'm not usually the one who brings this up but, they are still so butthurt from WW2, it's unbelivable, germans moved on, why can't Japs? meh

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:51 10/10/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    this comment is so wrong in so many lvl's and completely unrelated with the topic but okay.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:24 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    German police is'nt much better than the japanese one. It's just that we have a different mindset.

    Comment by Anonymous

    and germans did worst than the japs. japs came in second place.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:15 11/10/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    20:57 What the fuck? Did your mother drop you on your head when you were a baby or something?

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:24 10/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    >>under CHINESE domination

    gee, who's butthurt now? Somebody needs another Nanking enema.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:20 10/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    MacArthur said it best after governing them for 5 years.. "a nation of 12 year-olds".

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:27 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yes! The massacre of the Jews was TOTALLY a business decision. Absolutely. So was invading France, and Africa. All business and had nothing to do with the Nazi's wanting to take over the godamn world.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:00 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @03:27 "Business" in that context means 'relatively impersonal' you fucking idiot. In the eyes of Nazis, they regarded their enemies as cold slavemaster would, while japanese were like 12 year old kids who just found out they are boys and couldn't help themselves from doing whatever they wanted.

    Try to understand the meaning before putting forth useless retorts that completely misunderstand the meaning, or be prepared to embarrass yourself hard.

    Comment by Anonymous

    @22:24 It's a shame japanese no longer have the balls to carry this out. Chinese gets uppity any more and it might just wind up being 'open season for ch!nks', something I would pay to see.

    Comment by Anonymous

    actually that matter is up to debate. German atrocities were more 'business' like. Japanese tantrums were without direction and childishly misdirected, causing much more personal damages. There's a reason why germans were more easily forgiven as opposed to japanese, and why their neighbors who have dealt with japs directly through history hate the japanese so much. What japan needs is complete enslavement and defilement of its land and people under chinese domination.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Don't expect much from little cowardly island monkeys who are suffering from arrested development and inferiority complexes.

    As for their 'police', the fact that they do not dare to openly take on yakuza face to face or other organized figures shows their cowardice. That's pretty typical of nips who are cowed by slightest hint of strength in opposition they feel intimidated by.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:17 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Please, keep your shit to yourself

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:11 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Haha, whoever 4:03 is, just shut the fuck up, man. You're acting like a little fuckin kid. Grow up hahaha

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:25 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)


    They don't do serious undercover work, or openly make declarations against the serious criminal elements as often as they should. Yakuza still hold significant political and psychological influence upon the ordinary japanese and cops can only pick up washed-up or petty elements within that organization, never dismantle them like they do in other more advanced countries where people and the law enforcement openly and covertly oppose such elements, which forces the criminal world to remain hidden and in seclusion from the rest, never over reaching their tentacles without being slapped back in the end.

    Yakuza holds sway over politics and national policy to the degree that almost equals cartels in south america, but it is well-hidden because japanese bowed to such elements out of sheer fear and cowardice, trying to join them if they can't be beat. Serious criminals are emboldened by this supine attitude and struts themselves openly in 'offices'.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:48 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Uhh, last time I checked they already pretty much broke off from the Yakuza control from the past. They cracked down hard in recent years...

    Comment by Anonymous

    01:17 Bitch please. Haven't got any better comebacks? Keep your fool mouth shut if you don't/

    Comment by Anonymous

    04:11 lol shut the fuck up 'man', what a half-baked teenage comeback.

    Check yourself boy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:01 11/10/2012 # ! Drivel (-0.7)

    Maybe its one of the safest countries in the world because of how the police act? I mean who wants to step out of line when you have law enforcement that will make your life such hell? It probably plays a larger part than most realize...

    Avatar of Crommus
    Comment by Crommus
    01:37 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Intimidating people to make them obey important rules is the wrong way to go. That only works until the frightened bring up enough courage to oppose the intimidators.
    The right way would be "do not commit any crimes because you don't want others to commit crimes on you either".

    Comment by Tenno Seremel
    06:29 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Not sure about "courage" part, but if you squeeze your people too hard they might “explode.” Not necessary immediately, it can take *quite* a bit of time, but when that happens it's pretty bloody.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:25 11/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Courage" is the last thing I can expect from any human. What you said is probably the first thing an idiot would say.

    Comment by Anonymous

    "Courage", is the last thing you can expect in the average Japanese. Maybe after they bring down Ishihara, maybe.

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