Just something for *certain* dudes to think about...
May 3 2001 at 6:14 PM

Japantoday.com, May 1, 2001

Mark Schreiber

Net encounter proves deadly for housewife

On the evening of April 23, Kaori Watanabe, 28, a housewife and mother of two children in Ushiku City, Ibaraki Prefecture, was found stabbed in front of her apartment. She was rushed to a nearby hospital but died from blood loss and shock two hours later. She left behind a husband, 29, daughter, six, and son, four.

Early the next morning, police arrested an 18 year old youth from the neighbouring town of Chiyoda.

Yukan Fuji (April 25) reports that the youth, whose name was not divulged since he was a minor, had driven up to the Watanabe's home in a van and asked to speak to her. She excused herself, telling her husband Hisayuki that she wanted "to talk" to her visitor.

"I thought it would have been better to stay out of it, so I let her go on her own," a remorseful Hisayuki explained.

The two exchanged heated words inside the vehicle and as Kaori moved to leave, the youth stabbed her in the back with a 15 centimetre kitchen knife.

The youth had been working part time as a waiter in a Japanese style pub at the time of the slaying. His employer informed police of his home address and he was apprehended there.

While the details remain sketchy, the two had apparently met via a mobile phone email encounter last year, and Mrs Watanabe had told the youth she was single. During the previous New Year she had even flown to the youth's home town in Hakodate City to meet him in person, visiting him at his parents' home.

Several times the youth had telephoned Watanabe's home and her husband answered, but Kaori had maintained the deception by telling him she was living with a brother.

The Watanabe family moved to Ushiku in late February. After his graduation from high school in March, the youth moved to a nearby town in Ibaraki to be closer to her. Upset when Mrs. Watanabe's demeanour turned chilly, he had driven to her home thinking he could patch up their relationship.

The Sankei Shimbun (April 29) reports that criminal acts resulting from deception in Internet chat rooms or via bulletin boards have been increasing rapidly. In January, a similar assault case occurred between a high school student and married woman in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture. In early April, a police supervisor in Shizuoka Prefecture was arrested for abetting teen prostitution. He had made contact with a 15 year old high school girl via an Internet bulletin board and offered her Y100,000 for sex.

In another case on Okinawa, two unemployed men, both desperate for money, linked up via a bulletin board and planned a coffee shop robbery that netted them Y500,000.

While self responsibility and prudence remain the key caveats for Net communications in Japan, as they do elsewhere, the Japan Internet Providers' Association has reportedly set an end of May deadline for establishing a site to caution users about the dangers of deceptive practices and warn against using the Internet for illegal activities.

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