Pachinko-playing priest pinched over up-skirt snap

A Shinto priest at a historic Kobe shrine has been busted red-handed for taking a shot up a woman's skirt at a pachinko parlor with a camera-equipped mobile phone, police said.

The arrested holy man, Manabu Tokuda, was one of 11 priests serving at the 1,800-year-old Nagata Shrine in Kobe's Tarumi-ku.

Masakatsu Fujiwara, chief priest of the shrine, was aghast at the news. "I am shocked by the shameful actions of a person in the priesthood. I offer my sincerest apologies over the matter," the chief priest said.

Investigators said Tokuda had an afternoon off on Saturday and visited a pachinko parlor at around 2:30 pm.

When a female employee of the parlor came close to the seat he had taken up, the 42-year-old priest thrust his mobile phone under her skirt and took a photo.

The victim screamed when she realized what the holy man had done. Her colleagues grabbed Tokuda and handed him to police.

The priest was wearing plain clothes at the time, police added.

Meanwhile in Sano, Tochigi Prefecture, a middle-aged public high school teacher has been arrested for flashing his private parts at schoolgirls, police said.

Yasuhiro Hanaoka, a teacher at the Gunma Prefectural Kiryu Kogyo High School, has admitted to the allegations.

Police said 37-year-old Hanaoka, of Ota, Gunma Prefecture, drove to neighboring Sano and parked his vehicle alongside a road in the city's Kamei district Saturday afternoon.

He reportedly pulled his trousers down and exposed himself from the car to high schoolgirls walking past the road.

Hanaoka was arrested by police officers who were alerted of his presence by the schoolgirl victims.