Japanese Politician: Games, Anime Contribute to Violent Crimes
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
House of Councillors member Ichita Yamamoto, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, appeared on the most recent episode of the Shin Hōdo 2001 political discussion talk show on Sunday. The participants on the program discussed the recent case of Takahiro Shiraishi, a 27-year-old suspected serial killer whom police arrested in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture on Tuesday after finding parts of nine bodies in his apartment. Yamamoto said of the case that video games and anime likely played a part.
He said that games have an influence on criminal activity when people become unable to distinguish between the fictional and real worlds. Yamamoto said that stories with grotesque crime similar to the Zama serial murder case exist in anime. He believes such content can influence people to commit crimes in the real world. He called for online surveillance to prevent related crimes before they happen.
Some online commenters responded with disapproval of Yamamoto's call for increased regulations. Many people believe that he is erroneously placing blame on video games and anime. Other commenters also noted that television, films, and smartphone games could have as much impact on criminal activity as video games and anime.
The Metropolitan Police Department arrested Shiraishi last Tuesday on suspicion of abandoning a body. He is expected to be charged on suspicion of murder. Police found the bodies in his home after responding to a missing person's report. According to police, Shiraishi admitted to murdering the victims and dismembering their bodies after making contact with people who had posted online about suicide.