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Japanese Shocked By Student Gang-Rape Franchises


By Hiroshi Osedo
The Courier-Mail - Australia
9-18-3


Wada's father expressed his deepest apology over his son's criminal acts. He said he would kill his son when he came out of jail "or my son should be brave enough to kill himself".
TOKYO -- Young men from Japan's elite universities have had forced sex with hundreds of women after joining clubs which turned them into pack rapists.
The scandal was revealed with the arrest of Shinichiro Wada, ringleader of a notorious "Super Free" student club at Tokyo's prestigious Waseda University.
He is alleged to have raped as many as 500 women.
Wada and four other students were arrested on June 6 on suspicion of gang-raping a 20-year-old female student who attended a wild-drinking party in the seedy Roppongi night entertainment district in Tokyo.
After the party, the five took about 20 female students to another pub where they made one drunk with vodka.
They offered to help her outside and took her to a stairway-landing at a nearby building where they raped her in turn.
Wada, who joined Waseda's politics-economic department in 1994, is accused of turning serial rape into a profitable franchise. He has been the Super Free's honorary representative since 1995 and has reportedly earned *10 million ($A125,000) a year.
The club's main activity is to organise wild parties almost monthly at Roppongi clubs such as Velfarre, attracting up to 2000 participants each time who buy a ticket for between *3000-*5000.
After a mass party, members take about 100 attractive girls to another club where they ply them with alcohol.
Then, the gang members select five or six drunken girls and take them to the club headquarters where they take turns raping them. The serial rapists had a manual on how to organise a party, sell tickets, sweet-talk girls and then calm them after the rapes.
In order to claim the sex is consensual, they have forced the victims to smile for pictures.
According to one victim, a group leader in the rape kept saying: "Hey, aren't you enjoying this? Smile. Say cheese."
Junichiro Kobayashi, one of the arrested Waseda students, reportedly said to a victim's boyfriend: "Look at this picture. It was consensual."
The club's targets were usually women who had come from provincial towns to Tokyo to study and were often eager to associate with elite students. According to Friday magazine, about 100 girls became victims each year.
Despite this, only about 10 had reported their ordeals to police.
One former club member said some girls had become pregnant and there were rumours one victim committed suicide.
The Super Free extended its activities to seven other major cities such as Osaka.
It has also emerged that similar student clubs operated at Keio University, Meiji University and Hosei University.
After their student days, many of the young rapists were welcomed straight into Japan's top corporations. The first club leader got a job at Recruit Co.
He was followed by other graduates who joined Mitsui Real Estate, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Air France, Nissho-Iwai Corp, Fujitsu Ltd, Mazuda Motor Corp and Mitsubishi Motor Corp.
After the arrests of the Super Free gangs, Waseda University expelled them and warned its 50,000 students not to mix "freedom and self-indulgence".
Wada's father expressed his deepest apology over his son's criminal acts. He said he would kill his son when he came out of jail "or my son should be brave enough to kill himself".
© Queensland Newspapers
http://www.couriermail.news.com.au/printpage/0,5942,7217161,00.html