There are a myriad of mysteries in this world. But none, in my personal opinion, comes close to the legend of the reserved seat.
Lest you’re unaware, the reserved seat is omnipresent in MRTs and buses, and is catered to the elderly, physically disabled and pregnant passengers.
But here’s the thing: you’re not forbidden from sitting on it, even if you don’t belong to any one of those categories.
Of course, should someone of greater need come along, you’re recommended to give it up for them. Although, if you choose not to, there’s no real penalty.
Or is there?
In Japan, a 34-year-old Japanese man was stabbed several times in the stomach for precisely that: occupying a reserved seat.
And before you jump to conclusions…
Nobody asked for the seat.
What exactly happened?
(Before we continue, just know that Japan’s reserved seat system works more or less like Singapore’s)
According to Rocketnews, the incident occurred on the morning of 7 February, on the Kanjo line in Osaka.
62-year-old Motokazu Koizumi spotted a 34-year-old man sitting in a priority seat, and got pretty enraged.
“I was angry that he was sitting in the priority seat [on February 7],” Koizumi reportedly said.
At this point, it seems that the pair has already met: on a previous day, they’ve gotten into a verbal argument on the train while Koizumi was returning home from working the night shift.
Shit hit the fan
When the train reached Taisho station at around 6:50 a.m., the younger man stood up to exit the train. It was then that Koizumi withdrew a fruit knife and stabbed the victim multiple times in the stomach.
Koizumi subsequently fled the scene, and security footage revealed that he made his escape following the assault. The following day, however, Koizumi turned himself in to the authorities.
“It was only a matter of time until they figured out I was the one who did it,” Koizumi said, “but I had to work, so I couldn’t turn myself in right away.”
Koizumi was subsequently placed under arrest for attempted murder.
On the other hand, the victim had sustained serious, though thankfully non-fatal wounds. No statement has been released in regards to whether the victim had any not-visually-apparent condition that led him to sit in the reserved seat.
Beware of the reserved seat
So, guys, you know what to do.
Steer clear of the reserved seat unless you’re absolutely sure that the coast is clear.
After all, if such an incident could occur in Japan…
It could occur pretty much anywhere.
Note: Right, all jokes aside, don’t hesitate to take the reserved seat if nobody else’s taking it. Just try to give it up if you see someone in need.
Note2: Although I have to applaud Japan’s work culture. It speaks volumes when someone prioritises work over turning himself in.
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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Featured image: Shutterstock (Thirdparty) / The Japan Times
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