Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Man Arrested After Allegedly Forcing Child To Play Grand Theft Auto IV

Illustration for article titled Man Arrested After Allegedly Forcing Child To Play emGrand Theft Auto IV/em
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

In Japan, Kyoto Prefectural Police have arrested a 28 year-old man. His crime? Allegedly forcing an elementary schooler to play Grand Theft Auto against the child's will.

Advertisement

According to reports in MSN Japan and Yomiuri Online, the suspect, a 28 year-old male nurse named Maasa Kawabata, allegedly made his wife's nine year-old son from a previous marriage play GTA IV. Authorities say the suspect made the child play the game for between two-to-three weeks, for about two-to-three hours a day when the mother was out.

"I did not force him to play the game," Kawabata is quoted as saying. In Japan, the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization gave Grand Theft Auto IV a "Z" rating, making the game ages 18 and up.

Advertisement

Kawabata married his 31 year-old wife in October 2012. That November, he moved in with her and her son. According to Japanese media reports, Kawabata called the boy names like "stupid" and "moron" and even told him to die—supposedly when the mother was not at home.

Last April, the boy complained of having headaches and stomach pain as well as feeling nausea, causing the mother to cease living with her husband. The following month, a doctor diagnosed the boy as having dysautonomia brought on by stress from playing the game. That June, the mother reported the incident to the police, who finally arrested Kawabata earlier today.

News reports don't say whether or not being called names by the mother's new husband brought on the child's illness. They do mention the "violence" and "brutality" of Grand Theft Auto IV, however.

妻が出掛けると人格豹変 連れ子小3男児に残虐ゲーム強要 介護士の男逮捕 京都・木津署 [産経]

9歳児に残酷ゲームを強要、容疑で男逮捕…京都 [読売]

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

Advertisement

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Does it mention about if the man was telling the boy how to play, or just to play?

There are obvious issues with forcing someone to do this, but is it worse that forcing a child to do chores, or homework, or playing sport?

Now, I can understand there to be greater issues if the man was telling the child to screw and kill a prostitute, or run over and beat up pedestrians.

One could argue that some of these forced activities are somewhat beneficial, but with sport, there is also the risk for injury. So that could be considered/factored into the argument.

How are ratings considered in Japan? Would GTA be labelled as such, so it should not be sold to a child, or is it that a child should not consume the content?

It's an unfortunate situation, though, regardless.