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Filipino-Japanese exempt from fine after Osaka police botch assault probe

Kyodo

The police investigation into a street brawl in Osaka in 2013 that resulted in a fine for a Filipino-Japanese man was superficial and should never have caused charges to be filed, a court in Osaka has ruled.

In a rare ruling, the Osaka Summary Court decided to exempt the 23-year-old defendant from punishment despite finding him guilty of assault, after hearing that the police failed to provide him with a Tagalog interpreter. The man can only speak limited Japanese.

According to the ruling, two drunken men began a quarrel with the defendant on a street in Osaka in June 2013. When one of them grabbed his collar, the Philippine-Japanese man punched him in the face, causing a broken bone.

Neither of the drunks was indicted. But the court initially ordered the Filipino-Japanese man to pay a ¥300,000 ($2,500) fine in January 2014. The defendant filed a complaint and sought a formal trial, leading to a ruling that effectively canceled the fine on Feb. 26.

The ruling was finalized on March 13 after the appeal period expired.

“This is de facto innocence,” said Masanori Matsuoka, the defendant’s lawyer. “It’s an excellent ruling that criticized the investigation of a man who cannot speak Japanese sufficiently.”

Judge Akinori Hatayama said it is unfair to punish only the Filipino-Japanese man, given that the drunken man was not indicted for assault.

The judge criticized the prosecutors for charging the defendant without properly considering the case and based purely on the degree of physical injury that resulted from the scuffle.

  • Paul Johnny Lynn

    A judge with sense.

  • Ken Gtwo

    This practice of provoking fights with foreigners then running to the cops when they defend themselves, faking injuries, lying, etc. just to mess with gaijin is all too common for my taste and needs some light shone on it. I know 2 people who have personally experienced this and in both cases the cops let the Japanese who started it off scott free while holding the foreigner and attempting to coerce a “confession” from them.

    It seems to be a popular hobby among racist Japanese men, since they know they will never get in trouble and the foreigner always gets the blame regardless of the facts. The word of a gaijin is nothing against the word of a nihonjin in the eyes of the law here.