Welcome again to JJNN for Sunday June 8th, 2008. Apparently yesterday was not such a slow news day. I hate to continue with another depressing news story, but this one needs to be talked about. At the end of this post I will try to talk about something a little lighter.
Today's first story can be found here and here. A lot of the people that read this blog probably already heard about this, but I really want to talk about it anyway.
It seems that yesterday in Akihabara, a district of Tokyo that is known for its otaku and electric stores, a 25 year old man went on a killing spree. I used to go to Akihabara at least once a month, so this really hits home for me, and I am sure it hits home for anyone that watches anime or is really into Japanese electronics.
The details of the killing spree are thus; At around 12:30PM the suspect (though, I don't think that is the correct word because everyone knows he did this) drove his car into a an intersection while people were crossing it. He hit some people and than got out of his car with a 13cm (about 5 inches) knife. He than started stabbing the people that he hit with his car and other people in the area. He ended up killing 7 people and injuring 10 others. The 7 people that died include 6 men, with ages ranging from 19 to 74, and one 21 year old woman. A picture of the aftermath of the attack can be seen below.
After the suspect got arrested he was asked why he decided to go on the murderous spree. He said that he didn't like the world the way it was and he just wanted to kill someone. Call me crazy, but I don't think that is a good enough excuse. If everyone that thought the world was in a terrible state went out and killed a bunch of people the population of the world would quickly drop to about one.
Let's take another look at the knife that the suspect used. It had a blade that measured 13cm. Japan actually has a law that forbids people from carrying around knives longer 6cm unless they have a good reason to have the knife. This law is part of the famous Swords and Firearms Control Law which was passed in 1958. The law not only prevents people from carrying knives over 6cm, but also prevents people from owning swords with blades over 15cm and guns of any kind.
There are many that say this law is strong the way it is, but after the Akihabara attack many in the government want to make the Sword and Firearms Control Law stronger. I would like to see how they plan on doing this. It is hard enough for them now to get the guns in the country registered (yes, there are people with guns for things like hunting wild boar or bear), and I imagine that getting people to register knives will be very hard.
It has gotten to that point that people can order knives from other countries over the internet. This will be a hard thing to start regulating. There is no way that the companies will help, because that will mean a lost sale. I am all for taking knives out of the hands of potential murderers, but I don't see how the Japanese government can do that now.
OK. That's done with. Now on to the lighter side of the news. The story can be found here. The Japanese are usually known for throwing as many technological innovations into a simple object that they can. This is no exception to that rule. The picture of this wonder machine can be seen below.
This little gem is not for those that say "All I need is a pair of sunglasses." No, no. That would be too easy. OTAS, an electronics company, decided to throw an MP3 player into the mix. Those tassels hanging off the sunglasses are earphones. It has a memory of 2Gb so it can hold a lot of songs for those sunny days.
But wait, there's more. The sunglasses also have a 1.3 megapixel camera that you can use to take a picture of what ever you are looking at. Yep, just like the spies used to have in all those old movies. All you have to do is look and click to take a picture. The sunglasses kit even has clear lenses that you can switch out so that the wearer doesn't have to look so suspicious.
The glasses come with a mini-USB cable so that songs can be uploaded and pictures downloaded. They are run with a small battery that can be recharged in about 2 hours and can live though about 5 hours of music listening. Everything can be controlled by small buttons on the right side of the frame, but the glasses also come with a remote control. Yes, a remote control for your glasses...
Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 無差別殺傷事件(むさべつさっしょうじけん). It is pronounced musabetsu sasshou jiken and means spree killing (and wounding). Remember, there is a difference between a spree killer and a serial killer.
That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.