Police have confiscated photographs of naked women and a list of women’s names from a Tokyo condo in which a 29-year-old man had allegedly confined four elementary schoolgirls, investigative sources said Friday.

Police suspect Kotaro Yoshisato lured other young women to his rented condo in Akasaka, the sources said, although the pictures appear to have been taken at a different location.

The four girls were not among those photographed.

Yoshisato apparently committed suicide while holding the young girls captive, police said, noting that all the evidence points to a premeditated crime.

The four girls — two 11-year-olds and two 12-year-olds who attend the same elementary school in the city of Inagi in western Tokyo — were found safe Thursday after one of them managed to free herself and get help.

Yoshisato was found dead inside the apartment, which he had rented, lying inside a tentlike covering made from plastic sheets with a charcoal burner at his feet, the apparent victim of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Police said Yoshisato, who hailed from Okinawa and lived in Yokohama, was a man of means and had no known employment.

According to police, Yoshisato was being investigated for allegedly paying for sex with a 14-year-old girl in June 2002.

Police sources said Yoshisato lured the four Inagi girls to his apartment, which he rented just two days earlier through a friend on a one-month lease, apparently with the specific intention of holding them captive.

Police learned that Yoshisato bought four sets of handcuffs and eye masks, which he used on the girls.

The ceramic charcoal burner was also new, according to police.

Yoshisato kept the four girls handcuffed, their eyes covered with masks, in two bedrooms and in the bathroom, while he committed suicide in the living room. No suicide note was found.

Police believe Yoshisato had been dead for more than 10 hours before one of the girls managed to free herself and run to a nearby flower shop to seek help.

According to investigations, Yoshisato would often stand on a Shibuya street, tempting young girls with money and often offering them more money if they would come with him together with friends. Police said they believe he approached the four girls in the same manner.

Yoshisato had approached one of the girls in Shibuya in early July while handing out leaflets advertising part-time jobs, and offered her a “good-paying” part-time job, police said.

He maintained frequent contact with the girl by mobile phone after they became acquainted, police said.

The girl, who received 10,000 yen for some cleaning work given to her by Yoshisato, passed the information on to her friends at school.

The girls told investigators after they were rescued shortly after midday Thursday that they met Yoshisato in front of JR Shibuya Station on Sunday afternoon and Yoshisato took two of them by taxi to his Akasaka condo.

The man who arranged the lease for Yoshisato took the other two girls to the apartment in another taxicab. Police said the man maintains he was unaware of Yoshisato’s intentions and left after taking the girls to the apartment.

During their confinement, the four girls were handcuffed to water tanks and dumbbells, their eyes covered by masks and their feet tied to their hands.

Police found bruises on the hands and feet of the four girls after they were rescued and reunited with their families.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.