A citizens’ group has filed a criminal complaint against former head Tokyo prosecutor Hiromu Kurokawa, who resigned after a weekly magazine reported he had played mahjong for money, which is an illegal act. Moreover, the group pointed out that Kurokawa and his three mahjong companions had violated social distancing requests made by the authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Others are also demanding he be prosecuted, including Takeshi Okano, an attorney who runs the YouTube channel Takeshi Bengoshi. In a May 25 video, Okano explains why Kurokawa should be arrested and why he probably won't be.

Okano says police would first need an arrest warrant and that requires the approval of a judge, who is effectively lower in position than a prosecutor, even a former one. The police could do their own investigation, but if they suspect prosecutors won't indict one of their own, they'll think it's a waste of time. Gambling is technically a victimless crime, so prosecutors usually only proceed with a prosecution based on third-party petitions. Kurokawa's de facto immunity was comically referenced last month when pranksters set up a table on the sidewalk in front of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Tokyo in order to hold the first Kurokawa Cup mahjong tournament. The police, unamused, shut them down.