Ladies & The Law: The Murder That Resulted in Japan’s Anti-Stalking Act

At a little before 1 p.m. on the afternoon of October 26, 1999, Shiori Ino, a 21-year-old university student, was stabbed in the chest while entering JR Okegawa station in Saitama. She bled to death while being rushed to a nearby hospital. Ino’s assailant was a local heavy who had been hired by Kazuhito Komatsu, a 26-year-old man Ino had briefly dated earlier in the year after meeting him at a neighborhood game center.  

When they met, Komatsu had given Ino a false name and lied about his age. After just a few dates, he began to simultaneously lavish her with expensive gifts and emotionally abuse her. Ino tried to break up with him, but Komatsu would not accept that she no longer wanted to see him and became even more abusive. He began to phone her home and make threats to both her and her family.

Lack of police involvement

After three months of this, culminating in Komatsu and his friends forcing their way into the Ino home in mid-June with further threats — which Ino recorded — she filed a police report, including the recording she had made. The police told her she had no claim.  

When the family endured further threatening phone calls that night, Ino and her parents went together to the police the next day and were again told the police could not, or would not, aid her. Both the police and the free legal clinic they sent her to opined that she was responsible for the problem because she had accepted some of Komatsu’s gifts. No one would help.

Ino tried to break up with him, but Komatsu would not accept that she no longer wanted to see him and became even more abusive.

After Ino sent everything Komatsu had ever given her by courier to his known address, Komatsu and his brother put out the murder contract on Ino that ultimately led to her death.  They also continued to make harassing phone calls and other threats to the Ino family and even began to distribute slanderous posters and fliers in her residential neighborhood. Although this continued for several months, still the police refused to act, with the tragic result of Ino’s untimely death.

Even sadder, immediately after Ino’s death, the police reaction was to try to smear the young woman, releasing information that further victimized her by portraying her as a gold-digging slut and implying that she had brought the attack on herself.

Toward the Anti-Stalker Act

It wasn’t until an investigative journalist named Kiyoshi Shimizu reported the true situation that the police finally acted, identifying and arresting the hired murderer, Komatsu’s brother, and the other accomplices in

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