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Japan’s no-mask crusader accused of punching police officer

Junya Okuno refuses to wear masks (Twitter)

CHIBA (TR) – Video footage has emerged that shows a man who has a reputation for not wearing a breathing mask getting into an altercation over the weekend, reports Fuji News Network (April 12).

On April 10, Junya Okuno, 34, allegedly punched the face of a police officer responding to a disturbance at the restaurant in Tateyama City.

The disturbance was caused by the suspect not wearing a mask. In footage provided by the network, an employee says, “Sir, please wear a mask.”

When Okuno refused, he was asked to leave. A scuffle then ensued. Okuno shouted, “Stop! Stop! Call the police! Call the police!”

When police arrived at the scene, the suspect allegedly punched the officer outside the restaurant.

Okuno was later arrested on suspicion of interfering with the duties of a public servant. He declined to comment on the allegations, police said previously.

Junya Okuno got into an altercation in a restaurant in Tateyama City over the weekend (Twitter)


Okuno, a former teaching assistant at Meiji University, is a no-mask crusader. On Twitter (@mask_passenger), he regularly claims that requiring people to wear masks infringes on personal freedom.

Based on his tweets, he also caused disturbances last year over his refusal to wear a mask at the Sannomaru Shozokan museum for the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and at a hot springs resort.

The resort requires the wearing of a mask at its buffet. He then proceeded to get into a dispute with an employee upon his arrival.

“It’s a shame that a large hotel chain caused a problem while many people travel during the holiday season,” he wrote on Twitter on November 30.

Osaka Prefectural Police first arrested Okuno in January. In that case, he was a passenger aboard a Peach flight that was forced to make an emergency landing last September after he wouldn’t wear a mask.

In a tweet, he said that he refused to wear a mask on the flight since “it is difficult for health reasons.” He was released on January 22.