Article from Mainichi Daily News

Mutilated cat pics posted on top site

FUKUOKA -- Photos of mutilated, abused and slaughtered cats were posted for hours on Ni Channel, one of Japan's largest Internet chat sites, police said Thursday.

With the reach of animal abuse laws not extending to photos of persecuted creatures, police are powerless to do anything about the posted photos unless the person who put them on the site was responsible for the attacks on the cats.

Lawyer Masaki Kido said that while unfortunate, the photos were part and parcel of the Internet.

"The Internet is a system that permits humans total freedom of expression and that can have good and bad results," he said. "How far expressions of cruelty can be regulated is a matter that will have to be decided somewhere along the line."

Police said the photos were posted on the "I hate Pets" section of Ni Channel from 11 p.m. on May 6 to 3 a.m. on May 7.

The photos were horribly graphic. One had a cat strung up by a nail driven through its neck. Another showed the equipment used to sever a cat's tail. Yet another picture featured a cat that had been drowned in a home bath. Police believe the photos were sent from somewhere in Fukuoka. (Mainichi Shimbun, May 9, 2002)

Cat abuser pinched after posting images on Net
FUKUOKA -- A man who posted photos of a mutilated cat on one of Japan's largest Internet chat sites was identified and will face charges, police said Wednesday.

Documents were sent to prosecutors Wednesday, accusing the unnamed Fukuoka man of breaking the law banning cruelty to animals.

"I wanted to be a star on the Net," the 26-year-old unemployed man was quoted by police as saying. "I have always hated cats since I was a kid because they always relieved themselves in my garden." However, he reportedly showed remorse. "I never expected to cause such a big furor. I want to say sorry to everyone." The man added that the mutilated cat is alive despite losing its tail in the vicious attack. "I released it."

The man reportedly picked up the cat on the streets and was feeding it at first.

However, he unleashed gruesome attacks against the cat after it "soiled" his room, police said. He then posted the photos -- including images of the cat after he severed its ears and tail and hung it with a piece of wire -- on the "I hate Pets" section of the Ni Channel chat site for four hours from 11 p.m. on May 6.

Police traced the unemployed man by studying Internet provider records. (Mainichi Shimbun, May 22, 2002)

Prosecutors sharpen claws on notorious cat abuser

FUKUOKA -- A man who incurred the wrath of the nation by publishing photos of himself torturing a cat on the Internet has been arrested and indicted, prosecutors said.

Jun Matsubara, a 27-year-old unemployed man from Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, has admitted to the allegations and has been charged with violating of the Animal Protection Law.

Animal abusers are usually indicted summarily without detention, but the Fukuoka District Public Prosecutors Office decided to arrest Matsubara because of the extremely cruel nature of the offense.

"He published vicious scenes of killing a cat on the Internet, and his evil deed has shocked the nation," one prosecutor said.

On the night of May 6, Matsubara took a cat he picked up off the street to his apartment in Fukuoka where he lived. He then cut off its ears and its tail with a pair of scissors before hanging the poor animal.

He later put photos of those brutal scenes on an "animal hate" page on the Internet. Police and prosecutors were alerted to Matsubara's cruelties when a stream of visitors to the Web site contacted them and demanded that he be severely punished.

Fukuoka police officers proceeded to question Matsubara but only sent papers to prosecutors accusing him of animal abuse after he denied killing the cat on May 22. "The cat fled after I poured water over it," Matsubara was quoted as telling officers at that time.

But a veterinarian assigned by prosecutors later said he must have killed the cat after carefully examining the photos he put on the Internet. Matsubara finally owned up to killing the cat when grilled by prosecutors.

The Animal Protection Law, revised in December 2000, provides that those who abuse animals should be sentenced to up to one year in prison or be fined up to 1 million yen. (Mainichi Shimbun, Aug. 8, 2002)

Cat abuser faces jail

FUKUOKA -- A man who has admitted to giving a live broadcast of his brutal abuse of a cat faces a rare jail term with prosecutors asking the Fukuoka District Court to sentence him to 6 months imprisonment.

Prosecutors asked the court to find Jun Matsubara guilty of animal abuse and to send him to prison instead of issuing a fine, as is usually the case with offenders.

Prosecutors took the rare step of demanding a prison term because they deemed the alleged abuse Matsubara unleashed was of extreme cruelty.

The 27-year-old from Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, is accused of slicing the ears and tail off a cat during a live broadcast over the Internet.

"His crime was evil, asking those who watched the live broadcast whether he should first cut off the cat's ears or its tail," a prosecutor told the court. "His actions have deeply affected society."

Matsubara has pleaded guilty to the charges.

"I began to attack myself for failing to live up to the expectations of my boss at work and writing about my abuse of animals became a way for me to feel better," Matsubara told the court. "I'd pick up this stray cat and washed it, but when it pooped in my bath, I felt as though it had betrayed me. I decided to take out my anger toward the cat by abusing it." (Mainichi Shimbun, Oct. 1, 2002)

Internet cat torturer gets slap on the wrist

FUKUOKA -- A man who posted photos of a cat he mutilated on an Internet chat site and incurred the wrath of pet lovers was handed a suspended prison term on Monday.

Judge Atsushi Tomita of the Fukuoka District Court harshly criticized 27-year-old Jun Matsubara for his evil deed when handing down the six-month sentence suspended for three years.

"By showing this cruel act on an Internet site, he shocked many people," Tomita said.

Matsubara, from Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, severed an ear and the tail of a cat with scissors and strangled the animal with a wire at an apartment in Fukuoka where he lived on May 6 and 7.

Under the title, "Live broadcast of a cat slaughter," he posted the images of the mutilated cat and reported what he would severe next on the web site.

Judge Tomita found his act vicious because it "could trigger copycat crimes."

The Fukuoka District Public Prosecutors Office received more than 3,000 letters from across the nation by the end of August demanding severe punishment.

When indicting Matsubara, prosecutors demanded he be sentenced to six months in prison.

Pet lover Motoko Hori came all the way from Hyogo Prefecture to hear the ruling in Fukuoka.

"In France, a person who only hit a dog would probably be imprisoned," Hori said. "I think new legal procedures (more severely punishing animal abusers) are needed."

After his cruel act came to light in May, the address of Matsubara's parents in Hiroshima was released on the Internet.

The parents received many harassing calls late in the night and slanderous bills were distributed in the area. (Mainichi Shimbun, Oct. 21, 2002)