Police to form anti-stalking experts panel

JIJI

The National Police Agency said Thursday that it will set up a panel of stalking crime experts, including the parents of a murder victim, to study better ways to prevent the crime by reviewing existing regulations.

The parents are Kenichi Ino, 63, and his wife, Kyoko, 63, whose daughter was killed in 1999 by a man who stalked her in Okegawa, Saitama Prefecture. The case led to enactment of the stalker regulation law.

It is unusual for a crime victim’s family to join a panel set up by the agency, officials said.

The agency decided to create the panel after seeing that existing measures under the law have failed to keep people from being victims of stalkers. Most recently, a high school girl was killed by a stalker in Mitaka, Tokyo, on Oct. 8, after seeking help from the local police earlier the same day.

The Ino couple were picked as panel members because the agency hopes to adopt the views of victims to come up with far more effective anti-stalking measures, the officials said.

Other members of the panel will include university professors, lawyers and officials of relevant ministries and agencies. The panel will be also joined by Akiko Kobayakawa, head of the nonprofit organization Humanity, which was giving advice to a woman before she was killed by a stalker in Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture, last year.

The panel is scheduled to hold its first meeting Nov. 1 and draw up a report around next summer after discussing a wide range of issues. The stalker regulation law, which went into force in 2000, was revised for the first time in June to add repeated email transmissions to a list of prohibited behaviors, and to call for creation of a review panel.

  • Ron NJ

    “Can’t be proactive and do anything about a problem! Goodness gracious, I might have to take responsibility for it. Better set up a panel consisting of a fairly random group of people so they can kill a bout a year’s time, come back with a report, and then someone else can deal with it. After all, it would be silly to risk my future amakudari gig over something as silly as stalking!”