Japan Today

Gang rape spotlights dirty deeds at Waseda campus

University students are increasingly becoming involved in sex and money-related crimes. A recent series of rapes by well-known university students has shocked Japan.

Members of the Super Free Club, a student organization centered at Waseda University, one of Japan's top private universities, have been arrested for a series of crimes this year, including most recently a gang rape. The Super Free Club labels itself as an organization that promotes friendship among all universities.

However, it was found that their members have been committing violent rapes after inviting co-eds to their parties. If a Super Free Club member refuses to join in a rape, he could be lynched.

The sordid activities of hte Super Free Club came to light on June 19 when officers at the Azabu Police Station arrested five Waseda and Gakushuin University students on charges of gang rape.

On the night of June 18, a group of 20 students, including one co-ed, were having a party at a Japanese-style pub in Roppongi in downtown Tokyo. Drunk, five male students took the co-ed out of the pub and took turns raping her on the stairs. The co-ed reported the crime to the Azabu Police Station.

The five students were found to be members of the Super Free Club, led by Shinichiro Wada, a 28-year-old sophomore student of Waseda University. The Super Free Club was set up to promote friendly exchanges between students from different universities.

The circle has been holding student party events at night clubs in Tokyo, one of which was attended by 2,000 students, and is well-known among university students in Tokyo.

The arrest of the club members triggered many other women students to report to the police that they too had been raped.

Waseda University is one of the top private universities in Japan. Shukan Post investigated the activities of the Super Free Club and interviewed former leaders.

Witness 1

"When I joined the Super Free Club, I was surprised by its strict hierarchical system. The organization was capable of getting 2,000 students to attend its parties, although it had only about 30 members. They were organized into three hierarchical categories ? the First Army, Second Army and Boys.

"The major job performed by the members was to sell tickets for the parties. Shinichiro Wada, the leader of the Super Free Club, tasked each guy to sell 3,000 tickets. His team visited other universities to sell tickets. The invitation flyer was printed in red. Wada used to say that red stimulates sympathetic feelings."

Witness 2

"Tickets for our events were sold for 4,000 yen for men and 3,000 yen for women, which brought in sales revenue for the club. Boy members who sold more than 10 tickets had to pay 2,000 yen each to Wada. The Second Army and First Army ones had to give 1,000 and 1,500 yen respectively to Wada, so he got quite rich.

"The more tickets they sold, the higher they rose in the organization. It was easy for the First Army leader to make 700,000 yen a month. Wada's profit was said to be more than 10 million yen a year, but no one exactly how much he made."

Witness 3

"The party which led to the arrest this time was held under the sponsorship of the Yacht Club of Keio University (another top private university and Waseda's rival). After the party, the Super Free Club members had another party. The rape was committed there.

"Wada was always leading the rapes and concealing them by manipulating the organization. Whenever Wada committed rape, he got several members involved in the crime. When Wada found that members were not participating, he attacked them. In such cases, he threatened them saying 'You are destroying the team.' Weak members could not resist him. Wada made everyone surrounding him complicit in the crime. No one would go to the police because they were also involved in the rapes. Also, Wada videotaped or took pictures of the rapes in order to ensure the victims' silence."

Witness 4

"Within the group, many secret words were used to conceal intended rapes. One example was the word 'rolling,' which meant gang rape. We also used the word, 'force hit,' which meant 'rape.' Members frequently used the expression 'hot girls' and the name of popular Japanese soccer player Nakada to describe a woman's genitals."

Witness 5

"Since April, Super Free Club members were having parties every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at Japanese pubs near Takadanobaba Station to welcome new students and help them make friends with students from various universities.

"Super Free Club members targeted naive co-eds from local towns. They got the co-eds drunk and separated them from their friends. Once they succeeded in doing this, they invited the drunken co-ed to some other place, saying, 'Let's visit some friends.' This was a tactic to get them to go to Wada's apartment. And that is where they raped each co-ed. As far as I know, they raped someone twice a week. I guess that they raped more than 20 co-eds in April."

Witness 6

"When Super Free Club members committed rapes at night clubs in downtown Tokyo, their methods were more sophisticated. Members were divided into three groups assigned to guide the co-eds who came to the parties, register them at the entrance, and take care of those who had already entered the party room.

"At the entrance, pretty co-eds were given VIP cards. These girls enjoyed special treatment. However, they were the club's targets. The VIP co-eds were invited to a VIP room and given a special cocktail, called the 'Spiritus,' which club members made. The cocktail was filled with 96 proof vodka. Super Free Club members then took these drunken co-eds to other rooms and took turns raping them. Five to 10 students were involved."

Witness 7

"The co-eds who were not raped at the party room were invited to a second party at different places, mostly pubs. These second parties were called 'Super Parties.' On most of these occasions, about 60 men and women attended. At such parties, co-eds were invited outside and raped repeatedly on stairwells. Afterwards, the guys left the victims, taking their shoes, purses and cell phones so they could not escape."

Witness 8

"The rapes by Super Free Club members caused other troubles. One involved a co-ed who was raped by Wada and his nine men. She implored an organized crime group to seek revenge. The organized crime group demanded that Wada pay 10 million yen to her. However, Wada used an intermediary connected with the organized crime world and cut the deal in half, paying just five million yen. Wada seemed to have connections with organized crime groups."

Witness 9

"When a Super Free Club member attempted to rape a co-ed by himself, he was punished by Wada. So, at parties, when Wada found one of his men close to a co-ed, he warned them with his eyes. When his man was interested personally in one woman, he had to report to Wada and share the woman. When his men introduced co-eds that they knew to Wada, they were promoted. Wada created a pyramid of sex and money, placing himself at the top.

"Until the rape case this time surfaced, Wada had sent emails to his men, including myself saying, 'Do not accept any interviews by news media,' or 'You must pay me my share of the tickets sold.'"

July 1, 2003

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