• Kyodo, Staff Report


A man under arrest for kidnapping and confining an 11-year-old girl in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, had remodeled his home with an additional lock and soundproof walls to confine the girl for a long period, investigative sources said Monday.

With a well-meditated plan, Takeshi Fujiwara, 49, a self-described illustrator from the city of Okayama, wanted to “raise the girl as I wish,” he was quoted as telling the investigators.

The girl, Sakura Moriyama, was found at Fujiwara’s home late Saturday, taken to a hospital and was confirmed to have not been injured. Fujiwara was arrested at the scene. When investigators barged into the home Saturday night, he initially told them the girl was his wife, the investigators said.

The investigators also said they believe Fujiwara fed the girl snacks and showed her cartoons on television to keep her from escaping, noting that it was the large volume of snacks he purchased at a nearby store that led police to pinpoint him as a suspect.

According to the police, a room on the first floor of the house was modified in December to add another lock that can be locked and opened from outside.

Windows were removed after the room was made soundproof, they said.

A builder who undertook the remodeling work said it cost Fujiwara ¥8 million.

He has also reportedly told investigators that he took the girl away in a silver car by threatening her with a utility knife, saying he would kill her if she didn’t get into the car.

Moriyama vanished July 14 in Kurashiki after telling her mother on the phone that she would go home from school. Before the disappearance, a girl who looked like her was seen talking with a man beside a silver car near Moriyama’s home.

NHK said the silver car was frequently seen near her school since around February.

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