Photo: YouTube
crime

1995 Hachioji supermarket triple murder case remains unsolved after 27 years

18 Comments

A memorial service was held at a school in Machida, Tokyo, on Saturday, to offer prayers for the victims of a triple murder at a supermarket in Tokyo's Hachioji in 1995.

One of the victims, Megumi Yabuki, 17, was a student at the high school, and the service was attended by some of her former classmates and school officials.

The National Police Agency is offering a 6 million yen reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the murders of Yabuki, Hiromi Maeda, 16, and Noriko Inagaki, 47.

At around 9:15 p.m. on July 30, 1995, the three employees — all part-time workers at the Nampei Owada supermarket in Hachioji city — were shot and killed in the store's second floor office. Each had been bound with tape and killed with a single gunshot to the head.

Twenty-six years on, there has been no resolution to the case, although there are some theories.

Initial police reports described it as a failed robbery attempt, since none of the three employees knew the combination of the store's safe. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police said that fingerprints lifted off the tape used to bind the victims, believed to be that of the perpetrator, were found to match closely those of a Japanese male who died of natural causes in 2005.

Initially, those fingerprints were not considered complete enough to make a conclusive match that would be admissible as evidence. However, investigators, after extensive searches of print databases, believe that the prints correspond closely with a man who lived in the Tama district in west Tokyo.

Normally, the legal criteria for a fingerprint match are correspondence at 12 or more points, which is why the initial searches of data bases failed to narrow down a suspect. An 8-point match is still said to have an accuracy of about 100 million to one.

While the prints left behind on the tape could not provide a 12-point match, the man's prints were in the data base due to his having a prior criminal record. At the time of the killings, police found nothing to suggest the man had been in the area where the crimes took place.

At this point, police concede that the 8-point fingerprint match is not conclusive, and would be insufficient to be used as evidence in solving the case. Police said they are still trying to establish links between the dead suspect and the murder weapon, an illegal handgun believed to have been manufactured in the Philippines.

Police pursued an earlier lead in 2009, when a Japanese man on death row in China for drug trafficking made a statement that a Chinese man in Canada was involved in the Hachioji murders, as part of a gang of Japanese and Chinese who carried out a series of robberies in Japan in the 1990s. The Chinese man, Liang He, had been wanted in Japan for using a forged passport to leave the country in 2002. He obtained Canadian citizenship in 2006.

The National Police Agency first filed an extradition request with Canadian authorities in 2010 with the Ontario High Court. Liang filed an appeal that was rejected and he was extradited to Japan in 2013 where he was jailed for passport fraud. But he has refused to talk about the supermarket murders.

Police ask that anyone with any information about the case call 042-621-0110.

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

18 Comments
Login to comment

Japanese police take bribes from crime syndicates and turns a blind eye to their illegal establishments. So what they do with all their free time? Dig up old forsaken cases and pretend to be busy.

-14 ( +7 / -21 )

It sounds like they have the right guy.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

As if the Japanese police could solve this…lucky if they can tie their shoelaces!

sounds more like these poor ladies saw something they shouldn’t have and the cover up continues…

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

I remember this case - my son was son was born that year. That her classmates still gather to remember her is very

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The three victims were shot in the head one by one because they would not give the criminals the numer to the safe. None of them knew the number, so they could not give this information even if they wanted to.

I remember this case very well... At the time it was considered very "un-Japanese" to execute teenagers in cold blood.

Time has passed, the murderer has died. Yet there are many on this site who would still be against the death penalty for the person who killed these innocent victims.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Japanese police take bribes from crime syndicates and turns a blind eye to their illegal establishments

Unless you can prove this, it sounds like a load of made up nonsense.

There was limited CCTV back at this time, and if the criminal was wearing a mask, it is very difficult to solve. Most Japanese males look very similar, so with no conclusive DNA, solving it is supremely difficult.

Rest in Peace to the poor victims. Rot in hell to the evil perpetrator.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It sounds like they have the right guy.

They don't have any guy. The hunt goes on.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

 Police said they are still trying to establish links between the dead suspect and the murder weapon, an illegal handgun believed to have been manufactured in the Philippines.

Police pursued an earlier lead in 2009, when a Japanese man on death row in China for drug trafficking made a statement that a Chinese man in Canada was involved in the Hachioji murders, as part of a gang of Japanese and Chinese who carried out a series of robberies in Japan in the 1990s. 

some 27 years later and all they can do is base something off of a gun coming from another country?

are they serious?

and they also tried to follow up some garbage from a death row inmate who implied Canada and China?

where do they come up with this crap?

> The National Police Agency is offering a 6 million yen reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the murders

they “HAD” their guy, but blew it on a technicality. Now their only real

suspect died about 17 years ago.

why are they even trying to bring up old stuff for?

they didn’t solve it then, they aren’t gonna solve it now. How about doing other work involving current crimes?

are they really that bored that they are just reaching for old cases?

what are the statute of limitations anyway? I’d think that 25 years fits the bill.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

 An 8-point match is still said to have an accuracy of about 100 million to one... police concede that the 8-point fingerprint match is not conclusive.

With ridiculous criteria like that, then good luck finding the bad guys.

he was extradited to Japan in 2013 where he was jailed for passport fraud. 

Is he still in jail here? Did he return home? There is no news in this "story" apart from the ceremony. A rehash of info from nearly a decade ago. I wonder what the purpose of such "news is when the reporter doesn't bother to update the information.

He obtained Canadian citizenship in 2006.

Of course he did. Canada has been doing a lot of that in recent years.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Ganbare-san

Most Japanese males look very similar...

aka: they all look the same to me..... ?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

No racism here. But as a casual bystander it seems that Japanese investigators are incredibly bad at solving cold cases compared to western countries. They already know the killer wasn’t Japanese. Shouldn’t take almost 3 decades.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Racist comments... Either I can't read or the definition of the word has changed. Saying people look the same is at best ignorant. Racist would be to elevate yourself above another race treating them as lower beings. So again, what racist comments? Using that word carelessly now puts you into the virtue signalling category.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

After this amout of time, and some wishy washy evidence, i am sure this tripple murder will never be solved, the students parents are probably never going to get over this, its very sad.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The FBI has reported that approximately 40 percent of the nation's homicides go unsolved.

I don't know why the FBI is reporting on homicides in Japan; what does the FBI even have to do with this article?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

They (you know who) are not partial to such cruelty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites