Kyoto cops raise ‘white flag’ in killing of ‘Gyoza King’

Sapio May
Sapio May

On the morning of December 19, Takayuki Ohigashi, 72, the president of dumpling chain Gyoza no Ohsho (Gyoza King) was shot dead in Kyoto as he commuted to work.

An employee at the company found the president collapsed near a parking lot for the company’s headquarters in Yamashina Ward and phoned emergency services.

Ohigashi received four wounds from a 25-caliber weapon to the right part of his chest and abdomen from an unknown gunman. The assailant fled the scene, and Kyoto Prefectural Police launched a murder investigation.

Since then, reports Sapio (May), the police have been stumped, and, as one expert says, they may have given up.

Given that a silencer was likely used and that the victim was shot at point-blank range, it is presumed that it was a professional hit — but beyond that, the police know very little.

“It is clear that Ohigashi was the target,” says Masayoshi Hisada, an editor who works on crime-related topics. “At that time, the Kyoto police followed up on between three and five leads, including the possibility of organized crime involvement.”

They utilized eyewitness reports and evidence left at the scene of the crime.

“But the investigation hit an impasse,” he says. “Some investigators had indicated they were directionless and raised a ‘white flag’ within a week of the shooting.”

Hisada says that in recent years investigations have been hampered nationwide by a fall in police capability. Specifically, he says, the quest for a resolution trumps determining what actually happened.

“This tendency has been gaining strength,” says the editor.

There has also been a decrease in investigative intuition. “If someone points out a blind spot in a street camera surveillance inside a shopping area, the police will simply order the installation of more cameras,” says Hisada. “They should boost patrols but they instead rely on cameras.”

In short, they have no interest in garnering experience or cultivating investigative skills.

“The police should go back and look at what it really means to carry out an investigation,” the editor says. (K.N.)

Source: “Gyoza no Ohsho shacho jusatsu jiken sosa kankeisha kara soso ni jirahata sengen deru,” Sapio (May)

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