crime

Body found on Beppu mountainside identified as missing Kobe nurse

41 Comments

Police said Monday that DNA testing has revealed the remains of a woman found strangled on a wooded mountainside in Beppu on Sunday are those of Hiromi Yokote, a 28-year-old nurse from Kobe who had been reported missing.

According to police, Yokote, who worked at a hospital in Hyogo Prefecture, told her family she was going on vacation to Kyushu alone. Yokote left her home by car on Aug 28 and her family reported her missing on Sept 1 after they became concerned that they could not contact her. Yokote's car was found near her body a short distance from Beppu's famous hot spring resort.

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41 Comments
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Japan seems to have a lot of nutters on the loose killing people and getting away with it.

Poor woman, hope they find who did it.

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On TV news one of the things they kept saying was "Women usually don't come here alone." They were referring to a outdoor hot spring 800 meters from the road, which looked lonely. I guess Yokote was too independent. RIP and condolences to her family.

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RIP, young lady. It's very sad that she could not just go out alone and enjoy herself, but some nut had to murder her. I hope they catch him, but there doesn't seem to be any indication of evidence that they will.

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RIP

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Going to a remote onsen alone? That's insane! I wonder if she went to meet someone she probably been in touch with on line...

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What was she thinking! Going somewhere like that on her own was so dangerous. Onsen's must be the scene of these kind of crimes so often. I think women shouldnt go to onsens unless its with men they're in a relationship with or a family member.

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Why do people consider a woman being alone stupid? And why must onsens be a scene of crime? One case I suspect among hundreds of women who visit onsen! citizen12 Quantify!

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What was she thinking! Going somewhere like that on her own was so dangerous. Onsen's must be the scene of these kind of crimes so often.

huh?

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The Onsen in question is nothing more than a Rotenburo(stone pool) in the clearing of a forest.

From the TV it looked like it is 100% unattended, open to anybody(FREE) and there are not even changing facilities or lights for at night.

Also her car was parked far from the Onsen as she didn't know that there was another parking area closer to it up the road.

Definately NOT a place for a woman to go alone, even at the best of times.

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A lot of working women I know don't have time enough away from work to be able to foster good relationships. Others can't manage holidays at the same time as friends and have to choose between going alone and not going.

It is sad that her wish to just relax resulted in her being killed. This is truly tragic. But it is also an indication that Japan is not as safe as the Japanese like to imagine it to be. It is just far more subtle at being dangerous.

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I went to Beppu recently and walked the streets of the dodgy areas late at night... Nobody gave me any trouble, but as a white guy I rarely get any in Japan. There were plenty of shifty types around. I'd hate to think who you might encounter off the beaten track around there.

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But it is also an indication that Japan is not as safe as the Japanese like to imagine it to be. It is just far more subtle at being dangerous.

Very true. She should have never agreed to go to such a secluded place by herself. What a tragic story, I hope they find who is responsible.

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The place was considered dangerous because it is secluded and there is no existing security let alone anybody on the area. Numerous account of stealing had been reported on the area that's why travel guide books and pamphlets has erased it from the map but you can get all the info from the net. It was believed she went there late afternoon or near dusk, alone. She put herserlf in harms way, inviting all kinds of trouble...a naked woman, in a secluded place, away from any help...is there any common sense for some Japanese?

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Because Japan is generally so safe, people do not develop enough natural fear and suspicion, as would be normal in other places. We have that problem in our family. Growing up in Japan is not a good preparation for living in the "real" world out there.

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I would think she had a secret encounter from the internet. She didnt tell her family about it. They should check her email and online sights. Why would she choose this particular place? Perhaps someone else chose it for the sole reason of its isolation. Pre-meditated crime?

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I have been up to that onsen many times with family and friends, and although it is one of my favourite places to go, I would never recommend that anyone goes up there by themselves, male or female. On one occasion I was up there with my friend and all of our children, and as we were leaving there was a group of 2 or 3 young men just hanging around. We had a bad feeling about it, and it is definitely these kind of guys that I can imagine doing such a thing. For people who live in Beppu, these mountain onsens are a favourite place to go, and it is devastating that something like this should happen to a young woman in such an amazing place. We should stop blaming women for their independence and start blaming the perpetrators for infringing on that independence. My heart goes out to her family.

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Let those of you who haven't been to Beppu and that Onsen spare us your numerous and unguided comments. That place was my favorite place when I stayed there for a month. Very peaceful. I go there even at 03:00 and meet very nice people from all over the country. Some as far as Hokkaido come to enjoy this very onsen. It's safe even at the oddest of time. This isolated incident shouldn't be used to judge the whole place. RIP lady

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Growing up in Japan is not a good preparation for living in the "real" world out there.

Japan is the real world for over a hundred million people. Me included.

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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This is so sad. She was brave to go out on an adventure by herself. It sucks that it had to end like this.

It would be easy to blame the victim for going out on her own. What are women supposed to do? Go out under armed guard everywhere they go? It's not like she went out to a war zone.

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Japan is not safe for single women. It's the same anywhere - don't make yourself a target - use some common sense. Sad that this is true even in Japan.

Moderator: Please stay on topic.

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I've traveled Japan from Akita to Okinawa alone, and I was just fine. Maybe because no one wants trouble with a gaijin, who knows. Traveling alone has its own charm, so please don't blame the victim. I hope they find the murderer soon!

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Interesting what things folks reserve the word sick for. Looks like I am the first to declare thre is at least one sick SOB running around out Japan and he killed this woman.

ww said: We should stop blaming women for their independence and start blaming the perpetrators for infringing on that independence.

I think everyone blames the perps. But if she did go alone to such a remote place, she could have saved herself. It did not need to be the sick MF or MFs who killed her. She could have been attacked by a bear or slipped down a steep mountainside and died that way. There is no magic spell to make the world perfectly safe. As safe as Japan is, its not perfect. And that is why we watch our for ourselves by either avoiding potentially dangerous places when we are alone, or taking precautions such as having friends along. The sick MFs who did this are to blame and should burn in hell. But it still does not change the fact the fact that she could have saved herself.

However, there is still the possibility that she was with someone but just kept it secret.

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I, too, have visited that onsen many times. My wife and I have been there in the middle of the night and even watched the new year's sunrise from there. I've never thought of it as a dangerous place. Then again, they are never dangerous until something like this happens. Such a shame.

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I imagine there are a lot of women who go to onsen by themselves. I doubt if people would be making statements like--She shouldn't have gone alone!--if the victim had been a man. Of course it is dangerous for anyone to go to an isolated area, especially at night, alone.

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Obviously she was on a date with someone or someone she knew. Maybe she was on a first date the guy is a wacko or ex boyfriend or something..

Japanese women never give rides to strangers. So obivously it's someone whom she knows, friend, co worker, doctor, or met online.

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KaptainKichigai has a likely response. CSI inspection of the car park would... nah, they've undoubtedly corrupted any evidence already.

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It is easy to second guess, after the crime victim is dead, all we know is that a young female Japanese nurse is dead, near some hot spring down in Kysushu, what a shame. I love Japanese hot springs, but this is a really sick piece of news. RIP dead nurse and we all pray that the criminal responsible here is arrested ASAP!

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Ckeck all the doctors in the hospital where she worked.

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hmm..the only real onsen out of town there I know of is hogoland which has mixed bathing, unless you head out towards Yufuin.Been to Beppu many times and it has always felt very safe indeed.What a tragedy.

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kaptainkichigai:

" I would think she had a secret encounter from the internet. "

Pure speculation. It is an isolated place, and all that needed was a local perv to be there.

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dolphingirl:

" imagine there are a lot of women who go to onsen by themselves. I doubt if people would be making statements like--She shouldn't have gone alone!--if the victim had been a man. "

Sure. But in the real world, the average male is physically way stronger than the average female. That is just the way it is. If some pervert wanted to molest me, he would have have to work hard for it, I promise. So chances are, the 90 kg of me can go unmolested to places where some 45 kg young nubile female can´t. That is just live, like it or not.

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WilliB said: Pure speculation. It is an isolated place, and all that needed was a local perv to be there.

Perv? What about church volunteers, unemployed guys and conservatives? None of the above are any more or any less likely to kill a woman. Irresponsible groundless statements like that are at the heart of many a moral panic. Surpised you did not blame it on otakus.

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WilliB- all investigation starts with speculation. You say it like its a bad thing. But speculation leads to hypothesis which leads to theory which leads to proof and fact.

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Kapkichigai:

" all investigation starts with speculation. "

But there is also occams razor which says do not make it more convoluted than necessary.

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Human nature is convoluted. My speculation is pretty common ground. The number of internet liasons are too many to count. The Japanese culture gravitates towards the shy/embarassed/ashamed attitude of sharing your personal relationships with family so it would be very possible that this woman would not announce her intention to meet a partner for romance whom she met through a dating service. It certainly lends motive to why she picked such a remote and strange onsen to visit alone. It seems a logical and very possible thread. There are others based on pure speculation. Leave no stone unturned.

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A little update - there are two surveillance cameras on the road going up that mountain, one at the top and one at the bottom. The one at the top didn't capture any footage of anyone, and the one at the bottom had its wires cut. I doubt this was random.

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A scorned and rejected man with perverted tendencies of an obsessive stalker, that is the profile of the criminal in suc cases.

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PS. he is an idiot and will ba caught soon. Perpetrators of such horrendous crimes deserve the death penalty, which is too human for such idiots.

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Perpetrators of such horrendous crimes deserve the death penalty, which is too human for such idiots.

Sit down, breathe quietly for a moment and try and think what you mean by "deserve", and "too human". Because you're making no sense at all.

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I agree - the death penalty is no answer.

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Does anyone have any further news on this incident and on Ms. Yokote Hiromi?

I used to go camping up by these hot springs quite often. They are really isolated, are popular in the middle of the night, and are 2-3 kilometers drive from the nearest houses at Myouban.

It is not at all uncommon for single visitors to come and visit during the day. And, there are quite a few onsen tsukiai, or hadaka no tsukiai, where complete strangers whose only commonality is a love of onsen, meet at the rotenburo. I even know of one marriage of a couple from Kitakyushu who met during individual trips to Beppu hot springs.

It is also risky to visit alone at night, not only because of the isolation (no electricity in the area) but also because the forest roads are narrow with cliffs close to the edges.

What a shame. I hope that the murderer has been caught, but I am finding no new information after September 9 or so. It is now October 11th.

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