Taxis in Japan are certainly not the cheapest, and with a minimum cost of 660 yen (just over 3 pound) they aren’t for the faint hearted. Nor it seems the unemployed. As this week, out of work 55-year-old Satoshi Nakagawa was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for calling an ambulance to take him home after drinking too much.
Nakagawa finally pushed the emergency services too far on June 8 last year after sitting down drunk in the middle of the road and asking a passerby to call an ambulance; but instead of taking him home as he demanded, the ambulance driver took the barefaced boozer back to the fire station where the vehicle had been dispatched from. An act that so enraged Nakagawa that the resultant fracas resulted in his arrest.
During sentencing Judge Hidenaga Manabe said, “He committed a selfish crime by obstructing the highly urgent duties of ambulances.” Which is something of an understatement, as it turns out that Nakagawa had tried his too-drunk-to-walk-home-but-not-enough-money-for-a-taxi-as-I’ve-spent-it-all-on-beer stunt on numerous occasions. A staggering 50 times since August 2003 to be exact. However perhaps even more surprising is that on a couple of occasions he was actually taken home.