Osaka City official arrested for allegedly punching out register’s LCD display

OSAKA —

Osaka Prefectural Police say that a 45-year-old man working for the Osaka City Construction Bureau has been arrested on suspicion of destruction of property.

In what could best be described as “register rage,” the man was upset with the speed of the cashier and took his aggression out on the store’s age verification check with his fist.

Compared to other countries Japan is surprisingly lax when it comes to the sale of tobacco and alcohol. It’s a rare sight to see a person being asked for proof of age. Also, alcohol (previously tobacco too) is easily available from unsupervised vending machines everywhere.

Regulations have tightened somewhat over the years, though. Cigarette machines now require an ID card to operate, and convenience stores have decided to adopt the fool-proof method used by adult websites for ages: a “click OK if over age” system on their checkout screens.

When you buy alcohol or tobacco the register asks “Are you over 20?” Since there often isn’t a “NO” button you’re forced to touch “YES” which simply magnifies how the whole system is – aside from removing any responsibility from the store - completely pointless.

According to police, on Feb 6 at around 6:10 p.m. the unidentified city worker was waiting in line to buy a pack of smokes. When his turn came he was asked to touch the screen.

Summoning all of his rage from waiting in line into one mighty touch, he verified his age by allegedly smashing his hand through the LCD screen.

He must have exhausted all of his strength doing that, however, as the convenience store staff – once again showing in Japan they go that extra mile – subdued the suspect, and handed him over to the authorities. They then went back to serve the line which had formed.

The man admitted to charges, saying he was “annoyed with how slow the line was moving.”

And you thought government workers had it easy.

Source: Asahi Shimbun via My Game News Flash (Japanese)

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  • 10

    Matthew Simon

    This is the greatest part of the article:

    Summoning all of his rage from waiting in line into one mighty touch, he verified his age by allegedly smashing his hand through the LCD screen.

  • 7

    Saulo Akazawa

    Hey buddy do you have any idea how long we have to wait in the cityhall to get anything done??? Easy to say that someone else is slow!

  • 5

    tapi0ca

    I wonder if he now realizes his actions. I wonder if it registers! Hee hee.

  • 0

    ChibaChick

    Has anyone else noticed that since the quake Japanese seem to be letting their emotions out more and more? Maybe just me, but I've noticed a lot more altercations, anger and general aggressiveness when out and about in the last couple of years as compared to say 10 years ago. Might be nothing to do with the quake, or maybe it was a trigger for pent up frustration for another reason, but I and friends of mine have all said similar things recently. Makes you wonder.

  • 3

    davejenks

    "one mighty touch" Nice to come across a little poetry in the daily news. I laughed out loud.

  • 4

    Lilic

    Stupid rules for everything! Love or leave it!

  • 3

    slumdog

    A government worker annoyed at how slow a line was? Oh, the irony.

  • 5

    Ayler

    As a 40 year old man who actually looka about 19 years old I'm constantly frustrated by how difficult is can be to buy a can of beer. However, I'm amazed by Japanese technology. Even a cheap touchscreen in Fami-ma can use biometric data via fingerprint touchscreen to determine age. Simply astounding! Let's see more of these life changing technological revolutions!

  • 4

    brknarm

    Gotta wonder...man punches LCD screen falls under the "Crime" section and a coach assaults a student (who later commits suicide) falls under "National" news.

  • 1

    rickyvee

    in the third paragraph, that should read:

    Also, cigarettes, and previously alcohol, is easily available...

  • 1

    Balefire

    @rickyvee, I think they mean that you now need a Taspo card for cigarette vending machines, but the beer machines require nothing (though both are disabled after 23:00, for whatever that's worth).

  • 0

    ebisen

    RAGE against the MACHINE !!!!

  • -1

    Badge213

    When you buy alcohol or tobacco the register asks “Are you over 20?” Since there often isn’t a “NO” button you’re forced to touch “YES” which simply magnifies how the whole system is – aside from removing any responsibility from the store - completely pointless.<<<

    I don't know about Osaka, but I've never ran into ay register at the store that has asked me for this.

  • 0

    edojin

    The guy was having a nicotine fit ...

  • 0

    FightingViking

    Our friendly neighbourhood supermarket has little plastic tabs hanging in front of the cash desk with "30" written on the red one and "20" written on the green one and there's often an announcement asking shoppers to give their age if they intend to buy alcoholic drinks

  • -1

    C Harald Hansen

    Falcon Punch!

  • 0

    lostrune2

    He's still impatient with such an EZ-pass-through system?! And how long will it take for the people in line behind him?!

    But but but! I just use my fake ID card! Heheheh.................

  • 0

    jessebaybay

    haha, this was honestly an enjoyable read.

  • 0

    cierzo98

    @ Balefire, it may not be nationwide, but where I live in Tokyo the vending machines selling alcohol require you to have your driving license scanned before they will dispense anything. So there is control in some places.

  • 1

    cierzo98

    When you buy alcohol or tobacco the register asks “Are you over 20?” Since there often isn’t a “NO” button you’re forced to touch “YES” which simply magnifies how the whole system is – aside from removing any responsibility from the store - completely pointless.

    This article appears to be one person's subjective opinion rather than independent reporting, but nevertheless, if the writer wanted to point out something really pointless, how about this.... in every convenience store I have used (7-Eleven, Family Mart, SunKus..etc) you have to press the "I am over 18" button when buying alcohol free (i.e 0%) 'beer' or zero alcohol 'cocktails'. Considering it can't even be described as beer according to the trading standards people, due to the contents, and should be called "beer-styled beverage or vodka flavoured soda, it makes you wonder why a middle aged bloke standing there with his teenage children has to declare he is over 18 to buy the foul-tasting stuff.

  • 0

    Balefire

    @cierzo98 Thanks for the information. I haven't seen those machines yet, but with so many convenience stores these days that sell alcohol, I haven't bought much from vending machines lately. I bought a couple of beers from a machine in Fukushima a few months ago, and that was probably the first time in well over a year. My understanding is that the Taspo card process is supposed to be a compromise on the privacy issue that scanning a license would present, along with the fact that not every adult has a driving license.

  • -1

    wtfjapan

    YES bam! IM bam! OVER bam! F bam! AGE bam!............. sorry sir register has a No response, next please

  • 0

    Steve Christian

    Does Japan have a problem resulting from underage smoking and drinking? I am not asking if some underage people are doing it. I am asking if there is a problem?

    If not, why this system? I now have to touch the screen when I pay my bills. Why? Its annoying. I mean if it were just that, fine. But Japan is full to bursting with pointless requirements that don't do any good for anyone. I am happy to hear that someone smashed one of those things.

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