A Japanese man who sent online messages to the late Hana Kimura encouraging the Netflix star and pro-wrestler to end her own life has been punished almost a year after her tragic death – receiving a fine of little more than $80.
Kimura, who was the star of the Netflix documentary series ‘Terrace House’, took her own life last year, with Japanese media reporting that her death came after a spate of online bullying she received due to her performances on the show.
Her death ignited a debate in the country about the increasing problem of cyber-bullying. Yukio Hatoyama, the former Japanese Prime Minister, tweeted after Kimura’s passing to say that Japan should consider implementing harsh penalties designed at targeting people involved in what is quickly becoming an epidemic.
But if legislation designed at curbing this type of behavior is being planned, it doesn’t seem to have been implemented in time in this particular situation after a spokesperson for the Tokyo Prosecutors’ Office confirmed that “summary indictment against a man in his 20s” is being processed.
The unnamed individual is said to have sent Kimura a series of insulting messages, such as: “You have such an awful personality. Is your life worth living?” and “Hey, hey. When will you die?“
The charge levied against the man is defined as ‘making public insults’, and according to Metro he was ordered by the court to pay a fine of just $81.
Shortly before her death, Kimura shared a series of troubling messages on social media which appeared to suggest that she was being victimized online by cyberbullies. Her final upload to Instagram pictured her with a cat, along with the words: “I love you. Have a long, happy life. I’m sorry.”
Kimura’s legions of fans online have reacted in horror to the lenient penalty reportedly issued to one of her cyber-bullies.
What a waste. Such a beautiful young woman. The fine was a joke. Frustrating.
— Anthony Cantu (@amc32001) March 31, 2021
£59 is a bloody insult this guy should never have a computer,mobile or iPad because he’ll just go and do it to someone else 🤷♂️
— Paul Nagy (@paulnagy35) March 31, 2021
“I want to speak on the situation, but if I do… I am 100 per cent going to get banned again,” wrote one fan page dedicated to the star.
“I’m at this point of frustration where I don’t have the words to explain how angry I am. It makes me sick. Hana, you deserved so much better. You should still be here. Love and miss you.”
“[The fine amount] is a bloody insult,” added another, branding the decision “a joke”. “This guy should never have a computer, mobile or iPad because he’ll just go and do it to someone else.”