Posted by: L | April 21, 2007

Virginia Tech – An American Reader in Japan Responds

Robert McKinney, an American who once taught English at Waseda University in Japan, writes in to me (letter is excerpted):

Thank you so much for your common sense essay. My own thoughts too.

What does it take to alarm Americans any more? If the 7:15 am shooting had taken place at an airport, even a small regional airport, the FBI would been covering every inch of the area within a five mile radius of the airport. Same goes for a Federal building or a shopping mall.. …..

But why oh why didn’t the administration or the campus police close down the campus at 7:30 and tell everyone to stay home? That’s why we have local television stations, e-mail and loudspeakers. Didn’t two bloody killings cause any sense of alarm? Sad day for all Americans. Public safety has become a thing of the past..

It is ludicrous for anyone in authority to “cover his or her ass.” These were almost criminal idiots. Medical doctors who display such idiocy are quickly sued and some see their medical careers terminated and their professional and personal lives ruined. Time for heads to roll at VT...

Some years ago I was a full time English instructor at Waseda University, one of Japan’s elite colleges. Ninety percent of the student body is male. Anyway, in 2001 a terrible scandal surfaced after one female student went to the police with a lurid tale of being violently gang raped by a group of male students from Waseda. The police did investigate and discovered that a registered social club on the campus called “The Super Free Club” had been secretly gang-raping women, some as young as 18, for the past four or five years…..Over 100 women fell victim to the Super Free Club rape scheme. Most of the victims were from small towns around Japan and were simply too naive to understand the danger the club posed…..

Despite campus rumors and gossip about what was really happening at the Super Free Club parties, the Waseda U. authorities did nothing to investigate or question the club’s main members. The university was fearful of bad publicity and so just looked the other way while the rapes continued year after year……until the newspapers reported the police investigation in 2001

Although as many as forty or fifty Waseda male students had been involved in the gang rapes over the course of four years, only two or three individuals were convicted.

The university authorities at Waseda simply ignored the crisis. Damage control, “hey boys will be boys,” was their explanation.
Japan too has its share of moral lepers and idiots.


Robert McKinney.


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