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Drivers nabbed for drift race near Universal Studios in Osaka

near Universal Studios Japan in Osaka
Police have sent 10 persons to prosecutors over a drift race held near Universal Studios Japan in Osaka in February (TV Asahi)

OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police have sent 10 persons to prosecutors for using a public road near theme park Universal Studios Japan as a private track for a specialty form of auto racing, reports TV Asahi (Oct. 16).

In February, Hiroaki Kono, a 33-year-old resident of Sakai City’s Naka Ward, and nine other persons allegedly engaged in a drift race over a 370-meter-long stretch of road in Konohana Ward.

Such a competition is typified by modified vehicles traveling at a high rates of speed so that their rear wheels skid, or “drift,” during turns. In video footage provided by TV Asahi, numerous skid marks can be seen on the pavement.

All ten of the defendants, the last three of whom were sent to prosecutors on suspicion of violating the Road Traffic Act on Monday, admit to the allegations.

“Universal Underground”

The commercial area, located about 800 meters west of Universal Studios Japan, consists of multiple warehouses and factories. Local persons began lodging complaints about such competitions taking place regularly in the fall of last year, police said.

The area is known as “Universal Underground” on the internet. Kono gathered participants using social-networking services.

Last month, police arrested three other persons over a similar competition that took place in March, according to Mainichi Broadcasting System (Oct. 16).