UPDATE: Murder suspect Ichihashi’s reward upped to 10 million yen


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Hi Blog. Just noticed this July 8 on my way to work outside two Police Boxes:

Murder suspect Ichihashi Tatsuya, who escaped from the police some months ago, leaving behind the murdered and mutilated corpse of English teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker in a tub of sand on his apartment balcony, is still on the loose.

That’s not news. What is news is how the reward has now been multiplied by 10. It once was, as you can see on the old poster of other fellow murder suspects, 100 man.


Now (love those golden JACKPOT! numbers) it’s 1000 man!
Pachinko-parlor-style bonanza for anyone who decides to turn him in at last. Gotta love those horrible mugshots too of him, two of him sticking out his tongue.

Photos taken outside Odori Police Box just below the Sapporo TV Tower July 8, 2009.

Oh, and slight correction. Ichihashi, unlike his other fellow murder suspects, is still not wanted for “murder”. Only for the “abandonment of a corpse”. A charge that seems to pop up quite a bit, I argued in a Japan Times article last March, in cases involving murders of foreigners. Ah well. At least he’s ten times more wanted than the others by value.

Anyway, somebody find this guy and collect your reward. Get this creep off the streets. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

14 comments on “UPDATE: Murder suspect Ichihashi’s reward upped to 10 million yen

  • Interesting, isn’t it, the charge he’s wanted on, not murder. I’m reading this new bounty as (a) proof of abject failure on the part of the Japanese police to actually do their lawful duty in catching him and, (b) as something of a political move, to be seen to be doing something, (anything). The projection of care, competence and seriousness is coming just in time for the decision on the 2016 Games over the next couple of months. Ishihara can point to Rogge and say, “See, we’re actually trying here!” in the face of all the evidence and criticism to the contrary in this case, and about his renowned anti-foreigner attitude in general. Plus-ca-change…!

  • 10 million yen (USD$108,300 according to google) is quite a large reward given that he’s wanted for the “abandonment of a corpse”.

  • jjobseeker says:

    What does it matter if he’s caught. If this case manages to go to court under a “homicide” he’ll probably get off with a light sentence after whining about being abandoned as a child, or someone took his Doreamon toy when he was twelve, or English muffins once gave him an upset stomach. The court system here is absolutely ineffectual, more than the keystone cops who pass for policemen. Seriously, if a man who rapes a woman then kills her and the infant in the house; and all the people who chopped up their victims into pieces can get off with sentences not commensurate with the crime, then this creep will definitely get off easy.

  • jjobseeker

    I’m pretty sure this guiy was a spoiled rich kid. He was aged 26 and living in an apartment that his rich parents (doctors?) were paying for. He had enough money to take Nova lessons, and was some kind of semi-committed college student but no job, because he was likely being supported by his parents.

    Can someone back me up on these points?

    A going theory (mine) is that his parents probably (at least in the beginning) helped him out with cash and know/knew where he is/was.
    It’s always easy (or perhaps even psychologically necessary in some way) for some parents to find some way to excuse or at least forgive terrible behaviour of their children. Can we imagine his father rationalizing that the “evil gaijin temptress” roped thier innocent son into a web of drugs and intrigue, and she was actually killed by a gaijin pimp or drug dealer and they dumped her body in their son’s apartment to try to pin the blame on him, or some other such fantasy?

    But still, the blame sdtill falss squarely on the cops for letting him walk away from under their noses (9 cops on the scene)

    The now-evident pattern of letting Japanese get away with murdering gaijin is very, very disturbing.

  • let`s talk says:

    They do not want to catch him. If they wanted, he would already have been in custody. He is not. Just think for a second: a guy from a respectable Japanese family, with money, no criminal records, young and healthy, is in a court room for a murder of a white female young teacher, legal British immigrant, who could have had a bright future. It looks too bad for Japan! It is much more comfortable to keep him on wanted list and raise a reward knowing that they will never have to pay it. Farce.

  • The asumptions that the police aren’t seriously after this guy is preposterous. If the police raise the reward its a logical sign that they obviously want the public to assist, in the speedy capture of this murderer. Furthermore, in the above images he has his own poster now, even though there is another murderer wanted for twice as much. Maybe some of the people wondering why hes wanted for “abandonment of a corpse” instead of “murder” make an inquiry instead of speculating. My guess based on what the newspapers made of this story, is that they don’t have hard evidence, DNA, finger prints, a confession etc.

    As JTjob pointed out the court system in Japan is cold, unempathetic towards victims and their families. Strangely, the guilty, always seem to get off lightly.


    “The now-evident pattern of letting Japanese get away with murdering gaijin is very, very disturbing.”

    Tell me again how they are letting him “get away”, when hes on wanted posters across the country? Can’t back you up if you are gonna run on with wildly speculative assertions.

  • let`s talk says:

    Jcek, obviously, you didn`t follow the story from the very beginning. They let him go from the crime scene.It does mean something.

  • Mark in Yayoi says:

    Let’s Talk, I agree with Jcek. I think their desire to capture what is almost certainly a murderer and the humiliation of not only having let him slip right through their fingers but having been forced to put up posters nationwide reminding people that a foreign person was a murder victim easily outweighs any racist thoughts of letting the murderer of a foreigner go free.

    If the murderer were caught, tried, and then given probation, then I might feel differently.

  • @let`s talk

    I have followed this story from day one, and I am upset just as you are that he hasn’t been caught yet. Although I won’t be led to believe that they aren’t looking for him when it’s obvious the police are.

    Please quote for me exactly when it was said that they let him go. Sounds like you are trying to work into your view that it was a catch and release, which it wasn’t.

    — I would agree with Jcek. Evidence suggests the Keystones fumbled the ball, not let him go.

  • Jcek,
    Google and learn, then come back and tell me there’s no leniency from the “Justice” system when gaijin die at the hands of Japanese, note that two of the murders (that we know of) were the direct result of the justice system giving very short sentences or not even prosecuting, so that the killers were free to kill again, also note that it took direct intervention of the British Prime Minister to get Japan to take some of these crimes seriously.

    Matthew Lacey R.I.P.
    Lindsay Hawker R.I.P.
    Carita Ridgeway R.I.P.
    Scott Tucker R.I.P.
    Kamiosawa Honiefaith Ratila R.I.P.
    the unnamed 8-years-earlier murdered other roommate R.I.P. of the murderer of Ms. Ratila, Hiroshi Nozaki
    Lucie Blackman R.I.P.

  • @level3

    I think your argument is too flexible, that you skip between the police and the justice system, and how if and when he is caught his sentence assumingly will be short.

    How can you assume that the judge was lenient? Try lack of evidence. It usually takes years to make a case stick to someone who wasn’t caught red-handed. I used to work for the justice system and it requires insurmountable evidence to convict someone (OJ Simpson case is great example). The worst thing the government can do is put an inocent man in jail, or fail to put a guilty man in prison.

    — Which justice system?

  • let`s talk says:

    Jcek, I am not “trying” to view anything. I am looking at the facts:

    Pattern 1:
    Criminal- NJ, Victim- J: A 7-year old girl was killed by a Peruvian in 2005. The arrest and trial took about 6 months from start to finish. Sentenced to life imprisonment for sexual assault and murder.

    Pattern 2:
    Criminal- J-naturalized, Victim- NJ: A convicted rapist, a J-passport holder, Korean by origin, was arrested in 2000 for drugging, raping and killing a 21-year-old British female. The arrest and trial took about 7 years from start to finish. Acquitted of the crime. One year later was found guilty for dismemberment and abandonment of a body by a higher court.
    PS: Thanks to his OTHER (not this one) nine crimes is now life sentenced.

    Criminal at large- J, Victim- NJ: A 22-year old British female was murdered in 2007 and found dead in the apartment of a 28-year-old-J male, who successufully used a chance given by Japanese police acting unprofessionally, to escape the arrest. Now is at large and officially charge with “abandonment of corpse” on NPA wanted posters unlike everyone else there.

  • @Let’s Talk

    I think here you posted three patterns that are looking at hits rather than misses. As a skeptic I can’t accept that you only posted three examples two of which benefit your side. Take a step a back and look at the big picture. There are hundreds of sentences handed down each year by the justice system; some cases take years some take months. Again like I stated earlier; evidence, especially confessions are what decide cases here.

    Pattern 3 is irrelevant considering the suspect hasn’t been caught yet.


    Used to work for USDOJ, email me for more info. 😉

  • Another case to be looking at for future sentencing. http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/japanese-man-pleads-guilty-over-murder-of-2-filipinas

    I am anxious to see what sentence they hand down this time, now that they have a confession.

    Japanese man pleads guilty over murder of 2 Filipinas
    Thursday 23rd July, 12:05 PM JST

    TOKYO —
    A 49-year-old Japanese man pleaded guilty Thursday at the Tokyo District Court to killing two Filipino women and abandoning one of the bodies. Defendant Hiroshi Nozaki said he had ‘‘no objection’’ to the indictment against him over the murder of Filipinas Elda Longakit Yoneda, 27, and Honiefaith Ratilla Kamiosawa, 22.

    However, his defense counsel contended that there are question marks over their client’s guilt in the Yoneda killing, saying there was no motive for the defendant to kill her and that there is no substantial evidence, other than his confession. Nozaki is charged with killing his girlfriend Yoneda at an apartment unit in Yokohama in April 1999. He also allegedly strangled another girlfriend, Kamiosawa, at a separate apartment unit in Tokyo in April 2008, then dismembered her body and abandoned it.

    Nozaki, who was first arrested in 2000, has already served time in prison for mutilating Yoneda’s body and abandoning it. In early April 2008, Nozaki was arrested on suspicion of killing Kamiosawa. Later in the month, police served a fresh arrest warrant on Nozaki on suspicion of killing Yoneda.


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