• Kyodo

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A company executive has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a nurse in Kyoto five years ago, it was learned Tuesday.

Masao Kawai, 46, was arrested Monday night for allegedly breaking into the victim’s apartment in Nakagyo Ward on or around July 18, 1998.

He punched Kazuyo Nishida, 25, in the face, bound her arms and legs with a rope and stabbed her in the chest with a knife, police allege. He then reportedly took several thousand yen in cash as well as her bank card.

According to police, Kawai has on the whole admitted to the slaying and said he is sorry for what he did.

An investigation carried out immediately after Nishida’s body was found showed that a man failed in an attempt to withdraw money using her bank card, and security camera images had been released in the hope of getting leads.

The key breakthrough came when it was found that fingerprints taken off Kawai in connection with a separate incident in April 2002 matched those taken from Nishida’s apartment, according to police.

After careful preparation and checks of Kawai’s physical characteristics against the security camera footage, police called Kawai in for voluntary questioning Saturday.