Former Singaporean Diplomat Suspected of Sneak Photos;Allegedly Took Pictures of Naked Boy at Bathhouse

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department in Tokyo

A former counselor of the Singaporean Embassy in Japan has been voluntarily questioned by the Metropolitan Police Department on suspicion of secretly taking photos of an undressed teenage boy at a public bathhouse in Tokyo in February.

The MPD is considering issuing a request through the Foreign Ministry to the former counselor, 55, to turn himself in to police. The request would likely be made by the end of this month.

According to a senior MPD official, the man is suspected of secretly taking pictures of a first-year middle school student, 13, in the men’s changing room at a public bathhouse in Minato Ward, Tokyo, on the evening of Feb. 27, when he was still a counselor of the embassy.

Police officers arrived at the bathhouse after a person related to the facility made an emergency 110 call, and the former counselor confessed that he had taken similar photos about five times at the bathhouse and that he had done so at other bathhouses as well, adding that he regretted what he had done.

The former counselor is said to have deleted about 700 similar pictures saved on his smartphone on the spot, which he said he had secretly taken, and he refused to voluntarily go with the police at the time. He did not agree to hand over his smartphone.

Under the Vienna Convention, diplomats are guaranteed immunity from arrest in the countries where they are stationed so that they can duly carry out their duties and be ensured of their safety. The MPD is planning to investigate the case as suspected violation of the law penalizing the act of taking explicit photos or videos of people without consent or proper understanding and also the law banning child prostitution and child pornography. The MPD also intends to send papers on the suspect to prosecutors.