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Monday, January 9, 2012

Clearly speaking

As you can see in the pictures above, we've had some really clear weather recently. The first two photos were taken around noon today, while the last one was shot in the late afternoon. The line of mountains in the distance are part of the Central Mountain Range 中央山脈, and it isn't often that they can be seen through the usual haze and smog. 

Also apparently becoming clearer is the search for the killer of the two young Taiwanese women murdered last Thursday in Tōkyō 東京. The Japan Times ジャパンタイムズ ran the Kyōdō News 共同通信社 story on the not-so-surprising suspect in the case:

A Taiwanese man is being sought in connection with the fatal stabbings of two female Taiwanese students in Taitō Ward 台東区, Tōkyō police said Sunday.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Chang Chih-yang 張志揚, 30, who has been missing since Thursday after telling his roommate at around 10 a.m. that he was going to Ōsaka 大阪. Chang was a student at the same Japanese language school the slain women attended.

Police suspect Chang of killing Lin Chih-ying 林芷瀅, 22, and Chu Li-chieh 朱立婕, 24, at around 9 a.m. Thursday at an apartment rented by the school as a dorm, police said. The two women each had about 10 stab wounds, mostly around their necks, and the cause of death was apparently blood loss, police said.

Chang is believed to have been fond of Lin as he recently complained that she had been giving him the cold shoulder since mid-December. He was spotted by security cameras near the crime scene at around the same time as the murders, police said.

On the day they were killed, Lin promised to go on a trip with male friends from the school. They were to meet at a subway station at 9:30 a.m., but when Lin failed to show, her friends contacted a school official who used a duplicate key to enter the apartment where the women were found.

Lin was found lying in the hallway in a jacket and boots, while Chu was found bleeding in the room's bottom bunk bed. 

Japan Today has a similar article on its website.

When this story first broke, I had a feeling that the killer might have been another Taiwanese. Not because I think a Japanese is incapable of murder (they are, just like anybody else), nor because Taiwanese people are more prone to killing (they certainly aren't). The reason I thought so is that it seemed that in most cases where foreign students are murdered, the killer or killers often turned out to be compatriots, or at least fellow classmates. I don't have any crime statistics to back up that last assertion, but it is a fact that in most murder cases, the victim(s) knew their killer(s). Add to that the tendency among students studying abroad to socialize with classmates from their home countries, and/or with others studying at the same school, and the odds increased in this particular case that the main suspect would turn out to be from Taiwan. 

According to the latest news, which I heard from a student this evening, Chang committed suicide, and it appears the case is being brought to a close. A sad end all around.

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