National / Crime & Legal

Chinese man denies intending to murder his wife but admits dumping her body in Tokyo canal

Kyodo

A Chinese man living in Tokyo admitted Monday to dumping his wife’s body in a canal but denied he had intended to kill her.

As his trial opened in the Tokyo District Court, Zhou Shichao, 38, pleaded guilty to abandoning the body of his wife, Yang Mei, 34, in a suitcase in the canal in June 2016.

Prosecutors claimed Zhou “was dissatisfied with the victim’s behavior of using money lavishly and had a strong intention to murder her.”

Zhou’s lawyers argued he committed “a defensive act without the intention of murder,” saying he and his wife “had an argument about money, and the accused just covered Yang’s mouth with bedding because she was hurling abuse at him loudly.”

According to the indictment, Zhou suffocated Yang after they had a quarrel at their residence in Arakawa Ward around June 22 last year. He then allegedly put her body in a suitcase and threw it in the canal near Tokyo Bay.

Yang’s body was found on June 27, 2016, by a man on a boat.

Zhou and Yang got married in 2007 in China and came to Japan separately as technical intern trainees between 2013 and 2014.

Yang had worked at an auto parts maker’s factory in Kyoto Prefecture but disappeared from the company’s dormitory in March 2014. Zhou worked for a farm in Tottori Prefecture, from which he also disappeared.