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Search for missing Chinese tourist commences in Hokkaido forest

Wei Qiujie
Wei Qiujie, 26, went missing in Hokkaido Prefecture last month

HOKKAIDO (TR) – Hokkaido Prefectural Police working off a tip have begun a search for a female Chinese tourist who went missing earlier this month in a forest in Kushiro City, reports Nippon News Network (Aug. 1).

On Tuesday, about 20 investigators began a search for Wei Qiujie, a 26-year-old primary school teacher in Fujian Province, in a forested area located about 7 kilometers from the onsen hot springs resort area of the Lake Akan area of Kushiro.

Wei is traveling alone. She arrived in Hakodate City, Hokkaido from China on July 18, two days before she checked into a guesthouse in Sapporo. She was scheduled to return to China on July 25.

Train to Kushiro

At around 7:30 a.m. on July 22, Wei, who has dark, shoulder-length hair, departed the guesthouse while wearing a white skirt. She is believed to have traveled by train to Kushiro, which is located about 300 kilometers from Sapporo. At around 4:00 p.m., a person resembling her was seen in surveillance camera footage taken at a waiting area at JR Kurshiro Station. She is then believed to have taken a bus to the Akan area.

Wei was seen leaving a resort in Akan on the morning of July 23. She was also spotted in surveillance camera footage in a bakery and convenience store in the district that same morning. Investigators searched Akan on Friday.

The search of the forest began after police received an eyewitness report indicating that a person looking like Wei — wearing a white skirt and having black hair — was walking on a mountain road in the area at 1:30 p.m. on Monday. The search was scheduled to continue on Wednesday.

Goodbye letter

A goodbye letter believed to have been written by Wei to her family was found in the belongings she left behind at a guesthouse in Sapporo. The letter is an expression of gratitude to her parents. It also includes includes a farewell to her family. Her father, who arrived in Sapporo on Friday, told police that it seems to have been written by his daughter.