Sunday, June 08, 2008

Akihabara Massacre

There was a massacre this afternoon in Akihabara, the tech and anime area of Tokyo. Some guy drove a truck through a crowd of people, he then got out of the truck and started stabbing people. Seven people have died so far.

Akihabara is not a place I often go to because it's the opposite side of Tokyo to me, and nowadays it's far more sleazy than it used to be. When I fist came to Japan in 2001, Akihabara was a tech paradise. During the years I was away from Japan, it's changed to a scummy place full of maid-cafes, porn shops and other unpleasant places.

Like many parts of the modern world, Japan is sick. We should therefore not be in the least surprised when sick things like this happen. It is, of course, tragic when people are killed in this way, but it also highlights the many social problems here. Japan has the highest child-suicide rate in the world, something that nobody here seems to give a fuck about. Prostitution is endemic here. The yakuza control many aspects of life here, and nobody tries to stop them. There is an HIV timebomb here, but nobody talks about it. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

The Japanese here are hoping that the guy who committed the massacre was on drugs, or was mentally ill, or was a gangster. If he is, then every one will sleep soundly, knowing that Japan really is perfect, and that their are just a few rotten apples here.

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