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Convenience store manager suspected of secretly filming customers in toilets for 15 years

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested Kazuaki Usui, 51, on suspicion of illicitly filming people using the toilets at convenience stores he was dispatched to manage, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Dec. 5).

Between 4:00 p.m. on August 8 and 10:30 a.m. the following day, Usui allegedly used a black plastic bag to conceal a camera that filmed three men and women inside a Family Mart outlet in Bunkyo Ward.

The suspect was caught after a customer noticed the camera wrapped inside the bag on a shelf next to the toilet. When the customer took the camera to Usui, who was managing the store, the suspect attempted to take it from him.

The suspect told police that he had been carrying out the act for 15 years. “I was into viewing women’s underwear and private parts, things I couldn’t normally see. I did it to relieve stress,” he said.

A search of his apartment turned up thousands of illicitly shot videos of people using toilets, stored on the suspect’s computer and on DVDs.

The Tomisaka Police Station announced the arrest of Usui on Tuesday. He has been specifically accused of violating a new law against upskirting and other illicit shooting of sexual images that came into force this summer.

“Sight and sound of the passengers while they were urinating”

Last month, JR West apologized after one of its conductors was caught filming passengers in the toilets of express trains, as well as a female colleague in a changing room.

The 32-year-old conductor, Hideyuki Hatakeyama, has also admitted the charges, saying he was “into the sight and sound of the passengers while they were urinating.”

Both suspects could face up to three years imprisonment or fines up to 3 million yen.

All smartphones sold in Japan are set so as to make a shutter sound when a photograph is taken with the device, a setting that cannot be changed.