• Kyodo


A district court in Yamagata Prefecture admitted Tuesday to putting up posters warning teenagers who loitered in the court’s compound at night that they could face arrest based on DNA tests of cigarette butts.

The court posted the warnings in early September after a group of boys started smoking and drinking in the area around August, according to the Shinjo branch of the Yamagata District Court.

The warnings read, “In collaboration with the Shinjo Police Station, we are considering identifying offenders by way of DNA analyses of cigarette butts and other items in order to arrest them or take them into custody.”

The warnings, signed by the head of the court branch and affixed with an official seal, said junior high and high schools and would be notified so students could also be punished by school authorities.

The warnings failed to deter the youths. The court removed the posters Monday, saying some of the expressions used were inappropriate.

A court official said, “Residents were concerned and we were forced to take action this time.”

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