Ichihashi film categorized as mere spectacle

Regarding the Nov. 3 TimeOut feature by Jun Hongo, titled “Killer on the run“: There was a sickening feeling of frustration in Tokyo’s foreign community at the time of the Lindsay Ann Hawker murder investigation. Many foreign residents felt that the Chiba police were simply not too keen on catching the murder suspect and sex predator Tatsuya Ichihashi. Some Tokyo police officers have dealt with foreign bar hostesses often enough to suspect that most gaijin women are sexual delinquents of one sort or another.

How could Ichihashi, 28, have eluded so many police that fateful night (March 26, 2007) if they hadn’t been either dimwitted or uncaring to some degree? There was nothing especially clever about his initial escape.

And when did Ichihashi get religion? Did he really think that a pilgrimage to Shikoku’s sacred 88 Buddhist temples — to pay homage to the spirit of Kobo Daishi — would miraculously bring his murder victim back to life? Many a killer has found religion while on death row but not while leading the rough life of a fugitive. Has he any true feelings of remorse for his bloody crime? Is he even capable of remorse? In his warped mind, Hawker, 22, would still be alive today if she hadn’t fought back against him and screamed so loudly in her last hour. In his X-rated, manga-saturated brain, the victim was just a cartoon character come to life.

The killer so richly deserves the death penalty, but since he has killed only one human being, there is still hope that he can be “rehabilitated.” Right!

To make a documentary film about Ichihashi’s “life on the run” turns his brutal criminality into mere spectacle and perverse entertainment.

Remember the Japanese university professor on a late-night talk show who kept referring to the killer as “Tatsuya-kun” — as if he was just a misunderstood child? Ah, only in Japan!

Tokyo had better add more “Women Only” cars to its rail lines for the 2020 Olympics.

robert mckinney
otaru, hokkaido

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.