National / Crime & Legal

Japanese man shot to death trying to save father in Belize robbery


A Japanese man has been shot to death and his father critically wounded by two armed men in Belize, according to the Japanese Embassy in Belmopan.

The incident happened in Belize City, nation’s largest city, at around 6 p.m. Thursday, embassy officials said.

Local media identified the man who was killed as Masaki Yanai, 19. His father, Takayuki, 53, runs a Japanese restaurant in Belize City.

The two men attacked the father when he returned home from shopping and was unloading his car. He tried to prevent his bag containing cash revenue from his restaurant from being stolen. The son came out of the house in an attempt to help his father, but they were both shot several times.

The family immigrated to Belize about 15 years ago.

Masaki Yanai was studying engineering at the University of Belize. The head of the university said he was a smart and promising student.

Local police are searching for the suspects and have offered a reward for information leading to their capture.

Belize, located in the Yucatan Peninsula and facing the Caribbean Sea, borders Mexico and Guatemala, and has a population of about 375,000. As of October 2017, 45 Japanese lived in the country, according to Japan’s Foreign Ministry.