• Kyodo


A 45-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of fatally stabbing a 50-year-old female taxi driver on a road in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, early Saturday, police said.

According to investigations, Yuichi Ishida, who has no fixed address, called police at around 2:20 a.m. from a public phone in the parking lot of a convenience store in the city of Chigasaki to confess to stabbing the woman.

He was arrested by police when they arrived at the parking lot. The body of Ritsuko Kawashima had been found 30 minutes prior to Ishida’s call.

Police said Ishida drove off in Kawashima’s cab after stabbing her, and that the vehicle was parked in the convenience store lot when they arrested the suspect. A knife believed to be the murder weapon was found inside.

Ishida has admitted the allegations, saying that he wanted to kill a woman, police said.

Investigations so far show that Ishida stabbed Kawashima with the knife both while she was in the car and after she got out. He then drove off in the cab. Police said they believe Ishida was picked up by the taxi in Kamakura, also in Kanagawa Prefecture.

A local resident who heard a woman’s cries for help and saw a man driving off in the taxi called police.

Kawashima’s taxi firm said she began working in October 1998 and had never had problems with customers.

The body was found in an area bordered mostly by fields and farmhouses.

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