Former Singaporean Diplomat Questioned Over Secretly Photographing Boy at Tokyo Bathhouse

Former Singaporean diplomat accused of secretly photographing undressed minors at Japanese public baths, raising concerns about diplomatic immunity and child exploitation.

Muhammad Jawad
New Update
Former Singaporean Diplomat Questioned Over Secretly Photographing Boy at Tokyo Bathhouse

Former Singaporean Diplomat Questioned Over Secretly Photographing Boy at Tokyo Bathhouse

A 55-year-old former counselor at the Singapore Embassy in Japan was questioned by Tokyo police for allegedly secretly photographing an undressed 13-year-old boy at a public bathhouse in Minato Ward on February 27, The man admitted to taking photos of the boy and multiple other male customers at various public baths over a six-month period, with a total of around 700 images found on his smartphone. "He confessed to taking similar photos about five times at the bathhouse and at other bathhouses as well, and he deleted around 700 such photos from his smartphone," police said.

The former diplomat was not charged at the time due to his diplomatic immunity, but has since left the foreign service. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department is set to request his appearance in a Japanese court as they consider charges against him for violating laws related to child pornography and unauthorized filming. "The police are considering issuing a request through the Foreign Ministry for the former counselor to turn himself in, and they plan to investigate the case as a suspected violation of laws penalizing the act of taking explicit photos or videos of people without consent and banning child prostitution and child pornography," authorities stated.

The incident was reported to the police by a bathhouse employee who witnessed the man's suspicious behavior. When confronted by officers at the scene, the then-diplomat refused to go to the police station for questioning and invoked his diplomatic immunity. He was allowed to leave after deleting the incriminating photos from his phone in front of the police.

The Singapore Embassy in Tokyo said it was unaware of the incident when initially contacted, stating that the diplomat had already completed his assignment and returned to Singapore as of April 12. The police will make their court request through Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations prevents the arrest of individuals with diplomatic status.

Why this matters: This case highlights the potential abuse of diplomatic immunity and the challenges in investigating and prosecuting crimes committed by foreign diplomats. It also raises concerns about the protection of minors and the need for stricter measures to prevent and address sexual exploitation.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department continues to investigate the case and gather evidence to support potential charges against the former Singaporean diplomat. "The police are in discussions with the Foreign Ministry and National Police Agency to ask the embassy to have the man turn himself in for questioning," a police spokesperson confirmed. If found guilty of violating Japan's child pornography and unauthorized filming laws, the man could face possible charges. The Singapore Embassy has yet to provide an official response regarding the incident and their former employee's actions.

Key Takeaways

  • Former Singaporean diplomat accused of secretly photographing undressed 13-year-old boy
  • Admitted to taking photos of multiple male customers at public baths over 6 months
  • Diplomat avoided charges due to diplomatic immunity but has since left foreign service
  • Tokyo police to request diplomat's appearance in court for child pornography, unauthorized filming
  • Case highlights challenges in prosecuting crimes by diplomats and need for stricter measures