Relatives of people who have been murdered by stalkers held a conference in Tokyo to come up with recommendations to give to the law enforcement authorities.
Although the National Police Agency has had several such conferences to come up with new measures to deal with stalking, relatives of victims were never included. The Tokyo meeting on Saturday was the first such gathering, TBS reported.
The conference was convened by the brother of Rie Miyoshi, 33, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in Zushi, Kanagawa Prefectures, in 2012.
Conference participants agreed that not only does the law have to be strengthened, but law enforcement and mental health professionals have to be more proactive in helping stalkers to receive counseling once they are issued a warning.
In Miyoshi's case, her stalker, Hideto Kozutsumi, 40, was first arrested in Kanagawa Prefecture in 2011 on charges of stalking and harassing Miyoshi, after he repeatedly threatened to kill her in a series of emails following the pair's split. The pair dated between 2004 and 2006.
While Kozutsumi was being charged, an officer read out an arrest warrant that included Miyoshi's new name and partial address. He received a suspended sentence and began pursuing her again by email in 2012, but without making threats. Kozutsumi could only email because Miyoshi had married another man, taking his name, and moved to a different city.
Miyoshi had asked the municipal government in Zushi to keep information on her address and name strictly confidential. Kozutsumi then started posting on an online message board, asking for information about Miyoshi's husband, saying he was a friend who wanted to keep in touch. But when that was unsuccessful, he hired a private detective, giving him the partial address and name that he had learned from the police. The private detective, in turn, hired a research firm with contacts at city hall to help, and they provided the information.
The next day, Nov 6, 2012, Kozutsumi stabbed to death Miyoshi at her apartment and then hanged himself from the balcony of the 2nd-story apartment. Miyoshi's husband was at work when the murder was committed at around 3 p.m. on a weekday.
A search of Miyoshi's cell phone turned up over 1,000 emails sent from Kozutsumi over the course of two weeks prior to the murder. The content of the emails, which police say was largely the same, referred to a contract that Miyoshi breached when she married another man.
Miyoshi's brother told the conference that there had been no effort made by a counselor to talk with Kozutsumi to try and get him to understand that he needed counseling and to break the spiral of madness that he was descending into.
"We don't want to have to tell the next victim's relatives that there was nothing the authorities could do," he said.© Japan Today