24,000 crank calls result in arrest of rejected comic

A resident of Chiba Prefecture has been arrested for making thousands of crank calls to the offices of Kodansha, a major publishing house, police said.

Police arrested Yutaka Akatsuki, 35, on April 8 on suspicion of illegal obstruction of business. He is alleged to have harassed workers at Kodansha’s comic publications office by making more than 24,000 phone calls over the last three years.

Akatsuki told investigators he made the calls out of spite after a comic draft he submitted to the weekly magazine Shukan Morning was rejected by editors. The investigation revealed that between Feb. 27 and April 4, Akatsuki made at least 530 crank calls from a public phone booth in the prefecture, screaming insults or just hanging up.

Acting on a complaint the company filed in mid-March, police tapped Kodansha’s lines and eventually traced the source of the calls to the telephone booth in Ichihara in the prefecture. Akatsuki, who was near the booth, was arrested late April 8.