Japanese man arrested for ‘making 24,000 complaint calls’

Japan is seeing an increasing number of social problems caused by the nation’s rapidly aging population. (File/AFP)
Updated 03 December 2019

Japanese man arrested for ‘making 24,000 complaint calls’

  • Tokyo police said they took 71-year-old Akitoshi Okamoto into custody last week after he made hundreds of toll-free calls over eight days
  • He has been arrested on suspicion of “fraudulent obstruction of business”

TOKYO: A Japanese pensioner has been arrested after ringing a phone company 24,000 times to complain they had violated his contract, police and local media reported.
Tokyo police said they took 71-year-old Akitoshi Okamoto into custody last week after he made hundreds of toll-free calls over eight days to the customer service section of major telephone operator KDDI.
But this could be the tip of the iceberg, with media outlets reporting that he made thousands more calls from public pay phones to voice his displeasure with the company and insult customer service staff.
“He demanded that KDDI staff come to him to apologize for violating his contract. He also repeatedly hung up his calls immediately after placing them,” a police spokesman said.
He has been arrested on suspicion of “fraudulent obstruction of business,” the spokesman added.
Japan is seeing an increasing number of social problems caused by the nation’s rapidly aging population.
Old drivers frequently cause fatal car accidents and railway operators have reported a spike in passenger violence against their staff from elderly customers.


Finnish Santa Claus spreads message of sustainability in run-up to Expo 2020

Updated 04 December 2019

Finnish Santa Claus spreads message of sustainability in run-up to Expo 2020

DUBAI: Expo 2020, being billed as the world’s greatest show, will feature sustainability as one of the integral pillars when the six-month event opens in October next year.

And Finland’s real-life Santa Claus is spreading the message of sustainability and the importance of adapting a circular economy to combat climate crisis, one of the most pressing issues the global community is now facing.

During a recent visit at Arbor School, the UAE’s only ecological school, Santa Claus delivered an open letter challenging those in power to listen to their youth and include them in the conversation surrounding sustainability and environmental issues.

Santa Claus also hoped that his message in the letter would start a wider dialogue about the environment, what we can all do to help heal the planet by adopting a circular economy, which Finland has adopted as a national policy.

During the 2018/2019 school year, over 70,000 children and young people from primary school to university age studied the circular economy as part of Finland’s national curriculum.

“The decline of biodiversity and subsequent challenges made to traditional societies and economic strategies are driving countries to make drastic changes and develop sustainable solutions to guarantee the future our youth deserve. We believe education is the foundation of any significant change,” Marianne Nissilä, Finland’s ambassador to the UAE, said.

“With professions of the future becoming more and more diverse, it is vital we prepare our younger generations by giving them access to the knowledge, understanding and the appetite essential to effect positive change.”

Finland’s pavilion in the Expo 2020 will be centered on its main theme ‘Sharing Future Happiness’ wherein over 100 Finnish companies would showcase globally-leading clean technologies, a circular economy with sustainable use of resources, sustainable energy and digital solutions among others.