Japan Is About Done with YouTubers: Authorities to Investigate Foreigners Accused of Evading Train Fares and Stealing Hotel Food

A surge in disruptive behavior by YouTubers in Japan, including allegations of evading train fares and posing as homeless individuals to solicit money, has raised concerns in the country as tourism approaches pre-pandemic levels.

A Japanese railway company is currently investigating claims that a group of four foreign YouTubers, popular online personalities, traveled long distances by train without paying for their tickets. One of the suspected fare evaders, known online as Fidias, shared a video with his 2.38 million subscribers demonstrating how he and his companions avoided train staff and obtained free food.

In one video, Fidias, real name Fidias Panayiotou, locks himself in a train restroom and feigns illness when confronted by a ticket collector. He then proceeds to another train, vowing to repeat the same trick. Additional footage shows him pretending to be a hotel guest to access complimentary breakfast.

However, Panayiotou’s antics are not an isolated incident. Johnny Somali, a Kick streamer, recently faced arrest after he filmed himself breaking into a construction site in Osaka. Somali, whose real name is Ismael Ramsey Khalid, was charged with trespassing last month.

Khalid, along with another American, allegedly broke into an under-construction hotel that was nearing completion. Videos posted by Khalid show him repeatedly shouting “Fukushima” at construction workers who asked him to leave. He’s also filmed himself making jokes about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

Khalid was once again arrested earlier this month for disrupting business in Osaka. Khalid was caught filming inside a restaurant in Osaka and playing loud music without permission.

The train operator JR Kyushu has announced that they are examining the videos featuring Fidias and his fellow YouTubers to determine whether to involve the police in the matter. A spokesperson for the company stated, “We are aware of the case and investigating the facts surrounding it.”

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Panayiotou — a proud self-described “professional mistake maker” — issued an “apology” on his YouTube channel, acknowledging his lack of familiarity with Japanese cultural norms and expressing remorse for any discomfort caused to the Japanese people. He pledged to conduct more thorough research on the cultures they visit to avoid such incidents in the future.

Although last we checked, it’s not purely a cultural thing to be angry at someone committing crimes like dodging train fares, stealing food, and posting about it for clout.


Information for this story was found via X, The Guardian, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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