Police Free Highflying Airline Chikan

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Police have been forced to release a man who admitted taking upskirt photos of an airline stewardess on his flight after it transpired they could not work out which prefecture he was flying over when the crime took place.

The 34-year-old CEO was on a domestic JAL flight over Japan when he decided to engage in some illicit in flight entertainment of his own, and used a micro-camera concealed inside a ball-point pen to take upskirt photographs of one of the stewardesses.

This was discovered, and when the plane landed at a Tokyo airport he was immediately taken into custody by airport police, and was was formally arrested the same day and admitted the charges. A search of his home PC turned up numerous photographs of a similar nature.

However, when police attempted to press charges of voyeurism against him under Tokyo’s anti-nuisance ordinances, their case fell apart in court after witness reports suggested the plane was actually over Hyogo prefecture when the offences took place.

Although his antics would be prosecutable in any of the prefectures he flew over, as the plane was travelling at high speeds authorities could not determine which jurisdictions it was in when the offences took place, they had no option but to drop the charges.

He was subsequently released without charge, much to the utter humiliation of the police.

The brilliant legal shenanigan involved appears to be the fact that almost all of Japan’s anti-pervert legislation is enacted in the form of differing prefectural ordinances, not national laws.

Consequently violating a national law anywhere over Japan might only present a minor jurisdictional issue as the crime would be the same, but with chikan-related offences both the law violated and the penalties would differ depending on the prefecture the offence took place in, prefectural lawmakers apparently having not yet caught up with the reality of powered human flight.

Online there is a great deal of interest in the case for some reason:

“So you could do it like that…”

“What a great idea!”

“Just you wait, stewardesses!”

“Oh come on… how can you allow this?”

“They have him bang to rights and they couldn’t work out where the crime took place – are our police completely retarded or what?”

“I don’t know whether you’d blame the police or the law for allowing this.”

“At least they can still get people for murder and hijacking, I guess.”

“Expect a sudden boom in air-chikanery – passenger numbers will increase and airlines will profit!”

“This loophole is amazing…”

“What happens if you do this stuff over the high seas then?”

“I am amazed there is nothing else they can charge him with.”

“It is pretty surprising they’d leave laws like this up to local politicians.”

“It’s because it is a prefectural ordinance, they can still arrest people in airplanes for it, just they need to know where it actually took place. Lot of people here seem not to grasp this…”

“The laws and penalties for this in Hyogo, Fukushima, etc, all differ, so it’s a serious legal issue.”

“If they could actually enforce local prefectural ordinances on anyone anywhere in the country it would be the end for this country, so be thankful.”

“It should be simple to calculate his position from the time he was found to have taken the photos.”

“Come on! There is a limit even to the level of incompetence civil servants can expect to get away with!”

“So peeping is legal in the airs, as determined by legal precedent!”

“Expect all the cabin attendants to be wearing trousers soon…”


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