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5 years on, murder of ‘Gyoza King’ remains unsolved

KYOTO (TR) – With Wednesday marking the five-year anniversary of the murder of the chief of a dumpling chain, Kyoto Prefectural Police remain puzzled as to who was behind the hit, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Dec. 19).

On the morning of December 19, 2013, Takayuki Ohigashi, 72, the president of Ohsho Food Service, which operates Gyoza no Ohsho (Gyoza King), was shot dead near a parking lot for the company’s headquarters in Yamashina Ward, Kyoto City, as he commuted to work.

Ohigashi received four wounds to the right part of his chest and abdomen from an unknown gunman. He was confirmed dead by emergency personnel at a nearby hospital.

Thus far, Kyoto police have dedicated substantial resources to the case but it remains unsolved. Officers have visited 5,800 households in the area of the shooting to collect information. They have also followed up on 600 leads and spoken to 1,900 persons either connected to the company or involved in business dealings.

Takayuki Ohigashi
Takayuki Ohigashi (Twitter)

DNA match

One promising development has not yet led to an apprehension. The results of a DNA analysis of a cigarette butt left behind at the scene proved to be a match with a gang member in the Kyushu area. However, a direct link has not been established between the gangster and the crime.

The bullets that struck Ohigashi came from a 25-caliber automatic pistol. It is believed that he was shot at point-blank range. Based on security camera footage, the perpetrator was very likely riding a motorcycle, police said.

As well, police discovered traces of gunpowder on the handlebars of a stolen motorcycle that was found in front of an apartment building 1.5 kilometers from the crime scene.

In 2016, a third-party investigative committee revealed that Ohsho Food Service had engaged in questionable business deals decades ago. However, the company confirmed that it had no links to organized crime.

Silent prayer

On Wednesday, upper-level officers from the Kyoto Prefectural Police arrived at the company’s parking lot to lay flowers and offer a silent prayer for Ohigashi.

“From now, I would like to cooperate fully with the police in resolving the case,” said Naoto Watanabe, the current president of Ohsho Food Service.

Gyoza no Ohsho, founded in 1967, is a nationwide chain with a number of stores overseas that specializes in a variety of grilled dumplings, noodles and other dishes.