Aug 17, 2023
5 arrested after discovery of woman's body buried in north Japan
June 8, 2023 (Mainichi Japan) Japanese version TOKYO -- Five suspects were
June 8, 2023 (Mainichi Japan)
TOKYO -- Five suspects were arrested on June 7 in connection with a body found buried in an empty lot in the northern Japan city of Akita, sources close to the investigation have told the Mainichi Shimbun.
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)'s first investigation division arrested the five on suspicion of corpse abandonment. One of them, 48-year-old Daisuke Inoue, is already serving a sentence for violating the Stimulants Control Act. The others, between their 20s and 40s, include Inoue's ex-wife, 34-year-old massage parlor manager Naka Toki of Saitama's Midori Ward. Inoue has reportedly admitted to the allegations, while Toki is keeping her silence.
Shinobu Kato, a 48-year-old resident of Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture, went missing about two years ago. She had been working in the customer service industry in Saitama Prefecture and elsewhere. She was last seen on June 27, 2021, and her belongings were left behind at her company dorm in the city of Saitama's Omiya Ward. Her son filed a missing person's report to the MPD the following month.
Investigators found that they could not track Kato's movements after she met with Inoue somewhere in Saitama Prefecture. The two are believed to have met through Kato's job.
The MPD's first investigation division discovered Kato's body this May based on information obtained from sources including Inoue's acquaintance. Her remains were clothed and inside a box encased in concrete. There were no obvious signs of major injury, and it is believed she died within some months of her disappearance.
According to sources close to the investigation, Inoue and his then wife Toki visited a real estate company in the city of Akita in September 2021, seeking to purchase a specific vacant lot right away. Work to clear the lot of trees began the following day. The five suspects allegedly placed the wooden box containing Kato's body into a hole they dug on the lot sometime that month.
Toki became the property's legal owner by the end of 2021, and police suspect that Inoue, as the property's effective owner, knows more details about Kato's death. Investigators believe the body was kept temporarily in a container in Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture, before being moved to the lot in Akita.
The MPD suspects Inoue purchased the land to hide the woman's body, and had Toki and the others help him abandon the corpse.
(Japanese original by Maki Kihara, Ayumu Iwasaki and Kengo Suga, Tokyo City News Department)