OSAKA — Police have arrested a 60-year-old man for allegedly stalking a woman over a six-year period and causing her to suffer from a nervous breakdown, it was learned Wednesday.

Although stalking is prohibited by the Minor Offenses Law, it is difficult to arrest a suspect unless the victim actually suffers some ill effect. “This is probably the first time that a stalker has been arrested on suspicion of bodily injury. We hope this will become a precedent in deterring stalkers,” police officials said.

According to police, Hidekatsu Omori of Osaka’s Konohana Ward, stalked a 28 year-old woman who lived near his home from December 1992 until earlier this month. Omori, who is unemployed, repeatedly stopped his car in front of the woman’s home and workplaces and stared at her from his car. He also took her garbage away.

The repeated actions caused the women to suffer from neurasthenia, police said. Police investigated Omori every time the woman informed them of his stalking since 1993. However, as police could only charge him with minor offenses and because he was repentant, they only gave him strongly warnings.

However, a month after every investigation, Omori resumed his stalking patterns, forcing the woman to change jobs several times. She became so distraught that eventually never left her home except to go to work, they said. Omori, a bachelor, said he did not have the courage to speak to her as he had never gone out with a woman.

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