Tokyo's Akihabara Installs Security Cameras

In June 2008, tragedy struck Tokyo's geek centre Akihabara. A 25-year-old man named Tomohiro Kato drove a rented truck into a crowd of pedestrians. He then got out of the truck and began wildly stabbing bystanders.

Seven ended up dead and 10 were injured.

At that time, the main drag in Akihabara was closed to vehicles, and the street had been dubbed "Pedestrian Paradise". After the massacre, the streets were no longer blocked to automobiles during the weekends. The mood in Akihabara changed forever.

In an attempt to restore a sense of security to the area, this past Tuesday saw the installation of 16 security cameras in the Akihabara streets.

"We hope the cameras will deter crimes. And we want to assure the public that Akihabara has become a safe place," Chiyoda Ward spokesman Kazuhisa Yamaguchi said.

This move comes nearly two years after the massacre. None of the cameras cover the site of the massacre.

To make people feel safer, the area has installed security cameras. Make that, to make people feel safer, the area is asking individuals to give up their privacy.

The footage will be monitored by the members of the neighbourhood association, reports the Japan Times.

Akihabara, however, has also been the site of muggings called otaku gari, or otaku hunting, that target area otaku (geeks).

Akihabara gets bank of security cameras [The Japan Times]


    I hope they bring back Pedestrian Paradise =(
    It's a real shame what happened two years ago. I wonder if security camera's would make any difference at all though =\
    Being a foreigner, I don't really care if I'm being recorded on film or not... so long as they're not planning on broadcasting it on one of their crazy variety TV shows.

    Holy crap, freaky story that. Will probably curb those muggings but I wonder if it would have an effect on something like another psycho attack. It takes time to respond to something like that even with cameras about and by the time a response has arrived, most of the damage has already been done.

    Every time they play the fear card, we surrender a little more of our rights. eg. My local bus terminal has sixteen cameras that I can see. Do they really want to stop crime or do they really want to know who's using the buses? You decide.

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