Homeless & Unemployed Man held for not paying Y180,000 taxi fare forTokyo-Osaka ride

Osaka police are holding a man on fraud charges for allegedly skipping out on a 180,000 yen, (US$2,300.00) taxi fare. 

According to TV reports, the 67-year old man, who is homeless and unemployed, flagged down a taxi at a major Tokyo train station at 8 p.m. on June 23 and rode it all the way to Osaka’s Shin-Osaka train station before revealing to the driver that he had only 6,000 yen.  

This is another example of 'Dishonesty' creeping into the Japanese Society, and like what happens in the rest of the world, the taxi driver's might now have to ask for the money up front before long journeys - This is sad, bad, BUT I think police should still throw the book at this him - lock him up for a few years in hope that his punishment will be an effective deterrent to other's  that try and do the same!

At the time the man entered the taxi, a number of cheaper, much faster shinkansen bullet trains were still running from Tokyo to Osaka. When police pointed this out to the suspect, he was quoted as saying, “Living on the street is tough. I wanted to get arrested.”

The taxi driver told police the man had assured him he could pay for the ride. Police questioned the taxi driver as well, wondering why he accepted such a fare. “A sale is a sale,” the driver said. A taxi driver in the Tokyo area will normally bring in around 400,000 – 500,000 yen a month, so the promise of a single 180,000 yen fair would certainly be difficult for some to pass up.

Because of the risks involved, drivers are encouraged to make a judgment call based on the customer’s behavior and attitude before taking on a long-distance passenger, and are generally required to get permission from the dispatcher. Reports are unclear if the driver followed this procedure.

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