Teen Held Hostage For A Month Uses Video Game Console To Escape Kidnapper In Japan
A teen found the most unlikely way to call out for a help, after she was held captive without her consent.
The unnamed female high school student, from northern Tokyo, went missing on July 4, after she went to meet up with 44-year-old Goto Hiroyasu, an entrepreneur she met on social media.
The teen recalled how they went back to Goto’s apartment, where he took away her phone and held her captive.
Her family contacted police when she didn’t return home that evening and a missing person investigation was launched.
It wasn’t until a month later, when the girl managed to get her hands on a video game console that happened to be connected to the internet. She went online and contacted Saitama Police Department’s online emergency help desk, where she told them: ‘I am held captive and can’t escape.’
According to Mainichi Shimbun, police headed straight for Goto’s apartment in Yokohoma, which is just south of Tokyo, and they found the young girl tied to an iron pipe with metallic wire ropes.
Goto reportedly insisted to police that he wasn’t holding the girl captive.
On Wednesday, August 5, the teen was finally returned to her family after a long and frightening month of being apart, not knowing what would happen, Vice reports.
It still remains unclear how the teen and Goto first met, and why they had planned to meet up in the first place, and investigations are still on going.
Meanwhile, neighbours of the 44-year-old have described him as ‘very scary,’ while others commented on the fact he was always quiet and had never been seen with any friends or family. Another neighbour noted that they hadn’t heard anything coming from the man’s house, ‘not even a scream,’ they added.
There are growing concerns in Japan after an increasing number of crimes involving minors being targeted on social media in recent years.
According to a Japanese children’s education website called Resemom, police in the country have reported a 26.8% increase in these kinds of cases in the last five years, from 2014 to 2019.
At this stage it’s unclear what the young girl had to endure during that long month being held captive away from her family, but thank goodness the story had a happy ending, which saw her located alive and safely returned to her family.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, 8am–10pm Monday to Friday, 9am–6pm weekends. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111.