National / Crime & Legal

Japanese musician who frequented Caribbean Carnival found strangled in Trinidad

Reuters, Kyodo, Staff report

A Japanese woman who regularly visited Trinidad for Carnival and played in a steel band has been found strangled, the coroner’s office said Thursday.

Local police said the woman was identified as Asami Nagakiya, a 30-year-old professional musician from Sapporo, Hokkaido, who entered the Caribbean country on Jan. 7. The police are investigating the case as a murder.

The body of Asami Nagakiya, still clad in a two-piece masquerade outfit, was found in Queen’s Park Savannah, a park in the capital where the major carnival parades and events are held.

Nagakiya was a regular visitor to the Trinidad and Tobago carnival. Her body was discovered by workers cleaning the park following this week’s celebrations.

A local music group she had belonged to since 2012 issued a statement Thursday expressing condolences to her family and friends in Japan.

According to local media, following the news of Nagakiya’s death, Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee made controversial remarks regarding women’s responsibility during Carnival to dress and behave responsibly “so they ensure that they are not abused.”

Members of a Trinidad-based organization, Womantra, have initiated a petition calling for his resignation and a rally is expected to take place Friday.

According to a report by the Trinidad Express, opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar issued a statement in which she upbraids the mayor: “Such retrograde thinking contributes to gender inequity and the proliferation of misogyny in Trinidad and Tobago and is especially disturbing when it is exhibited in persons in public life and is irresponsible, reckless and completely unacceptable.”