Taiwanese student at center of Tokyo murder probe: reports

Saturday, January 7, 2012
By Joseph Yeh ,The China Post

A fellow countryman and male student familiar with the two Taiwanese females killed in Tokyo Thursday could be responsible for the alleged double homicide, local media reported yesterday.

Several local media yesterday quoted unidentified sources as claiming that Japanese authorities were looking for a male student who nobody has been able to contact since the incident.

Japanese authorities said they have formed a special task force of 70 investigators and police officers to look into the case.

The police searched the Taiwanese man's room, which is just a 10-minute walk from the crime scene.

They found blood stains in his room yesterday afternoon and took away several boxes of objects from the dormitory of the suspect who has gone missing. His name is still being withheld by Japanese police.

He was reportedly an acquaintance of the victims and they attended the same school.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Taipei declined to confirm these reports.

Asked to comment, MOFA spokesman James Chang yesterday would not confirm the identity of the suspect, saying only that Japanese police were holding key clues about the murders in Tokyo and currently looking for possible suspects.

Huang Ming-lang (黃明朗), secretary-general of MOFA's Association of East Asian Relations, yesterday also said that he had not received related information about the suspect's identity.

Even if the suspect is a Taiwanese national, he or she will have to undergo trial in Japan as there is no extradition agreement between the two countries, Huang said. He also noted that autopsies on the two Taiwanese women were scheduled for yesterday.

Accompanied by staff from Taiwan's representative office in Japan, the victims' families were in talks with the Tokyo police to facilitate the ongoing criminal investigation, Huang said.

The two young Taiwanese females, identified as 25-year-old Chu Li-chieh (朱立婕) from Nantou County and 23-year-old Lin Chih-ying (林芷瀅) from Taichung, were found covered in blood in an apartment in the Taito area of eastern Tokyo at around 10 a.m. Taipei time on Thursday.

One was found dead at the scene and the other seriously injured, but later pronounced dead in hospital.

The apartment building was being used as a dormitory for the two, who studied in a nearby Japanese language school.

Investigation Details

According to Japanese reports, initial investigations showed that Lin was found dead at the entrance of the room, still wearing her boots, while Chu was found inside the room.

Police didn't located any possible murder weapons in the locked room, and no keys were found inside the room as well, police said.

The fatal stab wounds were on both Chu and Lin' necks, but dozens of knife wounds were also found on their backs.

This indicates that the killer may have stabbed them several times after they fell onto the ground following the initial wounds to their necks, evidence that might suggest whoever responsible for the crime has deep hatred toward the victims, police said.

Japanese authorities also pointed out that the tragedy most likely occurred between 8:00 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. Thursday.

Friends of the victims had called Lin at 8:00 a.m. to confirm an appointment. Lin answered the call, but did not pick up the phone when called again at 9:20 a.m.

Reports claim the two Taiwanese students had made an appointment with their classmates for a travel tour scheduled the same day.

After the two did not show up as promised, classmates informed their lecturers at the language school, who later found their bodies in the dorm.

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