2nd Person Arrested for Alleged Murder of Tokyo Couple

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Hikaru Sasaki

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese police on Sunday served a fresh arrest warrant to Hikaru Sasaki, one of the six people held over the case of the bodies of a Tokyo man and his wife being found in April, on suspicion of murdering the couple.

Sasaki is the second person arrested for alleged murder of corporate executive Ryutaro Takarajima, 55, and his wife, Sachiko, 56. Earlier, Sasaki, whose occupation is unknown, was arrested for allegedly damaging the bodies of the couple.

A joint investigation team of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department and the police department of Tochigi Prefecture, eastern Japan, suspects that Sasaki was asked by a mastermind of the high-profile crime to find a person to carry out the murder and was involved in tasks such as conveying related information and providing reward money.

Sasaki allegedly killed the Takarajimas, including by squeezing their throats, at a garage on the first floor of an unoccupied house in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward between around 11:50 p.m. on April 15 and 1:30 a.m. the following day, according to investigative sources. The couple’s bodies were found near a river in the town of Nasu in Tochigi on the morning of April 16.

The six people who have been arrested over the case also include corporate executive Seiha Sekine, 32, the suspected mastermind and common-law husband of the couple’s first daughter, and construction worker Ryoken Hirayama, 25.

Sasaki has been accused of damaging the bodies of the couple. Hirayama, who was arrested April 21 for allegedly damaging the bodies, was served a fresh warrant May 11 on charges of killing the Takarajimas.

The joint investigation team plans to serve fresh arrest warrants to Sekine and the other three people in stages for suspected murder of the couple.

The team believes that Sasaki contacted Hirayama for murdering the Takarajimas after being asked by Sekine to find a person to kill the couple and dispose of their bodies.