Tour boat victim planned to propose onboard

Jiji Press
Fishing boats depart to search for missing passengers in Shari, Hokkaido, on Tuesday morning.

A 22-year-old man who planned to propose to his girlfriend onboard was among those who perished when a sightseeing boat sank off the coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido.

A funeral was held for Tomoya Suzuki on Monday in Obihiro in the prefecture, where his family lives.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Part of a letter written by Tomoya Suzuki to his girlfriend

Suzuki is said to have planned a surprise proposal on the Kazu I tour boat. “I’ll always love you,” he wrote in a letter to his girlfriend that was made public at the funeral. “Will you marry me?”

The letter was reportedly found in Suzuki’s car along with a necklace he was going to give her. The car was left at the Utoro fishing port, the point of departure for the tour boat.

Dated April 23, the day of the accident, the letter starts by celebrating the woman’s birthday. It then says, “Thank you for supporting Toto [Suzuki’s nickname] and for loving him to this day.”

“I want to go through life’s hardships with you,” Suzuki wrote. “I’ll protect you.”

“Please be with me for the rest of your life,” the letter says before concluding with: “I’m eager to hear your answer on July 7.”

July 7 is Suzuki’s birthday.

His family brought a down jacket to the funeral, hoping to warm Suzuki, who was found at sea. “I really wanted them to get married,” his uncle said on Monday.