National / Crime & Legal

Police unaware as moustached Tokyo man forces clean-shaven friend to take fall for speeding


A 27-year-old man from Tokyo’s Sumida Ward has been arrested for allegedly forcing an acquaintance who resembles him to report to police in his place over speeding charges, police said Wednesday.

Masashi Nishiyama, a former operator of a shop that provided sexual services, was arrested with 21-year-old construction worker Jo Kanno, also of Sumida Ward. Kanno, who had turned himself in to police in place of Nishiyama, was arrested on suspicion of harboring a suspect.

According to police, Nishiyama was told by police to turn himself in after he was spotted by a speed-monitoring device driving 107 kph on an expressway last March.

He forced Kanno, who he apparently believed resembles him, to present himself to authorities, threatening to kidnap his sister if he did not.

Although Nishiyama, who sports a mustache, was recorded speeding, police did not notice that Kanno was a different person because of the pair’s similar faces and physical appearance. When he turned himself in, Kanno, who is clean-shaven, simply claimed to have shaved, police said.

Last July, Nishiyama was again spotted speeding, prompting an officer to mistakenly request that Kanno report to police.

It was then that Kanno revealed how he was forced by Nishiyama into the predicament, police said.

Police said the two men had become acquainted because Kanno used to work near the shop run by Nishiyama.

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