Youth, 17, admits killing woman on street in Kichijoji


A 17-year-old Romanian in custody admitted Friday that he was involved in the robbery-slaying of a woman on a street in Tokyo’s Kichijoji area and was promptly served an arrest warrant for the crime, police said, adding they are also looking for his 18-year-old Japanese alleged accomplice.

The victim, Arisa Yamada, 22, a part-time worker, was found dead early Thursday in Musashino, western Tokyo, the police said, adding that she had been stabbed in the back and arm.

The Romanian national, whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, owned up to the attack, and the police quoted him as saying, “I looked for a woman walking alone because I wanted money to go out.”

He was seized Thursday on an unrelated offense. He is believed to have been with an 18-year-old Japanese youth at the time of the crime, and the police are searching for him.

The Romanian tried to withdraw money using Yamada’s cash card at a convenience store near the crime scene but gave up after he failed to punch in the correct personal identification number.

The police found him shortly after the attack near JR Kichijoji Station, as he matched the description of one of two males seen fleeing the crime scene and arrested him on an initial charge of stealing someone’s bankbook in November.

Gloves he was believed wearing at the time of the crime were stained with blood matching Yamada’s DNA.

The teen reportedly ran away from home about a month ago and had been sleeping in 24-hour manga shops.

According to an employee at one such store near Kichijoji Station, the teen started to frequent the establishment last summer. Sometimes he came alone and other times he came with two or three friends, the employee said.

Because he was a minor and could not enter the shop in the small hours, he always came around 4 a.m. and stayed about 10 to 12 hours, the employee said.

When customers’ wallets were stolen on consecutive days in mid-November, store employees questioned him because he had been present on both occasions.

They said he begged them not to report the incident to the police, but when they did he stopped coming to the shop.

Yamada came to Tokyo after graduating from high school in Mutsu, Aomori Prefecture, and was studying hairstyling.

  • Jack

    Teenager goes astray. He wasn’t a drop out from high school so he could have found work. One of his parents may have been Japanese and It appears he needed better guidance from his folks. Hanging around with bad elements may have sent him down the wrong road. He now faces a possible murder charge and if convicted will spend many years in the clink. Why would a teenage “Romanian national” be here in the first place? Hope more on this kid’s life come out.

  • YoDude12

    It’s convenient to label him as “Romanian,” even if he has lived here all his life, and one parent is Japanese. It’s just another way to sustain the diatribe of the nationalists, that foreigners are the source of most crime.

    • Cannot agree more. This a despicable way of discriminating against people with foreign origins and it tells a lot about a certain mindset…even in a Japanese newspaper catering for foreigners!

    • Christopher-trier

      It fits within a specific narrative, that’s why it’s reported that way.
      The Western media are just as bad. So long as it suits their ideological
      agenda (and the Western media are hardly credible any more, hence the rise
      of alternative news sources) it will be reported. If it doesn’t, it will be ignored.

      Perhaps what’s closest to the truth is that non-Japanese are a great source of recorded crimes. Japan is, after all, a highly homogeneous society where even in major cities visible minorities stand out. I’ve at times felt uncomfortable at the attention I get in Japan as a visitor even if I’m usually well-dressed and well-groomed.

    • Masa Chekov

      Did you miss the part about “the Romanian national”? He’s Romanian. It’s part of the news.

  • Ron NJ

    Once again the news leaves out the fact that he suffered constant discrimination and racism at school, which probably goes a fair way towards explaining why he wound up like this.