• Kyodo

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A man charged with robbing a discount store in Chiba Prefecture hatched the idea to abduct the daughter of a prominent Tokyo cosmetic surgeon in June although he did not join in the kidnapping, police sources said Wednesday.

Kanako Ikeda, daughter of well-known cosmetic surgeon Yuko Ikeda, was kidnapped by three men on June 29 and freed the next day. The three have been charged.

Hiroyuki Shiraiwa, 62, who has been charged with holding up a discount shop in Chiba Prefecture last October, told police that he planned the kidnapping around May 2005, the sources said.

Shiraiwa suggested to the other members of his crime ring that they kidnap either the surgeon or her daughter, who is a university student.

After Shiraiwa came up with the plan, Kyoichi Yuasa, 56, who is also a suspect in the Chiba robbery, conducted surveillance of a street near Ikeda’s home in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward to prepare for the abduction, the sources said.

Shiraiwa and Yuasa became acquainted while serving time in the same jail in Miyagi Prefecture. Shiraiwa was convicted of kidnapping a bank employee in Tokyo in 1991 and demanding 300 million yen in ransom. The ring later split up, however, and Shiraiwa and Yuasa did not take part in the kidnapping.

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