• Kyodo

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A 46-year-old Japanese man wanted in connection with a murder in Tokyo 17 years ago has been arrested after giving up on his life on the run in South Africa due to the coronavirus, which left him without work or money, Japanese police said Friday.

So Kamiya presented himself on Aug. 21 at the Japanese Embassy in the country, where he had fled after the incident, saying he wished to return home, according to the police.

“I led a hard life as I lost my job and had no money” because of the pandemic, investigative sources quoted Kamiya as saying when he reported to the embassy.

The police, who had put Kamiya on an international wanted list, arrested him on Thursday at Narita airport near Tokyo after identifying him by his fingerprint. He tested negative for the coronavirus.

Kamiya arrived at the airport aboard a special charter flight for Japanese wishing to return from the virus-hit African nation, as most international flights to and from South Africa have been grounded.

South Africa has reported about 633,000 virus infections with some 14,560 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Kamiya is suspected to have abducted 26-year-old Shinya Kogawa in September 2003 at a restaurant parking lot in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, and then confined him in a car in Tokyo and neighboring Yamanashi Prefecture.

The victim’s amputated body parts were found in a mountainous area in Okutama, a town within Tokyo. The police are set to investigate Kamiya’s involvement in the murder as well as destruction and abandonment of Kogawa’s body.

Kogawa was involved in a dispute with Tomoyuki Matsui, 48, who is believed to have ordered the murder, over Kogawa’s plan to open a new bar.

Matsui is also thought to be on the run in South Africa and has been put on an international wanted list. The police have apprehended around 10 suspects in connection with the case.

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