SENDAI – A scout for the Hanshin Tigers has been arrested for allegedly taking illicit photographs up a woman’s skirt, it was learned Wednesday.
Koji Yamawaki, a 55-year-old former player who now serves as an advance scout for the Tigers, was in Sendai to observe this week’s series between the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles and Chunichi Dragons. On Tuesday afternoon, he is said to have taken photos up the skirt of a 25-year-old woman with his smartphone while she was on an escalator. Yamawaki, who has no reported history of any kind of trouble, denies the charges.
On Wednesday, Tigers president Kenji Ageshio apologized at a press conference at the team’s parent company, the Hanshin Electric Railway Co.
“This is extremely regrettable,” Ageshio said. “I take this very seriously. I am very sorry.”
According to local police, the woman thought she was being photographed and people around her seized the suspect. The incident took place around 4:15 p.m., when Yamawaki should have been at the ballpark watching practice.
“An essential part of that job is watching practice,” Ageshio said. “That he was absent from the ballpark at that time is something the team failed to manage and something we need to address. It is unfortunate because we trusted him a great deal.”