Monday, 26 January 2009

When Capital Punishment Just Won't Do...

Most people are aware that Japan has an astoundingly low crime rate. There are far fewer 'danger areas' in Tokyo, for instance, compared to any other capital city. Some parts of Kabukicho are a bit rough, but it's hardly like dodging the hatchets in London's East End, or going to Brixton where you will die, guaranteed. Petty crime is so low that you can swagger around Tokyo flaunting great wads of cash for at least a month, as I proved last summer, and have no fear of being mugged.

(Conversely, if you are a victim of crime in Japan, your attacker is much more likely to be a warped psychopath who'll drown you in a bath of sand and then remove your limbs. Swings and roundabouts.)

But some petty crime does exist. The staff at the Namba IOSYS shop have tried many and varied tactics to stop people shoplifting. They have signs inside the shop that tell customers about the aspirations of specific members of staff, most of them involving finding a girlfriend or getting married. Other signs tell customers about the history of the shop and have personal profiles of the staff. All of them to cleverly guilt potential shoplifters into leaving them alone.

But their newest tactic looks to be far more effective. This is a poster on display in the shop:


The text reads, "If you shoplift, you will pay with your body." The staff are literally threatening to chase, capture, and then rape anyone who steals from their shop. This idea of fighting crime with even-worse-crime is at least daring. Some people might say that "two wrongs don't make a right." But of course Shakespeare would want us to "be fire with fire, threaten the threatener and outface the brow of bragging horror." And what is the 'moral high-ground' if not a platform to dive off?

3 comments:

Christina Martin said...

That is very funny!

Sly said...

Haha, ace. (sigh) The signs they had there...priceless. About the petty theft thing, spot on. Remember those holsters you could buy for those massive wallets that were basically shouting to be stolen. Good times.

Christina Martin said...

Something else that amused me today:
http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=8425