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Man charged over murder of 7-year-old girl in 2005


Tochigi prefectural police said Tuesday that they have charged a 32-year-old man with the murder of a 7-year-old girl in December 2005.

The suspect, identified as Takuya Katsumata, was arrested in January for dealing in fake brand-name goods. Police said that in April, he started making statements hinting at his involvement in the murder of Yuki Yoshida, Fuji TV reported.

Police told a news conference on Tuesday afternoon that they found videos and images of young girls, including Yoshida, on his computer.

Yoshida went missing while on her way home from school in Imaichi (which became part of Nikko in 2006) on Dec 1, 2005. Her naked body was found the next day in a forest about 65 kilometers away. She had been stabbed about 10 times.

Police said they followed up on more than 3,673 leads in the case and a reward of 5 million yen was offered. Police said that Katsumata, who lived two kilometers away from Yoshida's home, was considered a suspect early on in the investigation because his car had been seen on the road where Yoshida was last seen. But police were not able to establish a case against him.

Fuji TV quoted police as saying that Katsumata has admitted to killing the girl and told them that he only met her for the first time on the day he killed her. He told police he threw her clothes and satchel away.

Police said Katsumata has so far given no motive but said he wished to "apologize to Yuki."

Katsumata, who was unemployed when he was arrested, used to sell antiques at flea markets, Fuji TV reported.

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I'm assuming that the "arrested in January for dealing in fake brand-name goods" is what police would call "bekkentaiho" or loosely translated to arresting a suspect for a certain case on a more "convenient" case. Seems like the police had a good idea that he was the guy they wanted but couldn't confirm it. So, they arrest him for dealing fake brand-name goods, get an excuse to check out his PC, find pics of Yuki-chan along with other pervy pics and the JP style, no lawyer, behind closed doors interrigation begins...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Seems, Japanese society has a real and serious problem with ugly perverts of all kinds....

If you think for even half a second that it's only Japan that has problems with perverts you need to get your head out of the sand.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

According to the Nihon Keizai Shinbun, one of Katsumata's junior high school teachers said that while a student at the school he couldn't understand Japanese very well and that he didn't have many friends (教員は「日本語をあまり理解していないようで、友達も少なかった」と話す。). He apparently gained Japanese citizenship in May 2009.

I am a bit surprised that in this day and age there is no DNA evidence here. For everyone's sake I sincerely hope the police have the right man, but I am always just a bit wary of these convictions based on confessions, especially given the pressures the police fact to find a culprit.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Despicable crime! Especially against a poor innocent child. Human beings who perpetrate such crimes should never be allowed to re- enter society again. As with Singapore's drug dealing offenders they should be tried and if found guilty dispatched within months of confirmation of their guilt. Even the slightest increase in deterrent in cases like this, to save an innocent child's life, is worth it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@ Frank Thornton. Good point. Yes, according to one news outlet it was a deliberate bekkentaiho / bekkensousaku.

The police had had their eye on the suspect for some time - simply because he had been reported as a strange, house-ridden guy in the neighbourhood, fitting their profiling. Apparently they went over all the video of all the security cameras on road leading towards the place that the body was found, and decided that one of the cars flashing past was this suspects. That lead to his arrest, on charges which I presume they may have known about years before (the sale of fake goods), and the search of his room.

Then they found news video shown immediately after the crime of the victim in his computer, and unusually shaped knives such as used in the ritual murder. The victim was bound naked in a forest, and the stabbed ten times in the chest in a deliberate linear pattern.

Would the suspect have confessed if the Police had not arrested him in this way, and if there were a video camera in the interrogation room? Apparently the suspect denied this involvement for the first four days of his interrogation, confessing on the fifth.

Are we pleased he was caught in this way or not? I guess at least the victims parents are. In 2010 they published their diary in which they wrote "This spring we should have been able to see Yuki in her junior high school uniform. We insist upon knowing why Yuki should have been treated in such a terrible way. " Yuki, RIP.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

For the memory of Miss Yoshida, forensic evidence needs to back up Takuya Katsumata alleged claims. Katsumata wouldn't be the first to waste police time making attention seeking false confessions.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Regardless of nationality, whoever committed this scale of crime must be hanged, especially against children. I mean the one who really did it!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

He deserves the worst punishment possible. My vote for the death penalty! Who is with me?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

How in hell can somebody be capable of murdering such a cute being?! I hope she can finally rest in peace and her parents have some relief.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Please call this murder victim Yuki or Yuki Yoshida or Miss Yoshida or soemthing other than the cold perfunctory use of this little girl's family name. Although so sad we're happy in this household that this child murderer has been caught, it was awful at the time and is awful now, but, he will be punished. Good.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Frank Thornton

Good point. It would have been almost impossible to get a warrant to search the PC if it was any other type of charge other than something intellectual property related. Hats off to the police on this one.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Good hard investigation by the police will take one more piece of trash off the streets for good.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The poor family of the girl! May they find peace!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@itsonlyrocknroll Yes. I agree.

I am sorry I used the word " caught" above. "Caught" presupposes guilt but this man may be being framed / coerced / making a false confession. I hope that all the evidence that the police find is sufficient to demonstrate that this man committed the crime beyond reasonable doubt.

If even they find such evidence, what of "due process"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Due_process In some ways I think it is highly laudable that many nations respect "due process" to the extent that they do. On the other hand I wonder whether the Jcops or any cops, can catch criminals, that anyone can catch criminals, to the extent that Jcops do, (I think, I think) with such respect to due process. Which is better? Due process? Catching? Making mistakes? Framing?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you think for even half a second that Sidekick wrote that ONLY Japan has this problem, then you need (better) glasses or a firmer grip on the English language. You're adding words to his statement that he never wrote.

Ahh how blind some can be.....the insinuation was obvious.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I was suspicious about the original police report when they announced that Katsumata was hinting at his involvement in the case. It looks like I was wrong and there is more evidence than first announced. I really hope that the parents can find closure and that this 'man' spends a long long time in jail. The fact that he didn't come forward for almost 10 years points to his lack of remorse, regardless of what he'd have us believe now with his 'apology'.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe he did it, maybe he didn't. I have pretty much zero confidence or trust in the Japanese police.

0 ( +4 / -5 )

As Sensato says, this mornings TV was full of stories that he is a foreigner (Taiwan). He is a naturalized Japanese, but that does not seem to be the same as a "Japanese". At least in the press.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Readers, the suspect's ethnic background is not relevant to this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am so pleased to hear this scum is locked up and will be locked up for a long time to come.

0 ( +2 / -1 )

Really love the posters (sarcasm) that proclaim to be judge, juror and executioner any of you called Judge Dredd or similar?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What a sad story, hope he is punished. But I would like to say to thoughts who think Japan has a problem with police and vile crimes like this should know they have only a 1% crime rate, where the U.S is a staggering large number. Just keep that in mind.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Miss Yoshida picture provokes a strong emotional response. It was a frenzied attack. Takuya Katsumata motive for turning himself in centres around some sudden urge to atone. Maybe advances in forensic investigation have advanced to a degree to re-examine all the evidence that was stored from the crime scene. I know I sound like I was to much CSI.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They managed to recreate some of the erased memory from his laptop. Among the photographs retrieved were pictures of Yuki Chan's dead body, according to the TV news last night, which was the main deciding factor in the police move, apparently.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He stabbed her about 10 times. He maybe has sadistic sexual deviant? Too terrible! He should be stabbed many times by the victim's parents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The police have made an almost unheard-of public apology for the amount of time it took for them to arrest him.

They have found massive amounts of kiddie porn in his laptop, and about 10 survival type knives, including some abnormally large ones, in his home.

Among the circumstantial evidence they have/had was a series of tips early on from local people (including a member of his family) that he was acting suspiciously and needed watching. People reported at the time having seen a Randosel/Randoseru school bag in his car after Yuki's disappearance. Workmates reported that he had arrived for work by that little-used and round-about mountain road and they were astonished that he knew the route. He fitted the profiling done at the time almost perfectly. Police thus interviewed him several times, but found no reason to hold him. He junked his car, the one seen in the roadcams, immediately after that, which they are now wishing they had. They are searching for the knife etc. which he said he threw away in the woods near the dump scene.

(Background info picked up from various J news sources.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Uh oh ... just read a report that the suspect was originally from Taiwan, and only obtained Japanese nationality a few years ago.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Let's hope it is a true confession and not a forced confession and they do have the right loon.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Why did it take so long for the police to search his house? They weren't acting on any new information they hadn't known about in the last 9 years were they?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

But police were not able to establish a case against him.

When has this ever stopped them before? And given the info they had on the suspect at the time, who is the genius who closed the file on him?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

In recent time, weird crimes are often committed by people who are difficult to identify them while yakuzas are easy to find they are bad people.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What on earth possesses someone to kill a child in cold blood for no reason? (well to use any way) tie him to a wooden pole and give the parents the option to pull the trigger with the rest of the firing squad. Question, if the police knew about him or suspected him, why didn't the check his computer as a matter of routine?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There is no reason at all for such a criminal to be allowed to live if his guilt is proven by the facts so clearly. no reason at all. I pray for peace for her and her family.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The killer maybe was exposed and influenced to lolicon materials in this country. this is something we must consider about.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Seems, Japanese society has a real and serious problem with ugly perverts of all kinds....

If you think for even half a second that it's only Japan that has problems with perverts you need to get your head out of the sand.

If you think for even half a second that Sidekick wrote that ONLY Japan has this problem, then you need (better) glasses or a firmer grip on the English language. You're adding words to his statement that he never wrote.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Seems, Japanese society has a real and serious problem with ugly perverts of all kinds....

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

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