A student from Sacramento who broke a lamp in Tokyo remains in jail in Japan eight months on from the incident.
We hear horror stories about people going abroad on holiday and being punished for breaking a law they didn't know existed. Like many real-life horror stories, we often view them as the kinds of things that happen to other people, but never to us. Truth be told if you're not careful, and sometimes even when you are, those things can happen to you.
Julian Adame, a student from Sacramento, California is a perfect example of that. Adame is currently residing in a Japanese jail and has been there for more than eight months, reports SoraNews24. This saga began all the way back in May 2018. According to his mother, Adame had been bar-hopping in Japan and fell asleep at a table. When he awoke, his friends were gone and he was surrounded by police.
Hey!!! So a good friend of mine has been missing for about 7 days. No one has heard from him, last we know if he was in Japan, he was supposed to meet up with a friend in Thailand. If ANYONE has seen or heard from him please let us know. His name is Julian Adame, please help us. pic.twitter.com/0QM0Mu4fMY— Destiny Ng (@destinyngg) May 28, 2018
The police informed him that he needed to pay for a lamp he had apparently broken. Adame was told that the cost was 100,000¥, so more than $900. The officers also asked to see his passport, and that is when things reportedly got out of hand. Adame had been warned of Japanese gang members posing as police officers, asking to see tourists' passports so they can copy them. With that thought in mind, he refused to show his passport.
As it turns out, the officers were genuine so Adame refusing to show his passport resulted in his arrest. The student was subsequently charged with Obstruction of the Performance of Official Duties and has been detained on the back of that for more than eight months. Adame is still awaiting trial but has pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him. The punishment if found guilty could be as severe as three years in prison and a 500,000¥ fine.
The Japanese judicial system has come under a lot of criticism recently with situations like this becoming far too commonplace. It has become known for denying bail far too often and also extending periods of detention in order to try and get suspects to confess to crimes. Hopefully, Adame's situation comes to an end soon, and it is a happy ending that allows him to return home.