An official from Taiwan’s representative office in Japan said Saturday that a man picked up by Japanese police in Osaka earlier in the day was not connected to the murder of two Taiwanese female students in Tokyo two days ago.
Hsu Kuo-chen, information division chief at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECO) in Japan, cited Japanese police as saying that the man who was earlier described as a key witness to the murder had no connection to the case whatsoever.
Hsu conveyed Japanese police’s information to a waiting crowd of Taiwanese reporters at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s Kuramae police station. He expressed regards to the journalists, offered them soft drinks and advised them to eave the complex.
Earlier in the day, reports said TECO’s Osaka branch had been informed by Osaka police authorities that a man listed as a key witness had been located in the city in western Japan.
The reports were not correct, Hsu said, adding that TECO had received a phone call from Japanese police saying that the so-called “witness” picked up in Osaka had no connection with the case.
Previous reports said Osaka police would send the man picked up in the city to Tokyo for questioning to determine whether he had any role in the murder of the two students, Julia Chu and Lin Chih-ying, at a Japanese language school on Jan. 5. According to Japanese law, Osaka police are not authorized to handle the case because the murders took place in Tokyo.
Chu, 25, and Lin, 23, were found covered in blood in the dormitory of the Intercultural Institute of Japan at around 10 a.m. Thursday. One of them died at the scene and the other died a short time later in hospital. Both had sustained fatal injuries to their necks, according to Japanese police.
The families of the victims are now in Tokyo to deal with the aftermath of the murders. It remains unclear when the funerals will be held but reports said the families have agreed to have the bodies cremated in Japan.
The TECO has formed a special task force to help the victims’ families and assist in the investigation of the case.