National

Hokkaido police seek information on missing Chinese woman

Kyodo

The Hokkaido police are seeking information about a Chinese woman who has been missing since late July.

Wei Qiujie, a 26-year-old elementary school teacher from Fujian Province, arrived at Hakodate airport on July 18 and was due to fly home a week later.

Wei, who was traveling alone, checked into a guesthouse in Sapporo on July 20 and had paid for her stay in advance.

Leaving her suitcase behind for safekeeping, she left the inn on the morning of July 22 and spent the night at a hotel in Kushiro. She has not been seen since.

Alarmed that Wei did not return, the guesthouse notified the police and the Chinese Consulate General. Her last correspondence is believed to have been with her father via social media.

At around 5:45 p.m. on July 22, Wei apparently told her father that she had arrived at an inn, but which one wasn’t immediately clear. Before her trip, she had told her family that she planned to visit Asahikawa and Furano on July 22 and 23.

The Hokkaido Prefectural Police released photos of Wei on July 27.

She left a note behind bidding farewell to her family, raising the possibility that she planned the disappearance by herself, according to the police.

Wei’s father traveled to Japan and was briefed by police about the situation and about search efforts on July 29.

According to Hokkaido police officials, Wei’s father said it was her first trip to Hokkaido. He said his daughter doesn’t speak much Japanese, and he didn’t know if she had any friends in Japan, they said.