• Kyodo


A kidnapped 8-year-old girl was rescued early Wednesday morning after she was found weeping in a “manga” salon in Nagoya while her abductor was busy surfing the Internet.

After being called to the cafe, police arrested 23-year-old Yuta Takamura from Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, on suspicion of abducting the girl, Yui Yamaga, the previous day in Mie Prefecture.

Takamura initially tried to make a run for it when police arrived at the comic book cafe at 6:50 a.m.

He later confessed to the abduction, police said.

Investigators quoted Takamura as saying he was “planning to send the girl back to her family.”

Police also said that Yamaga, a third-grader at an elementary school in Kuwana, Mie Prefecture, was unhurt and appeared to be in good health; she was reunited with her parents at the Kuwana Police Station later Wednesday morning.

“I cannot forgive the perpetrator,” Yamaga’s father, Yoshifumi, told reporters later Wednesday.

“I’m happy to have my daughter back. Our sense of fear (over the kidnapping) was unbearable, and I wish that such a crime would never be repeated.”

Around 4:50 p.m. Tuesday, a passerby in Kuwana saw a man force Yamaga into a car and drive away. The incident took place 600 meters away from the girl’s home, where she was heading after an abacus class.

Investigators determined that Takamura took Yamaga to the Nagoya cafe shortly past 6 a.m. and started surfing the Internet. The girl left her seat while Takamura was looking the other way and was found weeping near the entrance by an employee.

Yamaga told the clerk she had been taken there by a man she did not know, prompting the employee to call police. When officers arrived, Takamura tried to flee, but was soon collared by officers outside, police said.

Takamura was driving a car that had been stolen in Aichi Prefecture and had replaced its license plate.

According to the National Police Agency, 144 kidnappings took place across the nation between January and August, including 104 targeting minors, 67 of whom were 12 or younger.

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