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.


TWITTER POLL: Almost 3 of 4 readers think there is more to the massive blast in Beirut

Updated 07 August 2020

TWITTER POLL: Almost 3 of 4 readers think there is more to the massive blast in Beirut

  • Impact of the blast was also reportedly felt 200 kilometers away in Cyprus
  • Mushroom clouds and spherical blast waves are conflated as nuclear in nature

DUBAI: Almost three of four readers think there is more to the massive explosions that hit a Beirut port on Tuesday, according to an Arab News straw poll on Twitter.

The blast, caused by a stockpile ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse, generated a shock wave so devastating that it levelled buildings near the port and caused extensive damage over much of the rest of the capital, killing more than 100 people and injuring thousands.

The impact of the blast was also reportedly felt 200 kilometers away in Cyprus.

Specifically, 73 percent of more than 1,000 readers who responded to the poll do not believe the explosion was an accident compared to about 27 percent who thought it was back luck that the ammonium nitrate – unsafely stored for six years – has been the cause of the deadly Beirut blast.

The enormous explosion consequently created a mushroom cloud over Beirut, stoking fears and rumors on social media and, among conspiracy theorists, that a nuclear bomb has been detonated in the Lebanese capital due to the sheer magnitude of the blast.

About 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate was involved during Tuesday’s explosion. Ammonium nitrate is a crystal-like white solid commonly used as a source of nitrogen for agricultural fertilizer, and is relatively safe when stored properly. It, however, becomes deadly as an explosive when mixed with other chemicals and fuel oils.

Some experts pointed out that people who are not accustomed to seeing large explosions may confuse mushroom clouds and spherical blast waves as nuclear in nature.

Others believed the Beirut explosion lacked two hallmarks of a nuclear detonation: a ‘blinding white flash’ and a thermal pulse, or surge of heat, which would otherwise had started fires all over the area and severely burned people’s skin.