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Tokyo cops arrest 8 suspects in Roppongi beating death

Taichi Ishimoto
Taichi Ishimoto

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Thursday announced the arrest of eight suspects, including former members of Kanto Rengo bosozoku biker group, over the beating death of 31-year-old restaurant manager Ryosuke Fujimoto last September, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 10).

Officers from the Azabu police station took the suspects into custody on possession and assembly of weapons charges over the incident that took place at club Flower in the Roppongi entertainment area.

In the early morning hours of September 2, a group of males in ski masks and armed with metal bats arrived at the club and assaulted Fujimoto, who was drinking in the club’s VIP room with a party of five or six persons. The victim suffered substantial head injuries and was transported to a nearby hospital, where he died one hour and 20 minutes later.

Footage released by police shows nine men, many attired in dark jackets and pants, moving toward Flower at 3:40 a.m. The suspects are seen fleeing the scene in two vans five minutes later.

On Wednesday, officers issued an arrest warrant for former Kanto Rengo leader Taichi Ishimoto, 31, who is believed to have arrived at the scene by taxi from his apartment in Minato Ward. The security footage allegedly shows him and other members of the group near the scene of the crime.

Police have issued a total of 17 arrest warrants in the case. Many of those suspects were believed to have fled Japan for Shanghai, Beijing, and Hawaii. The Sankei reports that some of the arrested suspects were among those who fled overseas.

The Kanto Rengo group broke up about 15 years ago but their members still operate in various forms. Ishimoto, who was previously arrested in September for fraud related to a real estate transaction, participated in a drunken brawl involving kabuki star Ichikawa Ebizo in 2010.