Haruna Fukuda, 27, a housewife from Kanazawa City, went missing from her home on February 6. A former cameraman employed on commission at public broadcaster NHK, Yasutaka Wako, 35, was questioned 11 days later by investigators from the Ishikawa prefectural police. He slashed his head at his parent’s home in a suicide attempt the next day.
On February 24, Fukuda’s body was found buried on the beach in Uchidamachi, about 12 kilometers from where her car was previously found abandoned. Investigators reported that Fukuda had been stabbed in the neck and been dead for between two and three weeks. Wako was subsequently arrested for abandoning her body.
Fukuda had a three-year-old child with her husband, whom she married four years ago. They also bought a house last year. Her father had managed an electrical shop in the town of Shikamachi, but he closed it down to start a “staffing services agency.”
That agency is one of the approximately 300 deri heru clubs in Kanazawa. (The article includes a graphic from the Web site of the club Hitozuma Honpo, which opened three years ago.) Fukuda helped her father by working as a receptionist and in keeping the books.
The headquarters of the club is in Toyama Prefecture — for its lax regulations — and sent ladies to Kanazawa and Toyama in building up its client base. “It was known for good-looking girls and high-quality services,” says an individual affiliated with a fuzoku magazine. But the shop has been unreachable since the day Fukuda’s body was discovered.
The magazine notes that Waka was in substantial debt to Fukuda (3 million yen) and her family (5 million yen). The article postulates that the source of the funds was the out-call business. Fukuda told her parents on the day she disappeared that she was meeting Waka to collect the money.
The cameraman was working on a contract basis via a production company. “He married three years ago and has a child less than one year old,” says a local mass-media person. “He was about to buy a house, so everything seemed going well for him, including his work covering the prefectural government. His clothes did stand out and he was popular among the ladies, but it’s shocking to know that he is a suspect.”
He turned to freelance after March of last year. “He wanted to start up a company, and thus needed some capital,” says an acquaintance of Wako. “But he became contracted with another production company, which allowed him to keep his post with NHK. So he didn’t need to start up that company.”
Fukuda and Wako seemed to have a relationship that went beyond money-lending, one that included attending live reggae shows, reveals the same acquaintance. “They were close for the last few years,” the source says. “He used to say that the basics of having a love affair included the ability to change emotions between the time you spend with your mistress and your wife; it’s got to be cut and dry, and don’t get involved with one asking you to get a divorce.”
Fukuda had also changed. “She used to bring her child every August to the local festival,” says a resident of Shikamachi. “But last year, she looked more provocative. Everyone was wondering what happened to her.”
Fukuda’s husband seems to be lost. His eyes were not able to focus when Flash spotted him at a convenience store with his child in his arms.
A love affair between newly weds, a lucrative deri heru business, and an investment with no future — too many mysteries, concludes the article. (A.T.)
Source: “Satsugai sareta bijin zuma ninki deri heruten keiei no kao,” Flash (Mar. 15, pages 102-103)
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