Four More Men Arrested for Tokyo Halloween Chaos

Remember this article we wrote on the chaotic Halloween party in Shibuya this year? Well, it may be time for Christmas soon, but for the authorities, investigations on what happened months ago are still ongoing.

For the last few years, the unofficial Halloween street parties around Tokyo’s Shibuya Station have been getting bigger and bigger, taking place not just on the night of October 31 itself, but also on the weekend before Halloween. While the crowds have always been boisterous, this year things got especially rowdy, with 19 partiers arrested between October 27 and the pre-dawn hours of November 1 for crimes including theft, groping, and just being a bad public nuisance.

And now you can add at least four more arrests to the Shibuya Halloween 2018 tally. At roughly 1 a.m. on October 28, a group of partiers on Shibuya’s Center Gai street overturned a compact truck after its driver turned tail.

On December 5, the police announced that through their investigation, which has included extensive interviews and security camera footage examinations, they have been able to identify a number of people who were involved in the incident. Four of them have since been placed under arrest for their part in the violent display of vandalism.

Two of the men, 20-year-old white-collar worker Shota Kojihara and 20-year-old hair stylist Rikuhisa Kokubun, hail from Tokyo. The third, 27-year-old construction worker Yuta Kuroki, hails from the neighboring city of Kawasaki, while the final arrested individual, 22-year-old civil engineering worker Takaaki Kawamura, was in town from Yamanashi Prefecture for the party. All four men have admitted to the charges, with one admitting “I had been drinking, and I got caught up in the excitement and atmosphere.”

Furthermore, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police say they have identified 11 other involved parties, and are gathering evidence to see if criminal charges can be brought against them as well. The suspects range in age from their teens to their 30s, and include both students and foreigners.

Vocal criticism of the Shibuya parties has been growing stronger, with critics especially irritated that they take place not only on public streets, but on streets used to access one of Tokyo’s busiest rail hubs, meaning that simply avoiding the area on the night of the parties isn’t something everyone can choose to do. Ken Hasabe, mayor of Shibuya ward, has repeatedly expressed his disappointment in the partiers’ conduct, and for next year is considering countermeasures including confining the parties to nearby Yoyogi Park or charging admission to sanctioned parties while breaking up unofficial ones.

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