How many of you have been following the attempted suicide of Hiroshi Nozaki (野崎浩) on April 6? I’m guessing not that many of you, because for some reason it’s not really receiving that much air time on Japanese TV. Nozaki’s suicide is particularly controversial because after calling an ambulance he gave instructions to the doctor to search in a coin locker at the Hamamatsucho Station (浜松町駅) next to the World Trade Center Building. Inside the locker was a suitcase filled with 10 chopped up body parts of a 22 year old Filipina woman, Honiefaith Ratilla Kamiosawa (上大澤・ハニーフィット・ラティリア). As foreigners in Japan, there is more to this story than the Japanese media make out. How much different would this situation be if she were say, American? Or perhaps if she was a Japanese national, and the killer was an African American?
In case you haven’t seen the news let me give you a very brief rundown on what appears to have happened:
- Nozaki shared an apartment in Odaiba with the woman and 2 of her cousins. It seems that the 3 women all worked at the same hostess club in Roppongi.
- Nozaki was a regular patron of Kamiosawa’s establishment, and he was hooked on Filipino women. He offered to pay half of Kamiosawa’s rent, on the condition that he could move in with her. She accepted.
- Kamiosawa and Nozaki got in to a fight after Nozaki failed to pay his share of the rent. The police believe that Nozaki murdered Kamiosawa on April 3.
- After killing Kamiosawa, Nozaki carved her body up in their bath and tried to hide the cause of death by washing her in their washing machine.
- Three days later, Nozaki supposedly attempted to commit suicide by slitting his wrists (hmmm) but then called an ambulance for help (hmmm) . That’s a sure fire way of ensuring that you don’t die.
This video is a sample nonchalant media coverage that this case got on Japanese TV (Japanese language). The last line in the story regarding the washing machine trick is particularly interesting. Translation: “It is thought that Nozaki washed the parts of the body in a washing machine before putting them in a suitcase. The police are thinking about whether to charge him with Murder also”.
This alone is a pretty horrific story. But I ask you, Why isn’t this a bigger issue? Why isn’t it getting more press? Why is it that the life of a Filipino is deemed to be so worthless? Would it have been any different if she was an American? Of course it would have. It would be a high profile international crime case. President Bush would be knocking on Fukuda’s door. I know that Japan is an important country for the Philippines but come on? Where is the power of your politicians? Why aren’t they making a bigger issue of this? The future of the Philippines rides on the success of its overseas workers, it can’t afford to allow Japan to get away with something like this? Has anybody seen any comments from the Embassy?
What makes it even worse, is that it is not the first time that this has happened. In fact it is not even the first time that this man has carved up a pinay! I can hear your jaw dropping and hitting the floor right now. Nozaki was arrested and sentenced in 2000 for three and a half years jail for carving up the body of another 27 year old Filipina girl, Longakit Alda Yoneda (米田・ロンガキット・エルダ) that he was living with at the time. After hacking up her body, and boiling it in a pasta pot, he flushed it down the toilet of a park in Yokohama!
This raises a few more questions. Why on earth was he only given a 3.5 year jail sentence? You’re never going to believe this, but apparently he wasn’t found guilty of murder at all. He was “only” found guilty of “mutilating and abandoning of a dead body” (死体損壊・遺棄). At the time he claimed that when he woke up she was lying dead beside him. Well, I guess that explains why he then cut her up into pieces doesn’t it. The investigation into the death of the 27 year old is still unsolved. This is wrong in so many ways (unless of course, Nozaki genuinely couldn’t pay for the funeral of the sexy young lady who died of natural causes in bed next to him – in which case chopping her up and disposing of her in a more unorthodox, though frugal way would have of course been the only option…)
- How do you decide that three and a half years is an appropriate term for the “mutilating and abandoning of a dead body”?
- Why isn’t it obvious that a man who was overheard fighting with a Filipina dancer and then caught flushing her body down a park toilet killed her, too?
- Why does Japan allow such sickos to go back out into society?
- Why would this story have been so different if either of the girls were American?
- Perhaps even more provoking yet, why would this story have been so different if the murderer was an American? (Or even if the girl was British!)