Top Tokyo cop reprimanded for alleged murder by officer

Kyodo News

The chief of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department and other supervisors were reprimanded Thursday by the National Public Safety Commission over an officer who allegedly shot a female acquaintance to death before killing himself.

Also Thursday, the department sent its murder case against the deceased officer to prosecutors and announced a set of measures to prevent such incidents from recurring.

Those subject to the reprimand include Takayoshi Yashiro, superintendent general of the department, and Koichi Matsumoto, head of the Tachikawa Police Station where the officer was assigned.

Matsumoto’s salary was cut by 10 percent for three months and he will resign Friday.

It is the third time a Tokyo police chief has been reprimanded. The first followed an incident in 1978 in which a patrol officer broke into the home of a female college student and killed her. The second was over a 1997 case in which an investigator fabricated an amphetamine possession case.

“This was an unprecedented, heinous incident. I deeply apologize again,” Yashiro said at a news conference, referring to his apology a week ago.

Officer Hidekazu Tomono, 40, is suspected of shooting Yoko Sato, a 32-year-old employee of a restaurant in Tachikawa, in the stomach and chest at around 10 p.m. Aug. 20.

He apparently had slipped out of the police box where he was working and entered her apartment with a spare key.

Tomono is believed to have been stalking Sato.