Man resembling Gyoza no Ohsho murder suspect caught on security footage

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Investigators search the office of a group linked to Kudo-kai crime syndicate in Kasuga, Fukuoka Prefecture, on Thursday.

A man resembling the suspect linked to the fatal shooting of the president of a gyoza restaurant chain in 2013 was caught on a security camera near the president’s house in Kyoto the day before the murder, investigative sources said.

Police arrested Yukio Tanaka, a senior member of a group in Fukuoka Prefecture linked to the Kudo-kai crime syndicate, on suspicion of killing Takayuki Ohigashi, the president of Ohsho Food Service Corp., which operates the Gyoza no Ohsho restaurant chain.

The Kyoto and Fukuoka prefectural police, which suspect the murder was premeditated, on Thursday searched the office of a group linked to Tanaka, 57.

Ohigashi — then 72 — was fatally shot outside the company’s headquarters in Yamashina Ward, Kyoto, in the early hours on Dec. 19, 2013.

A nearby security camera captured footage of a motorcycle leaving the vicinity shortly after the shooting.

Ohigashi’s house was about one kilometer from the crime scene. According to investigators, a security camera in the area captured footage of a suspicious individual walking near Ohigashi’s home the day before the incident.

As the man’s face was not clearly visible in the footage, the Kyoto prefectural police asked an expert to evaluate the video and were told there was a possibility that Tanaka was the individual based on his physique and gait.

The police suspect Tanaka was checking whether Ohigashi was at home, and might have been waiting for an opportunity to attack him.

Investigators believe Tanaka murdered Ohigashi, based on DNA collected from a cigarette butt found at the crime scene and other evidence.

In April 2014, the police found an abandoned Honda Super Cub in a parking lot 2 kilometers from the crime scene. The bike was stolen in October 2013 in Joyo, Kyoto Prefecture, and gunshot residue was detected on the handlebar.

A minibike stolen in Kyoto’s Fushimi Ward on the same day as the Super Cub theft was also found abandoned nearby. The bikes had been covered with sheets that are mainly sold at hardware stores in the Kyushu region, according to the investigators.

The minibike theft was caught on security cameras. In the footage, a man is seen getting out of a car and riding away on the stolen bike. The same car was also spotted near the scene of the Super Cub theft.

The owner of the car told the police that “an acquaintance called Tanaka had borrowed the vehicle.”