http://news.tv-asahi.co.jp/news/web/html/220411045.html (with video)
translated and edited by Brett Larner
Tsukasa Koga, 42, was arrested after letting her Doberman off-leash in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park.
According to the police, in November last year Koga's 1 m-long Doberman bit a 20-year-old university runner while off-leash in Yoyogi Park, Shibuya, Tokyo. The male athlete was bitten in his right thigh, a wound which required two weeks of recovery. Ms. Koga refused to pay for the student's hospital costs when he contacted her, telling him, "It's your fault. You provoked my dog." After she ignored multiple summons from the police she was arrested. When questioned after her arrest Koga denied the charges, saying, "I didn't have my dog off the leash and I'm not responsible for any injuries."
Translator's note: Hallelujah, there is justice in the world. I have been running in Yoyogi Park daily for many years. A few years ago the park administration built three large fenced-off off-leash dog play areas for the benefit of both dog owners and other people trying to enjoy a crowded metropolitan park. Despite this and the signs posted at every entrance to the park some dog owners continue to let their dogs off-leash wherever and whenever they like.
I began to have problems with Ms. Koga, her male companion and their off-leash Dobermans over a year ago. While running one of my regular loops one day the Doberman with the metal collar in the video, apparently the same one which attacked the university runner, charged me on the same hill shown at the beginning of the video. I stood my ground and shouted at the dog, but it still leaped at me and scratched my right arm with the claws on its right paw. I confronted Koga and her male partner and they completely ignored me, with no apology, no eye contact, no response to me insisting that they leash their two Dobermans except a muttered, "Yeah, whatever," from Koga's male companion. I went to a police stand nearby and told the two officers there what had happened and showed them the scratches on my arm and they said essentially, "Huh, yeah, Dobermans are dangerous." I asked if they shouldn't do something about it since the park is full of small children and the officers said, "Tell you what. Call us if it bites you next time."
Park staff were more responsive to complaints after other encounters with Koga and her dog and repeatedly went to confront them, but it's a reality of life in Japan as a non-Japanese that the police are not going to do anything about claims against a Japanese citizen by a foreigner. It's unfortunate that it actually did take a runner getting bitten for the police to do something and sad that the dog will no doubt be destroyed, but I'm glad Koga is getting what she deserves before anyone gets more seriously hurt.