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Japanese musician who frequented Caribbean Carnival found strangled in Trinidad

Reuters, Kyodo, Staff report

A Japanese woman who regularly visited Trinidad for Carnival and played in a steel band has been found strangled, the coroner’s office said Thursday.

Local police said the woman was identified as Asami Nagakiya, a 30-year-old professional musician from Sapporo, Hokkaido, who entered the Caribbean country on Jan. 7. The police are investigating the case as a murder.

The body of Asami Nagakiya, still clad in a two-piece masquerade outfit, was found in Queen’s Park Savannah, a park in the capital where the major carnival parades and events are held.

Nagakiya was a regular visitor to the Trinidad and Tobago carnival. Her body was discovered by workers cleaning the park following this week’s celebrations.

A local music group she had belonged to since 2012 issued a statement Thursday expressing condolences to her family and friends in Japan.

According to local media, following the news of Nagakiya’s death, Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee made controversial remarks regarding women’s responsibility during Carnival to dress and behave responsibly “so they ensure that they are not abused.”

Members of a Trinidad-based organization, Womantra, have initiated a petition calling for his resignation and a rally is expected to take place Friday.

According to a report by the Trinidad Express, opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar issued a statement in which she upbraids the mayor: “Such retrograde thinking contributes to gender inequity and the proliferation of misogyny in Trinidad and Tobago and is especially disturbing when it is exhibited in persons in public life and is irresponsible, reckless and completely unacceptable.”

  • Richard O’Brien

    Accept our condolences, Japan. She was loved in our country. May she rest in peace.

  • Jamela

    Please accept our condolences. May her family know how sorry we are about the death of this beautiful young woman who adopted a part of our culture as her own.

    Women and men will be holding a protest in a few hours in Port of Spain to call for the resignation of the Mayor because of his insensitive remarks about women in general.

    We are truly sorry.

  • http://tthys.com/ Marlon Rampersad

    Condolences to the Family of this Friend of T&T, who loved our culture and country. And to the people of Japan, please know that not all of T&T share the view of Mayor Tim Kee, his unfortunate and insensitive remarks are condemned by a large portion of our people and does NOT represent how we think. RIP Asami.

  • Ron

    Condolences to Ms. Nagakiya friends, family and Japan for your loss. It is extremely sad to see how crime riddled Trinidad has become. Everyday we hear of our own people being killed and nothing proper is being done neither for the victims nor the families. Hopefully this will be a wake up call for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to start acting on reducing crime. We the citizens do not share the same sentiments as the Mayor and believe he should be fired for his statements against her death. We hope justice is served and the perpetrators is found ASAP. May she RIP.

  • Elle Henderson

    Condolences to Ms. Nagakiya family, friends and the people of Japan for your loss. Asami, adopted Trinidad culture as hers and appreciated our country more than our own people. We applaud her for the legacy she created and for her appreciation of our national instrument. I cant express how disappointed I am with her untimely death. She did not deserve it. I am disappointed with the state of our country and sometimes wish I had the means to get out of here. It is extremely sad to see how crime riddled Trinidad has become. It is definitely a lie to say we are the happiest people in the world. Everyday we hear of our own people being killed and nothing proper is being done neither for the victims nor the families. Hopefully this will be a wake up call for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to start acting on reducing crime and stop talking. We the citizens do not share the same sentiments as the Mayor and believe he should be fired for his statements against women and her death. I hope justice is served and the Asami perpetrators is found and dealt with ASAP. May she RIP… :(

  • JustSomeGuy

    So sad. My condolences to her friends and family.

  • JustSomeGuy

    So sad. My condolences to her friends and family.

  • Ann S.

    Condolences to the parents, relatives, friends and people of Japan for the untimely loss of your beautiful child, friend and citizen. All of T&T and in fact, anyone, who has or has had any connection to Trinidad and Tobago right now feel a sense of embarrassment and anger both at the same time. Many people in T&T loved this young woman dearly. I live in New York City and was streaming Panorama, (a competition among steel orchestras which takes place on carnival Saturday nights) and saw her playing with Silver Stars. Each time the cameras were placed on her, we saw her broad smile and how much she really enjoyed what she was doing, but little did we know that would have been the last time many of us were going to see her. I feel really sorry that it turned out to be a bright young beautiful and talented woman like Asami, but T&T, more so Trinidad in particular is NOT a place where foreigners visit and are killed, especially NOT at carnival time, so it has left the population quite stunned. What is even more shocking is that it turned out to be someone, who is quite popular among many Trinis in the steel pan fraternity. I can only imagine what her friends, who were visiting with her at that time and who have since departed must now feel, but it is NOT a place where foreigners are targeted in any way, so we are thinking maybe it was a crime of passion, because many Trinis loved her. It could have been someone, whose advances she rejected and the person reacted violently. I pray the police solve this crime as quickly as possible and bring back some dignity to T&T where its visitors and annual carnival are concerned. To Asami’s visiting Japanese friends: While we KNOW T&T WILL be a bad reminder to you of Asami’s death, we do hope you are NOT scared to return. I am sure that seeing you guys WILL bring some comfort and smiles to her friends back in T&T. Please also know that the majority of people associated with T&T are disgusted by the mayor’s comments. He had some concerns about the festival, but it was the wrong place and time to bring them up. He should have just expressed his condolences and moved on and if he still chose to raise his concerns he could have done so later at another forum. Last, but NOT least, to Asami’s parents: I CANNOT imagine the hole you MUST now feel in your hearts and even though, I have NEVER met your beautiful daughter, I feel your pain. Condolences to everyone again and may her soul rest in peace. She WILL be surely missed in T&T.

  • Richie R

    I would like to express my condolences to Asami’s family and friends in Japan. It really hurts to think that this person left her home and travelled half way around the world to participate in our culture (a culture she loved more than most Trinidadians) and to have something so tragic happen to her. I hope her family knows that she will always be remembered and loved in Trinidad. She was a treasure.