The police inspected restaurants that sold law-evading hallucinatory herbs

Law-evading hallucinatory herbs, several banned chemicals combined with vegetative pieces, are sold in Japan as aromatics. Some of those herbs function as the same as illegal drugs, causing serious health problems such as vomiting, and disturbance of consciousness.

With the problem spreading nationwide, a investigative team of the Shiga Prefectural Police Headquarters, along with the Otsu Police Station and the Shiga Prefectural Government, inspected restaurants in Otsu and Kusatsu on May 11 for the first time.

The team confirmed that those restaurants had been selling 50 types of aromatics. The price of each sales unit was about 2,000 yen per gram. The team requested that the owners avoid selling products that might contain illegal substances. According to the police, one of the shop staff commented, "we are careful of those chemicals when we stock goods." 

"No victim has been reported in Shiga, but incidents involving disturbance of consciousness have already been reported in other prefectures. We will request the parties concerned not to sell those herbs," says an police officer in charge.

(Chunichi Shmbun, May 12, 2012)



Prefectural Police to hire more female officers

On February 2, the Shiga Prefectural Police Headquarters unveiled its plan to expand more job opportunities for women, aiming to have the percentage of female officers increase from the present 6.2% to 10% by 2021. According to the Police Administration Division, their plan, encouraged nationwide by the National Police Agency, will promote gender-equality and attract high-quality workforce.

The police will increase the number of recruiters who specialize in female candidates from 3 to 8, and will enhance the recruitment process by providing job fairs only for women. In addition to that, employment tests for female candidates, currently conducted once a year, will be offered twice a year, giving women the same opportunities as men.

In regard to the working environment, kobans (police boxes) will be equipped with napping rooms for women, and female officers will be placed in sections handling sex offence, juvenile crime, and female victims, as those sections have few female officers.

(Chunichi Shmbun, February 2, 2012)

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Water Police Squad established

The Water Police Squad, run by the Shiga Prefectural Police Headquarters, was established on July 1 to secure the safety of Lake Biwa. The Squad not only will be engaged in life-saving and the regulation of  illegal boats on the Japan's largest lake, but also will be engaged in the disaster-prevention activities using the lake.

The Squad consists of 12 police officers led by Captain Takao Shimizu, which makes it possible to integrate chains of command using guardships, patrol cars, and helicopters. In the past, the organization was formed only during summer, and those ships, cars, and helicopters were stationed at different places.

"We will direct all our energies to conduct life-saving, and to prevent crimes and accidents from occurring," says Shimizu, also underscoring the importance of disaster-prevention measures at the inaugural meeting.

(Chunichi Shimbun, July 2, 2011)

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Otsu: Murder suspect arrested

The unemployed man whose name and descriptions had been passed on to all was arrested for murder in Gifu Prefecture on the morning of June 17. The suspect is Yasuo Sasaki, 47, who is believed to have killed a stone dealer's wife in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, on June 10.

When Sasaki was found by the police, his belongings were his underwear and driver's license in a bag. The money he was having with him was only 7 yen.

Sasaki admits the suspicion, saying that he is certain of having murdered the victim. 

(Kansai Television, June 17, 2011)

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A chain restaurant illegally provided alcoholic beverages to teenagers

On March 4, the Otsu Police Station sent the police report to the prosecutor in regard to the case that the chain restaurant Joyful, headquartered in Oita Prefecture, and its manager violated the Entertainment Establishments Control Law.

The suspicion for this case is that the restaurant in Otsu provided alcoholic beverages for 4 junior high school students who were 15 years old in the early morning on December 2, 2010, even though the manager knew they were teenagers.

"I knew we shouldn't have provided alcoholic drinks, but I was too busy to make a proper decision," says the 45-year-old manager, admitting his suspicion.

(Jiji Press, March 4, 2011)

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Murder in Moriyama: 35-year-old man was arrested

On December 22nd, the Moriyama Police Station arrested a 35-year-old man for murdering a 24-year-old woman on December 17th. Yoshikazu Inokuchi, ex-boyfriend of the victim, had been put on the wanted list since the initial stage of the investigation.

Inokuchi reportedly visited a police station in Fukuoka, and said he had been wanted by the police. The suspect admits having killed the victim.

(Spotlight, December 23, 2010)

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A 35-year-old man was arrested for selling endangered species

A 35-year-old man was arrested for violating a prefecture ordinance that prohibits anyone from catching the fresh water fish hariyo. The fish is categorized by Ministry of the Environment as endangered species.

The man arrested by the police is Masafumi Nakamura who is reportedly out of work. Nakamura told the police that he caught about 100 hariyo only in November and that he wanted to brag about himself being able to catch such rare fish.

The illegally captured fish have been sold by auctions on the internet. The prefectural police headquarters is investigating the case in pursuit of the distribution network.

(Sankei Shimbun, April 20, 2010)

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Omihachiman: Cash and precious metals worth 36 million yen were stolen

Cash and precious metals worth 36 million yen were stolen from two houses in Omihachiman on January 10. The Omihachiman police station is investigating the two incidents as a consecutive theft case.

According to the police, at 6:00 pm, at a 63-year-old man's house, his family member, coming back home, noticed that 46 rings and necklaces worth 33 million yen as well as 180 thousand yen in cash were stolen. Because nobody had been at home since 8:30 am, it's believed that the thief broke into the house through a small window which wasn't locked near the entrance.

Furthermore, at 4 km south of the first scene, at 7:30 pm, a 71-year-old man noticed that his safe, keeping 1.3 million yen in cash and precious metals worth 1.75 million yen, was stolen when he came back.

(Yomiuri Shimbun, January 11, 2010)

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A Ritsumeikan student was arrested for stimulants

On October 9 at night, the Shiga Prefectural Police Headquarters (SPPH) captured Takashi Hagiwara, a 25-year-old graduate student at Ritsumeikan University, for violating Stimulants Control Law.

Hagiwara was arrested on a charge of having 0.18 gram of stimulants at home. According to the SPPH, Hagiwara's name was on the list as a suspect, after the police investigated drug-dealing activities. When a domiciliary search was conducted, tens of used syringe were found.

"It's regrettable that our student was involved in such a crime. After confirming the facts, we will rigidly handle the case, and will give our students thorough guidance," Ritsumeikan University commented.

(Kyoto Shimbun, October 10, 2009)

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Murder in Maibara: Victim's colleague was arrested

On June 19, the special investigation team at the Maibara Police Station arrested a 40-year-old man Shigenari Morita on charge of homicide of Noriko Ogawa, who was found dead in a sewerage tank in Maibara. According to the Shiga Prefectural Police Headquarters, Morita has denied his suspicion.

It's suspected that Morita hit the victim with something like a blunt weapon and threw her into the tank, making her suffocated to death.

Morita was suspected because the police searched Ogawa's cell phone and found Morita's name in it. The suspect and victim worked at a same factory. It's said that there was a trouble between the two.

(Kyoto Shimbun, June 20, 2009)

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