|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Murder and mutilation stalk the streets, but won't somebody think of the pansies? 2008,5,9
Seven 5/15-22 By Ryann Connell
Somebody has turned violent in their attempt to say it with flowers, as Japan has recently been swept up in a spate of incidents in which pansies and tulips in public areas have been smashed to smithereens, according to Josei Seven (5/15-22).
Experts say the blossom bashers are taking out their stress on defenseless flowers because even if they get caught, they only face nothing more than a trifling penalty.
Some are urging for a bit more "flower power" to be put in place, with toughened laws to severely punish floral fiends so they serve as a lesson to anybody else with the inclination to take the sword to the people's pansies.
"I'd say the perpetrators are using the flowers to take out the frustrations that have built up inside them," journalist Akihiro Otani tells Josei Seven.
"It's a pretty shameful way to react, actually."
Among the flower attacks to have taken place in recent weeks include about 2,000 tulips flattened in Fukuoka on April 1, 1,050 flowers garroted in Gunma on April 9 and a further 800 ground into the dirt on April 14, also in the same prefecture.
Cops captured footage of a man using an umbrella to smash through a row of tulips outside the Gunma Prefectural Government offices on April 18 and released the video nationwide, in the hope that a concerned citizen will be able to provide them with information that will lead to the apprehension of the flower-flogging filth.
Those who go around destroying public property like flowers face charges of willful destruction of property, the women's weekly says.
The trouble is, offenders face maximum penalties of just three years' jail or a fine of 1 million yen.
What's worse is that even with only these trifling penalties applicable, the reality is even worse.
The vast majority of those arrested for willful destruction of property are let off without being charged and handed fines of several hundred thousand yen at most, the weekly says.
Social commentator Tetsuro Murofushi argues that authorities should throw the book at blossom beaters.
"By imposing tougher penalties," Murofushi tells Josei Seven, "we'd be sending a message that this is a heinous act that won't be permitted under any circumstances." (By Ryann Connell)