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Haruhiko Kataoka and Tosiro Senba profile

2010年04月09日 19:26

 2010 Apr 13 12:00 - 14:00  in The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan


Kataoka, Senba & Takahashi, "Police Bike Incedent" and "Police Back Door Money"


Toshiro Senba


Born in Ehime Prefecture in 1949. Former Ehime Prefecture police sergeant. Refused to write fake receipts used in police constructed bribes. Was continually requested to do so but remained firm in his refusal to cooperate maintaining his belief that it is wrong for a police officer to engage in criminal activity. As a result, he was labeled the “enemy of the police system” by his colleagues and superiors.

In January 2005, while still a member of the police force, he brought about a formal accusation of bribery within the force. This was the first ever formal accusation originating from within the police force. While facing considerable pressure to quit the force, he continued his work and even contributed in the arrests of wanted criminals at that time.

Haruhiko Kataoka


Born in Kochi Prefecture in 1954. Former school bus driver. Known for exceedingly safe driving and a personality that garnered the respect of the school administration, students, as well as student’s caretakers.

  1. While driving a bus loaded with 25 students and teachers from Niyodo Junior High School during a field trip, was involved in a traffic accident with a motorcycle police officer. The cause of the accident, in which the motorcycle hit the stopped bus, was lack of attention by the motorcycle police officer. However, according to an illegal investigation and an unfair trial, Mr. Kataoka’s grave negligence was deemed to be the cause of the accident.

  1. The high court in Takamatsu refused to consider any of Mr. Kataoka’s evidence claiming that there was “no need”. In response to the refusal to consider the evidence, via the Internet and some media outlets the voice of opposition against the police and court system grew. A petition requesting a fair trial for Mr. Kataoka was creating containing 50,000 signatures.


2008    In August, the Supreme Court refused to hear Mr. Kataoka’s appeal.

         In October of the same year he began to serve his prison sentence at Kakogawa prison

  1. In February, after finishing his prison sentence. Mr. Kataoka was released from prison and is actively seeking a re-trial.



仙波敏郎 プロフィール
1949年       愛媛県に生まれる
2005年1月 在職中に警察の裏金の実態を実名で内部告発。
2009年3月 定年にて退官。
片岡晴彦 プロフィール
2007年 高松高裁は片岡の提出した全ての証拠の審理を『必要ない』として、控訴を棄却した。

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The judiciary in JAPAN VOLⅡ

2010年04月08日 15:17

The Judgment by Kochi Local Court
The judge of Kochi Local Court, Yasushi Katata, fully accepted the prosecutor’s assertion and sentenced the accused, Haruhiko Kataoka, to one year and four months in prison. The testimonies by the principal and the teacher that the accident occurred while the bus was stopped were rejected as unreliable based on the physical evidence, i.e. the “photos of skid marks”. Mr. K’s witness testimony was judged to be unreliable because it was deemed that his observation lacked a realistic basis. 
On the other hand, the witness testimony of the fellow policeman A was fully adopted on the grounds that “a fellow’s testimonies are not necessarily unreliable”. In the decision, the judge Katata also stated as his reason for rejecting the motorcycle’s high-speed claim that it is difficult to believe a police motorcycle drives over 60km/h in a normal situation. He also approved the on-site investigation without the accused, which the defendant claimed to be illegal.
The bus driver Haruhiko Kataoka appealed this decision to a higher court.  Mr. Kataoka collected more evidence to correct the decision that was completely different from what really occurred
A. Testimonies of the students who were on the bus
B. Analysis that the skid marks are not those of the bus
C. A field experiment using the same type of bus as the one in the accident
Photos and videos
In Kochi Local Court the prosecutor admitted that the school bus stopped once before entering the road. After that at 6.5m he asserted the bus collided with the bike and then engaged the emergency brake so that the front right tire left a skid mark of 1.0m and the front left tire left a skid mark of 1.2 meters. There were no skid marks from the rear tires.
Even if the bus engaged the emergency brake after proceeding 6.5 meters, is it possible to reach a speed that would leave skid marks of 1.2 meters? The Crime Laboratory of Kochi calculated the speed of the bus to be 15km/h based on the lengths of the skid marks. An official of the laboratory testified that the skid marks of front tires are usually made without the skid marks of rear tires.
However, in the case of a large bus this is an unbelievable statement. It is impossible for this type of bus of 25 passengers to accelerate up to 15km/h within 6.5 meters from a complete stop. Even if it could be achieved, it would be an extremely sudden start, thus the students would have noticed a strong shock and an abnormal thrust. However, none of the students mentioned such experiences. Furthermore the bus even passed over a bump on the road making it even more difficult to attain such an extreme sudden start.
The judge Katata disregarded the speed calculation by the crime lab and determined the speed to be 5 – 10 km/h according to the policeman A’s testimony. However, the bus could not have left skid marks of 1.2 meters at this speed thus bringing about a contradiction. In Mr. Kataoka’s field experiment, the lengths of the skid marks the bus left at the speed of 10km/h were only 30cm. Also the rear tires left clear skid marks. This result was constant through repeated trials.
The shock caused by an application of the emergency brake at the speed of 10km/h is so strong that some passengers would have been injured but none of the students actually felt such shock in the accident.
The experiment proved that the conclusion reached by the prosecution of a 1.2m front left wheel skid mark and 1m front right wheel skid mark was not possible. Therefore this means that the skid marks, which were supposed to be a decisive factor for guiltiness, were not left by the bus. Then what do the photos of the skid marks show? The only possible interpretation is that the police fabricated them.There are also other unnatural aspects pertaining to the skid marks:
       The end of the left skid mark is dark in some photos but not in others. The judge Katata determined this to be the liquid spilt from the motorcycle that consequently evaporated later but there was not such a large spill that would flow down all the way to the front left tire.
      The lengths of the skid marks differ depending on the photo and other evidence.
       The tire tereads are not reflected in the skid marks.
         The skid marks are not parallel.
-        Multiple accounts that the skid marks were gone beginning the day after the accident and confirmed later.
Mr. Kataoka submitted this evidence to Takamatsu High Court for the appeal trial.
[The judiciary in JAPAN VOLⅡ]の続きを読む

The judiciary in JAPAN volⅠ

2010年04月08日 00:40

  外国特派員協会で4/13日に記者会見です。 そのために作成した英文資料を掲載しました。
                                             和訳 → こちら
Overview of the accident
March 3. 2006, 14:34.
A traffic accident between a school bus and a police motorcycle of Kochi prefectural police department occurred on National Road Route 56 in Kochi city. While the bus loaded with 22 junior high school students was attempting to turn to the right, the motorcycle advancing from the right side collided with the bus. 
About 30 minutes later, the bus driver Haruhiko Kataoka was arrested on site for professional negligence resulting in injuries and taken to the police station. At almost the same time the school principal and three of the students who witnessed the accident were also escorted to the same police station and requested to describe the accident.
They were interviewed not where the accident occurred but at the police station. Meanwhile, only the policemen, without the driver or any of the witnesses, conducted the on-site investigation. The driver, Mr. Kataoka, was left alone in the police office, without being inquired about the accident. 
When the death of the policeman on the motorcycle reached the office, Mr. Kataoka was taken back to the site and the investigation was restarted with him. However, he was not allowed to get out of the police car and was not even allowed to look outside the window. 
 After 2 days of being told the death of the police officer was his fault, an exhausted Mr. Kataoka was released by the police. The police officer died from a thoracic aorta rupture.
Eight months after the accident, Mr. Kataoka was summoned to the Kochi prosecutor’s office. The description of the accident presented to him was completely different from what he had actually experienced.
 He stopped the bus near a central divider on the 3-lane road for about 30 seconds to attempt to turn to the right, waiting for a traffic break in the lanes ahead. The police motorcycle crashed into the stopped bus at a considerably high speed.
     On the contrary, the assistant prosecutor explained the case as follows:
“The bus darted into the intersection without checking for oncoming traffic and knocked down the motorcycle at the point of 6.5 meters from the walkway while then engaging the emergency brake and screeching to a halt dragging the motorcycle for 3.0 meters.” 
These details were completely different from what Mr. Kataoka had experienced.   Mr. Kataoka maintained that he thoroughly confirmed safety before entering the roadway, that he did not engage the emergency brake when the motorcycle collided because the bus was stopped and that the proposed collision point was completely different from reality. 

 片岡主張                検察主張

    Kataoka                                 The  prosecutor

The assistant prosecutor completely rejected Mr. Kataoka’s claim and thrust a photo at him. The photo showed skid marks of 1.0 meter on the right and 1.2 meters on the left, which were supposed to prove the use of the bus’ emergency brake. Mr. Kataoka was speechless.

Prosecutor’s assertion

The prosecutor submitted 135 photos taken at the site and the analysis of the accident by the Crime Laboratory of Kochi. The prosecutor also presented scientific analysis regarding the motorcycle and the bus’s speed at the time of the accident. The analysis concluded that the bus was traveling at a speed of 14km/h and the motorcycle between 30km/h and 40 km/h. He also called as a witness another motorcycle policeman who had supposedly passed the scene of the accident by chance.

Policeman A testified that the speed of the oncoming motorcycle was 60km/h by eye measurement from a distance of 170 meters and that the speed of the bus, which was advancing from the right towards the left, was 10km/h by eye measurement from a distance of 120 meters.



                                    TO BE CONTINUE
」そして校正をしてくれたカナダ人のMr.Z ありがとうございました。