Dear Gossip/News Bloggers of Japan,

First of all, let me express my gratitude.  I perhaps came across as a bit bitchy in my last post about the Kana Washino murder.  And to be fair, that was my intention.  But at the same time I am grateful to you.  You scroll through the dark depths of 5 channel and other unsavory message boards, so that I don’t have to.  This morning alone, countless grotesquely large-breasted cartoon porn actresses did not have to be witnessed by me as they were bound and gagged and violated.  That in itself is priceless.

But even more, you tirelessly scroll through the creepy depths of these anonymous chat outlets, where the worst people in existence tend to gather, and scour their mundane, sexist, racist, and often intolerably daft comments for gems of truth.  And in a country where the police like to remain tight-lipped about high profile crimes and the mainstream media machine is built around pandering to said authorities, you provide an invaluable service.

But as you may have already suspected, I have a request.  As the mother of two (fabulous) children who happen to have developmental disorders, can I ask you to please stop casually associating high-profile alleged murderers with these conditions?  If you can, consider the countless children and adults who actually suffer from these disorders, people who struggle every day to overcome the stigma associated with being differently wired, within a society that already sucks (profoundly) at mental health awareness.

Yes, I am talking about your coverage of Kazumi Komori, who allegedly murdered Kana Washino out of jealousy.  Because of course I am.

First I would like to address the author of the website Breaking速報 : “breaking news for people who want to take a break from everyday life” (yes, I see what you did there.)  Let’s take a look at your headline.

Translation: “At her high school in Nagano Prefecture, Kazumi Komori was prone to sudden, loud outbursts.  Does she have Asperger’s syndrome?”

Setting aside for a moment the fact that Asperger’s was removed from the DSM5 in 2013, and is therefore not even a thing anymore, Aspergers is best summed up by the following excerpt.

Nowhere does it say that people with Aspergers syndrome are prone to inappropriate outbursts in class, a harmful stereotype which may or may not have its roots in a South Park episode.  But more importantly, note the conspicuous absence of MURDERING PEOPLE from this comprehensive list of symptoms.

Now let’s move onto the blog Kirakira-hoshi, which has been publishing comprehensive gossip on this story from the very beginning.  Here is the headline:

Translaton: “Kana Washino Murder Case: The newlywed life of Shohei Komori and Kazumi Komori, ‘a liar with a developmental disability.'”

For me, the implied association of the terms “liar” with “developmental disability” is enough to make my skin crawl.  But unfortunately there is more.  Much, much more.

Quick translation:

The main reason that there has been talk of the suspect Kazumi Komori having a developmental disability is her movement around the time of the crime.  Kazumi met with Kana in order to talk with her on August 28, when she and her husband picked Kana up in Sumida ward, Tokyo.  In the car, Kazumi told Kana to break off all contact with her husband, Shohei.  Kana agreed and promised to delete her twitter account and Kazumi intended on releasing her.  Then Kana spent the night with Kazumi and Shohei at their home in Gunma prefecture.  It was thought that they resolved the conflict peacefully.  However, Kazumi confessed that she became unable to keep track of her thoughts.  She was unable to hold back her feelings, so she killed Kana Washino.  Kazumi could not control her emotions.  A common characteristic of the developmental disability known as “ADHD” is taking actions without being conscious of them.  People with ADHD are also poor at suppressing their will or controlling their emotions.  It can be said that these characteristics apply to Kazumi Komori.

Ok, Kirakira-hoshi, is it me ,or did you just diagnose everyone in the world who has ever committed a crime of passion with ADHD?  Can you not see how this might be even slightly problematic for the vast, vast majority of people living with ADHD who are not murderers?

For reference, please see this list I have complied below of well-known people living with ADHD who are NOT, as far as I know, cold-blooded killers.

  1. Simone Biles
  2. Michael Phelps
  3. Justin Timberlake
  4. Justin Bieber
  5. Emma Watson
  6. Will Smith
  7. Ryan Gosling
  8. 長嶋茂雄
  9. 黒柳徹子
  10. さかなクン
  11. ジミー大西
  12. 深瀬慧(SEKAI NO OWARI)

And yet you go on to state:

Quick translation:

More evidence of Kazumi’s strange habits is found in a recent interview with Shohei Komori’s mother.  Kazumi’s mother in law says that when Kazumi moved into her house, she would lounge around in her underwear even though Shohei’s younger brother, who was in junior high school, lived under the same roof.  When her mother-in-law confronted her, Kazumi just laughed at her.  Shohei’s mother also claimed that Kazumi had a young mental age, was slovenly and possessed no common sense.

Are these actions enough to annoy your mother-in-law?  Sure, without a doubt.  But is it all really enough to merit an ADHD diagnosis?  Only in Japan, it seems.

At least there is one form of discrimination Japan will not tolerate, and that is the unfair portrayal of “Anime enthusiasts.”  Here is part of an article that appeared on Anime News Network  a few days after the incident occurred.

Here in Tokyo, The Anime Enthusiast lobby is powerful, more powerful than any platform that would support the rights of disabled people not to be classified with murderers.   And me, as a non-Japanese citizen, I have even less influence.  All I have is this small, two-week-old blog (that nobody reads anyway) to air my concerns. But speaking as a mother of children with developmental disabilities in Japan, I implore your consideration on this very sensitive issue.

Until next time,

Gaijin Mommy

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