• Kyodo


The body of a Japanese woman who was killed in a series of deadly bombings that hit Sri Lanka over the weekend arrived in Japan on Thursday accompanied by her injured husband and their two children.

Kaori Takahashi, 39, was caught in one of eight blasts that struck Colombo and other parts of the country while eating breakfast at a hotel restaurant with her husband, Hikaru. The attacks killed 359 people, including at least 39 foreign nationals.

A coffin covered in a blue sheet was unloaded from an airplane at Narita airport near Tokyo at around 7:30 a.m. A bouquet of white flowers was placed on the coffin and airport officials bowed deeply in prayer.

The Metropolitan Police Department will conduct an autopsy on the body to determine the cause of death.

Junzo Yamamoto, who heads the National Public Safety Commission, told reporters that officials of the National Police Agency have been dispatched to Sri Lanka to gather information.

Noting that Japan will be the venue for a number of major events over the coming 18 months, Yamamoto said, “I will instruct police to take all possible counterterrorism measures.”

When boarding the plane in Colombo, where he works at a Japanese restaurant, Hikaru Takahashi, 39, ran into a Sri Lankan acquaintance, Himani Wijemanne, and they tearfully embraced.

The acquaintance, who works for a travel agency, came to know the Takahashis a few years ago. He told reporters that Kaori was a very good person and he feels very sad over her death.

The attacks targeted luxury hotels and churches as Easter Sunday masses were in progress.

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