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Woman brutally murdered by stalker ex-boyfriend despite pleas of help to police

42 Comments

The text message announcing the funeral service of Mitsue Hayakawa was sent from the deceased’s cell phone by her brother, in the hope that many friends and acquaintances would gather to say their farewells. The very brief message expressed the immense tragedy of her death.

As one mourner said, “Her pretty face was swollen and even some men cried as they paid their last respects. I cannot describe how the bereaved family, particularly her brother, looked. It was just unbearable to watch.”

The grief and sense of misgiving felt by the brother as well as mourners were directed toward the police as well. Despite the fact that the victim had reported to the police about the suspect’s stalking activities, it did not prevent her death.

Hayakawa, 32, who worked at a cell phone shop in Anjo City, Aichi, was assaulted by Toshinobu Sato in the middle of the night of March 26. When the paramedics arrived, she was unconscious and in a critical condition.

According to one police source, “There was blood everywhere at the crime scene. Based on the severity of the violence, a warrant was issued for attempted murder rather than injury resulting in death, and the suspect was arrested the next day.”

But the victim passed away in hospital two weeks later, on April 10.

Hayakawa had been dating Sato since December 2007, but circumstances changed drastically when she said she wanted to break up. After incessant phone calls, menacing words and being ambushed by Sato, Hayakawa felt threatened and went to the Anjo Police Department to report the incidents. The detective in charge contacted Sato, urging him to reflect on his conduct, but this only worsened the harassment. In early March, Sato battered Hayakawa, stalked her at her workplace, and told acquaintances he would “definitely kill her.”

While Hayakawa consulted the police five times, no protection was provided and Sato’s violence was allowed to continue. People who know the victim say her death was much like the 1999 murder of a university student in Okegawa City, Saitama, by her former boyfriend.

Dereliction of duty on the part of the police drew much public attention. The vice chief of Anjo Police Department commented, “Since Ms Hayakawa stated that she didn’t want to make her ex-boyfriend into a criminal, we couldn’t take any further action. The suspect was to be summoned to the police station on March 28, and from our perspective, we had done all we could. We regret the fact that we were unable to prevent the crime, and we are very sorry.”

However, journalist Akihiro Otani points out, “Although there may have been reluctance to file a suit… incidents like this happen because of police inaction. The Stalker Regulation Law was implemented as a result of the Okegawa murder case, yet the lesson has not been learned.”

Who would imagine that consideration for an ex-boyfriend could result in death? The police need to reconsider their slack approach to crime.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

42 Comments
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Poor girl. She had the bravey to go for help and nobody did anything for her. It wasn't like nobody else had heard of the problem, either.

The egg is certainly on the cops' faces now. They sat on their hands and now they have a lot more work to deal with. There must be SOMETHING police can do about stalker allegations that don't go as far as criminal charges. Send a couple of your best thug-like boys to confront the guy at his house, at the least. People can be simpering or full of bravado on the phone. Face to face is another matter again.

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Japanese are turning into monsters.

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Isn´t there an anti-stalker law that was passed recently?

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Stupid J police, no laws here to protect anyone

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In early March, Sato battered Hayakawa, stalked her at her workplace, and told acquaintances he would “definitely kill her.”

if japanese police can arrest 12 year olds for typing threats on the internet they can arrest a grown man who has beaten a woman and told colleagues he is going to kill her

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We can give the cops a hard time but if she stated that she didn't want to make him into a criminal then to a certain extent she puts a large part of that responsibility onto herself right? Saborichan: The problem with the thug like boys in this country is that they have a few tattoos then you are forever indebted to them with high interest charges.

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Not specific to the J-police, unfortunately - if the victim won't press charges there's not a lot they can do.

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“Since Ms Hayakawa stated that she didn’t want to make her ex-boyfriend into a criminal, we couldn’t take any further action".

How convenient..... I bet she never said that at all... Maybe the police were just too busy performing random bicycle checks and stopping motorists at intersections for minor traffic offenses... (IMO)

Why does it feel like the society here places far too much emphasis on the small trivial issues, whilst at the same time the bigger issues/problems never seem to get the attention they require… This is all wrong to me.

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There is big difference between charging him with a crime and offering her protection.

Hope these cops get some jail time for this. Doubtful, I know, but let's hope.

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The detective in charge contacted Sato, urging him to reflect on his conduct, but this only worsened the harassment. In early March, Sato battered Hayakawa, stalked her at her workplace, and told acquaintances he would “definitely kill her.”

This is just ridiculous!!!!

keystones strike again.. poor woman. To be let down that badly by those our taxes pay to protect us..

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thats another thing.. busting you for talking on your mobile while driving and harrassing you for ID to make sure you havent stollen a damn bicycle takes priority over "told acquaintances he would “definitely kill her."????

is it me, or is there something serverely wrong with that?

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And Im sure that nobody will take any action against them despite their stupidity for not doing anything. If this society stays in its shell then all the ink and paper that these stories are written on are just humouring everyone. Theyll get away with what they did and probably didn`t even care about this from the get go. Very lazy and heartless cops. Very sad.

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So, she went to the police five times and, told the police "I do not want to make my boyfriend into a criminal"? Could this statement be BS?

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I hope this ex boy friend scum bag get the death penalty! A dog like this is not worth anything and the poor girl's family should get the chance to kill this dog themselves. Eye for and eye? RIP poor young lady!

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It is so scary and tracic. What turns people in such monsters? Stalking is danderous criminal act and police should do anything to prevent such cases by arresting the criminals immediately.

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Who would be a woman in Japan. Cops probably sympathised with bf.

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PaulieWalnuts a twelve year old they can handle but not a crazy stalker he could be dangerous and would be a diversion from their Pachinko duties

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It seems pretty hard to believe that a woman would go to the cops 5 times about a violent, stalker ex who was uttering death threats, then not want any sort of protection or action taken.

Send the slackers to Kyoto for training. The cops there recently took a stalking situation there seriously, even though it was nowhere nearly as extreme as this one. They actually arrested a stalker after "urging him to reflect on his conduct" and he ignored their warning. There is indeed an anti-stalking law and they seemed to have actually been aware of it! Imagine!

Fortunately the Kyoto woman did not end up with a headline like this one. The police really need to do more to ensure that stories like today's article have vastly different headlines and outcome.

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As soon as physical abuse was reported, the police had an obligation to protect, no matter if she didn't want to make him out as a criminal or not. It seems like police should have the training to realize that abuse victims are afraid of their assailants. She was obviously afraid that if he were arrested and released, that things would get worse. It is disgusting to see this happen in Japan, time and again, without any change in the attitudes of the police. There are some officers who need to be jailed over this, and then next time, they will take some action. Truth be told, there are more acts of dereliction by the police than ther are crimes committed by the US military in Japan.

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That is my understanding of US law as well; once there has been a violent attack the police are obligated to act. On the other hand if the woman refused to press charges then the prosecutors can't do anything and after some small period of time the jerk walks.

I don't know of any police agency that provides protection to people other than their normal activities. Maybe if you're a politician with a motorcade the cops will show up but if you're just going about your business as the average person the police aren't there to act as bodyguards.

I'm willing to bet that the statements to friends that "he was definitely going to kill her" weren't reported until after the crime. People have a habit of turning a blind eye to the inconvenient. Who wants trouble? Who wants to turn in a friend for making stupid statements? It's tough to figure out, after the fact, when one person had enough information to predict what was going to happen. Even the victim seems to have not understood.

Hindsight is closer to 20/20 but the cops really don't prevent crime. The system is set up to punish people after the fact. That's true in any country. And there are plenty of stalkers in the world. There is not a surplus in Japan. It's just out of the ordinary here.

Still, this jerk is a good rationale for the death penalty. One would hope that he never walks the streets again.

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How very convenient for the police that a dead woman said she didn't want them to take action.

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The cops did nothing wrong. She needed to press charges.

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[The police need to reconsider their slack approach to crime. ]

No that's a common theme whenever JT reports on fumbled case handlings. I think this guy deserves to be beaten by the girl's brother. With a mag-light preferably.

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peachy871 --

I hadn't heard the Kyoto story. More stories like that need to be highlighted right next to stories like this to let those who commit these crimes that they can't get away with it; to let those who are to protect people from the crimes that action is possible and effective and that inaction isn't an option; and to embolden victims to take a stand for themselves. Like you and others on this post, I'm skeptical that the woman went to the police five times but didn't really want them to do anything. But it isn't uncommon for victims to keep their problems to themselves out of fear or being convinced it won't do any good anyway.

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another tragic case of the keystone cops of japan.

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I currently know of two girls being actively stalked by creepy guys..one girl by two guys.

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The Japanese police are taking a beating today in the JT media.

And rightly so.

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Police in Japan are only good for harassing bicycle riders late at night and foreigners in Roppongi; nothing else. Don't expect them to protect you.

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I currently know of two girls being actively stalked by creepy guys..one girl by two guys.

Osakadaz: ACTIVELY STALKED??? Why are you telling us? Do you want advice on what to do? Don't know the details, but shouldn't you be telling the cops?!?!?

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shouldn't you be telling the cops

Doing so will produce nothing – not even the content of the conversation written down in a report. Why? Because you are not the affected person. (Been there, done that.)

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Since Ms Hayakawa stated that she didn’t want to make her ex-boyfriend into a criminal, we couldn’t take any further action.

but did they talk her out of pressing charges? Why go to the police 5 times and not press charges - something smells a bit fishy

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but did they talk her out of pressing charges? Why go to the police 5 times and not press charges - something smells a bit fishy

Well you are definitely on to something DeepAir. Now I give you and ESPECIALLY so many above a piece of advice: read the article.

“Since Ms Hayakawa stated that she didn’t want to make her ex-boyfriend into a criminal, we couldn’t take any further action.

That little piece there, that so many failed to read, is key to the whole God forsaken issue. Basically whining about the behavior of the cops is whining about having cops following rules. Maybe something needs to change, but there is no sense being down on the cops. They DID do all they could do. One guy even went BEYOND the call of duty and contacted the scumbag by telephone. Unfortunately, that did not help, but whether its because the scumbag is a scumbag, or the cop did it wrong, who can say? But the cop did try.

If anyone wants to complain that somebody failed it was three groups. The first was the woman herself for not pressing charges. The second was her friends for not being with her to protect her, and for not confronting the guy. The third group was her family for same.

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Sorry DeepAir65, I guess you did read the article. I should have read the bit you quoted. My bad.

Anyway, I seriously doubt they talked the woman out of pressing charges, particularly after she had been beaten.

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Sometimes the Keystone Cops cause more trouble than the comedy they make.

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I am a Japanese woman who was stalked for many months by a stranger (most stalkers tend to be someone the victim knows) - it started with when the man saw my lights come on he would bang on my door and window all the while yelling to let him in - or he would ring my phone - all this would continue till the early hours of the morning. As a result when I came home from work I would not turn on my lights, nor turn on the TV, nor pick up the phone so the stalker wouldn't know I was home. One day he knocked on my door and said he was from Yomiuri Shinbun and he would not stop knocking so I opened the door with the chain on to tell him to go away. Turns out it was the stalker. He broke the chain, forced himself into my apartment, and pushed me down really hard - I screamed at the top of my lungs and he went away. By this point I was scared for my safety and went to the police to see whether they could do something. They told me that even if he broke down my door and put a big hole in it they couldn't take any action unless he had physically harmed me - broke my bones, stabbed me, etc. - at this point I was "only" bruised. Hence, it wasn't worthwhile filing a criminal report against the man and putting a smear on his name. I was extremely shocked to hear this and my confidence in the Japanese police plummeted. The only action I could take was to move out of that apartment and move into a high security apartment paying triple the rent. I think the fault lies largely in the police's lax view on what is stalking and the seriousness of the crime. By the time I had broken a bone or had been stabbed it would have been too late. In Hayakawa-san's case I have a feeling that the police didn't try hard enough to prevent this ending.

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likeitis- most people did read the above article. That is why most stated they found it hard to believe she did not press charges. She went to the police 5 times yet according to them:

Since Ms Hayakawa stated that she didn’t want to make her ex-boyfriend into a criminal, we couldn’t take any further action.

I agree with you, that most certainly is the issue. It just seemed strange to many readers that she went to the police 5 TIMES and never once wanted to press charges. Perhaps that's true. Perhaps she was hoping they could protect her without actually arresting him. Those details aren't in the story. I agree with you that the police did the right thing by trying to give him a talking-to. It does say the harassment got worse after they talked to him. Definitely not their fault, they did follow procedure. However, since the harassment worsened after that and the violence continued, it is rather unfortunate that no other measures were taken. I certainly concede that there must be more to the story, however, what we have to go on per above and per many, many other stories like it, certainly makes things look like not enough is being done in most cases.

Read Maigo91s post above. She surely knows firsthand more than many of us about it. Nothing can (or will) be done until there is harm inflicted. For some, that is far too late.

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Exactly. Way to take a quote from a policeman who wasn't even there as factual truth. She went to the policemen five times, so she wanted them to act.

The real dilemma is in Japan, it's black or white. You either press full charges and throw them in potentially weeks of detention and interrogation before any trial or hard evidence, or you let the guy go scott free.

In other countries, the cops will go after a crook whether or not the victim asks. The victim's request is very important, but it is overriden if the crook is likely to strike again or the victim is reluctant out of fear.

Read the damn article. She was threatened with murder once the cop called the guy, and if she were to press charges and the cops didn't get a confession she'd have been murdered anyways. This happens all the time in other countries, but you don't hear about it on the news anymore. It's old news.

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It's worth noting that the bottom line is, her chances of being murdered actually increased each time she went to the cops. That's when his stalking escalated and he said he'd definitely kill her. Same threats materialized the moment Rihanna said she called the cops. Common sense here but I guess this is JT.

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Read the damn article. She was threatened with murder once the cop called the guy, and if she were to press charges and the cops didn't get a confession she'd have been murdered anyways. This happens all the time in other countries, but you don't hear about it on the news anymore. It's old news.

I guess you must be an avid reader of some activist residing up North. It's simple. All she had to do was to file a complaint. No confession needed. A simple repeated telephone records on her cell is enough.

http://www.npa.go.jp/safetylife/stalkerlaw/stalkerchart.pdf

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More info regarding this case.

Sometime in March, she informed the police that "相手と話がついた" (the situation is settled". Then she was beaten by him on the 9th and went to the hospital. She submitted her medical report on the 25th, but did not file charges.

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Too bad Ms. Hayakawa didn't have some male friends who cared about her.

If she'd been a friend of mine, I'd happily bring a couple of mates along and bust a kneecap "by accident" just for starters while "counseling" her ex-boyfriend how he needed to give her some space.

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Whatever beating the J-cops take in the media are well deserved! Their incompetence is beyond belief!

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