The father of murdered British hostess Lucie Blackman arrived in Japan on Monday morning, asking that the family be granted some privacy before they return to Britain with her remains and outlining a trust fund in her name.
Speaking at a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Tokyo, Tim Blackman also said that he will be meeting representatives of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department to confirm the course of events that led to his daughter’s remains being discovered Feb. 9 buried in a beachside cave near Miura, Kanagawa Prefecture.
“This is quite a traumatic and emotional trip for us all,” he said, indicating Lucie’s sister, Sophie, 20, and Rupert, 17, who have accompanied him to Japan.
Lucie disappeared July 1 after agreeing to go for a drive to the beach with a customer she had met through the hostess bar where she worked in Tokyo’s Roppongi district.
“I suppose through the early weeks and months we held out hope that perhaps she was alive somewhere, and it has been very difficult for us to find that she has been killed,” he said. “As a family, we’re just intensely pleased that she has been found. That is so important to us.”
He announced the setting up of the Lucie Blackman Trust in Britain “in memory of Lucie and so her tragic death will not have been in vain.”
In cooperation with Virgin Net and the mobile phone arm of Virgin, the fund will develop a fail-safe messaging system for young people who travel abroad, he said. The envisaged system will involve a text message or e-mail being sent to alert a third person in the event that it is not canceled by a given deadline by someone traveling overseas.
“To develop such a system will take some considerable investment, but it is something that we feel very strongly about,” Blackman said. Donations can be made to the fund by depositing money in the ordinary account 1276487 at the Roppongi branch of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.
Blackman also confirmed that he plans to visit the cave where his daughter’s dismembered remains were discovered by police, just 250 meters from an apartment owned by Joji Obara.
Obara has been charged with drugging and raping six women and linked to the death of one, although no charges have been filed against him in connection with Lucie Blackman’s death.
Blackman refused to speculate on any suspects in his daughter’s death, saying that he does not wish to prejudice the police investigation.
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