The recent arrest of a woman and her internet hired hitman has highlighted the influence the web is having on real-life crime in Japan. The female in question having allegedly hired someone to kill her boyfriend’s wife; the ‘service’ being found on a website under the innocuous sounding “troubles in daily life” heading.
The same site apparently offers a whole host of similar services, from “strategic advice” for a modest 10,000 yen (50 pound), to “carrying out a purpose on behalf of a client” for a rather more pricey 100,000 yen.
Not that it’s the only place of its kind on the web, as in April this year, a man from Nagoya was stabbed to death at home; the killer found by the victim’s wife through an internet dating service. And even though the murderer presumably had other things on his mind when he claimed, “I’ll do anything you want”, he remained true to his word – dutifully carrying out his date’s wishes.
Similarly, a man from Shiga Prefecture was arrested two years ago on suspicion of murder; hired online by a man in Tokyo. Plus there’s the case of a company president employing a boy to kill him so that his beneficiary would receive money from his insurance policy. And if such crimes aren’t disturbing enough, a female student recently asked a man she met on a website to find people who were planning on committing suicide to kill her.
Grim stuff indeed, and behaviour that makes the practice of trawling the web for hours on end in search of pornography seem altogether respectable – quaint even.
Not that the FBI would agree.