• Kyodo

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Local police conducted an autopsy Thursday on the body of slain Japanese hostage Shosei Koda at a hospital in Kitakyushu, police officials said.

Fukuoka Prefectural Police are investigating the murder under the revised Penal Code, enacted in July last year, that allows Japanese police to investigate cases in which Japanese nationals are victims of serious crimes abroad.

Police said they hoped the autopsy would help determine the time of Koda’s death and other details surrounding the murder. Koda was taken hostage by militants and beheaded in Iraq last week.

As there is little likelihood for Japanese authorities to independently verify the identity of his captors and killers, Fukuoka police said they plan to ask Iraqi police for cooperation.

A wake for the 24-year-old was to be held in his hometown of Nogata, Fukuoka Prefecture, later Thursday, with the funeral on Friday. The corpse arrived in Fukuoka on Wednesday evening.

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