UTSUNOMIYA, TOCHIGI PREF. – Police and rescuers on Friday stepped up search efforts for a French woman who vanished during a trip to Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, in late July, after receiving a new witness report.
About 80 personnel were deployed in efforts to find Tiphaine Veron, 36, who was last seen at the popular tourist destination on the morning of July 29, when she left her lodging facility there.
The police said they received a report from a male tourist saying he crossed paths with a foreign woman who was dressed in casual style and walking alone on a mountain trail between Mount Nakimushi and the Kanmangafuchi Abyss on the afternoon of July 29.
The search, which involves helicopters, police dogs and drones, is being conducted in the area near Kanmangafuchi, which is known as a scenic spot. Local volunteers also joined the search.
According to her family, Veron has epilepsy. Her sister recently posted a photo on Twitter of a letter written by their mother to French President Emmanuel Macron asking for assistance to find Veron.
The letter said the Japanese police are making efforts but that not all means have been used to search for her in rivers and woods.
Laurent Pic, the French ambassador to Japan, also directly asked a senior official of the Tochigi Prefectural Police earlier in the week to speed up and strengthen search efforts.
Veron is 165 cm tall and has light brown hair, according to the police.