Police in Higashimurayama, Tokyo, have arrested a 50-year-old man on suspicion of abducting a 14-year-old junior high school girl with intent to commit sexual assault.
According to police, Shinji Watanabe, a company employee, has partially denied the charge. He was quoted as saying, "I didn't abduct the girl to commit an obscene act."
Police said the incident occurred around 9:50 p.m. on July 9 in Tokyo's Musashimurayama City. The girl was walking home when Watanabe called out to her from his vehicle. He is reported to have said: “I’d like to ask you something, so please get in my car." The girl got into the car, and Watanabe allegedly requested her to touch the lower part of his body.
After the girl refused, he kept her in the car for about 10 minutes before releasing her. The girl went home and told her father who contacted police.
Watanabe emerged as a potential suspect after his car matched the girl's description and it was seen in the area at the time on street surveillance camera footage.
Police said that since May, there have been a string of cases in Musashimurayama and Higashiyamato City where young girls heading home have been called out to by a man in a car. Police are questioning Watanabe about his involvement in those incidents© Japan Today