Hi Blog. Here’s an article from the Japan Times on how the NJ grassroots are trying to do what the J cops couldn’t do themselves–catch suspected killer Ichihashi Tatsuya (on the lam since March 2007) through leafletting and awareness-raising campaigns. Bravo.
Meanwhile, the cops do have notices out at police boxes with Ichihashi’s mug shots (even though the record shows they had the chance to apprehend him once before, and even watched him escape from his apartment), to no avail. Rumors are rife that he’s flitting about Japan being shielded by money-sending parents or underground communities. “Crime expert” Kitashiba Ken was on Dec 16’s TV “Koko made itte iinkai?” Debate show (an excellent program shown throughout Japan, except Kanto) speculating that he was being hidden by the Gay Community in Shinjuku 2-chome, or perhaps around Kyoto, where apparently (according to Kitashiba, full of reliable opinions found in reliable magazines, such as the late GAIJIN HANZAI URA FILE) lots of Kyoto faces look like his (a point greeted with much scoffing in the Kansai-based panelists). People don’t think he’s fled the country, in any case.
Okay, so find him, then. Japanese cops have little problem devoting their energies to stopping and checking foreigners as suspected criminals at the border or for walking, cycling, or living in an apartment while gaijin. Oh, wait, sorry, the requirement for probable cause only counts for the natives. Best thing to do is look somehow like a Kyoto person, I guess.
Good job on the leafletters below for doing something. And if you’d like to buy a T-shirt publicizing Ichihashi’s face, see link from Debito.org here. Debito in Sapporo
Hawker’s friends try new appeal
By KAZUAKI NAGATA, Staff writer
The Japan Times: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007
Paul Dingwell (right) hands out leaflets Sunday in Tokyo’s Harajuku district, urging people to come forward with any information that could lead to the arrest of Tatsuya Ichihashi, who is wanted in the March slaying of Lindsay Ann Hawker. YOSHIAKI MIURA PHOTO
Friends of slain Briton Lindsay Ann Hawker issued a public appeal Sunday in Tokyo’s crowded Harajuku district for any information that might help police track down her alleged killer, Tatsuya Ichihashi, who has been on the run since the March slaying at his apartment.
About 10 people — friends of the slain English teacher and their supporters — turned out at Jingubashi Bridge in T-shirts bearing a photo of Ichihashi and distributed leaflets also bearing his image, along with the phrase “We can’t sleep until this man gets arrested” and other information about the case. “What we’re doing today is just making people aware that they should not allow him (Ichihashi) to get away with this,” said Paul Dingwell, the main organizer of the event and a friend of Hawker’s, who was a teacher at Nova Corp.
Hawker’s nude corpse was found March 26 buried in sand in a detached bathtub on the balcony of Ichihashi’s condo in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture.
Dingwell said he has been in contact with Hawker’s parents and recently received T-shirts and posters. He prepared about 1,000 copies to hand out to people to energize awareness of the case. “It’s coming up (on) Christmas,” Dingwell said. “This is going to be (the Hawkers’) first Christmas without Lindsay.”
Hawker was bicycling home March 21 near JR Nishi Funabashi Station when Ichihashi approached her and asked for a private English lesson, then followed her to her apartment, according to earlier reports. When he asked for a glass of water, Hawker let him into the apartment, apparently feeling safe because a roommate was present.
Ichihashi drew a sketch of Hawker on paper with his name and number. Hawker apparently agreed to give him an English lesson. She was seen March 25 with Ichihashi near Gyotoku Station in the vicinity of his condo.
When Hawker was reported missing and Gyotoku police were given the sketch, they sent several officers to Ichihashi’s condo to confront him.
Ichihashi opened the door when the officers knocked but then fled down a fire escape. Dingwell said he heard from Hawker’s parents that Ichihashi may have been sighted about a week ago near the Odakyu Line in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district. A witness saw a man wearing gloves and a mask acting in a strange manner, but his eyes resembled those of Ichihashi. Dingwell said the sighting may not have been reliable but noted it’s important to raise awareness of the case.