What would have happened if she was an American?

Kamiosawa: Filipina Murdered and Chopped Up in Tokyo
Kamiosawa: Murdered and Chopped Up in Tokyo

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:

    Hiroshi Nozaki - Cut up Pinay into Pieces
    Hiroshi Nozaki – Cut up Pinay into Pieces
  • 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?

Coin Lockers at the Tokyo Monorail Hamamatsucho Station
Coin Lockers at the Tokyo Monorail
Hamamatsucho Station where the body was found

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!)

69 thoughts on “What would have happened if she was an American?”

  1. I’m wondering how the Philippines’ media is covering this story. I don’t think that they’d be handling it so nonchalantly as the Japanese media has.

    Is this another instance of the Japanese’s tendency to be ultra-patriotic, so proud of their country and heritage that it’s as if they’re saying, “Ah, this cannot happen here, and the guy who did it doesn’t deserve to have a long sentence because he’s Japanese”……

  2. A think another question that needs to be asked, is how did a dodgy looking guy like this convince three chicks to live with him!

    But yeah, this got coverage on NHK, but they totally glossed over the fact that he’d done it before. I hope they give him a better sentence this time, tho I seriously doubt any Japanese national is going to get the death penalty for killing a foreigner!

  3. Despite glossing over this case, the media is still covering the story of the British girl that got killed a year ago, but that is probably because the idea of the fugitive story of the freakshow that did that one is better for ratings.
    Either way, both cases are awful and one can only wish that justice will prevail.

  4. If she was a national Japanese, and the murder an American (especially a marine or something), I think we’ll probably have all the news covering that for weeks..
    What I really feel disgusting is that sometimes, when something like this happen (and the victim is a foreigner), newspapers and tv news try all the time to find an excuse for the killer or at least they insinuate the victim deserved what happened to her (maybe she was working as hostess? she was a prostitute? illegal immigrant? overstayed visa? and so on)..
    Oh, and what about all the “everything’s bad comes from china” news?

  5. i have heard of this horrible news days ago from ABS-CBN network. i cant help but be enraged by this unfortunate event. if brian gorrell have captivated the bloggers around the globe to air his anger to a filipino who he accused of stealing huge amount of money from him, then it is not impossible to get the same degree of attention if we filipinos express our disgust at the obvious injustice to the foreigners esp filipinos here in japan.
    kumilos po tayong lahat! wag nating hayaan na apakan nga mga hapon ang ating dangal dahil lang sa kadahilanang mas mayaman ang bansa nila kesa atin. ipadama po natin ang ating suporta sa ating kapwa pilipino!

  6. To think this guy has done this twice and the news segment on it is just mere minutes, but some contamintaed gyouza from (THE HORROR) China was receiving weeks and weeks of coverage. Ive been here 5 years and the stench is beginning to get to me. Japan needs a gaijin Martin Luther King pretty damned quick.

  7. I’m a journalist in the Philippines, and I’m really interested about this story. But the information here is so limited. The family, I think, also do not want to talk to the media. As a Filipino, I’m outraged. I have the same question as you do- how the heck did this whacko only got 3 and a half years prison time? He should have rotten to death behind bars. I hope Filipinos in Japan get together and make sure true justice is served. I would appreciate it if you could give me more info- that I can include in my reports.

  8. Holy shit !! I would have never came accross this if I wasn’t on the mailing list of this site ! And I though Japan was a rather nice lil country with only Yakuza types of murders.

    This is completely … wow

    What would have happened if she would have been American ? The big fat word that is so popular now : Terrorist. And the America would have been on Japan’s ass for god knows what reason : international murder – threat to security – racism or something of such type… major ego boost in the wrong kinda way. And media would have bombed the world with it like only they know how to do.

    I am sad that both these women died in such atrocious manner. That is the essential and only matter to keep in mind. Two more beautiful and innocent victims. Again.

  9. o.m.g !!!!!!!!!!!!!! i am never going to tokyo agian i dont want to be nexts!!!!!!!!

  10. “This raises a few more questions. Why on earth was he only given a 3.5 year jail sentence? ”

    Remember, this is the same country where a homicidal cannibal spent a mere 15 months in a mental institution, checked himself out when he didn’t want to be there any more, and then became a food critic and social commentator. (see Issei Sagawa)

    In that light, Nozaki serving three and a half years makes it seem like Japan is really getting “tough” on crime. *Sigh*…

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  12. The perceived difference between a stand-up, law-abiding citizen and a cold-blooded murderer in Japan seems to be quite smaller than those in most other developed nations. It starts in schools, one kid who can’t keep up with the rest of the class is given the benefit of having the class made to wait for him, even encourage him. There’s not much reward for excellence, or standing ahead of the pack. It’s almost as if there is no such thing as the ideal citizen. Nobody really points to any role models here and says, ‘See, you should aspire to be like him/her.’ When it comes to the judicial system here, it isn’t any different; The innocent in society are made to suffer because, somehow, the criminally deranged and murdurous individuals who infest society are too-often awarded the same, or even more compassion than those who live crime-free lives.

  13. billywest, you have a decent analogy, but I think the actual relation is completely non-existent.

    I think it’s pure Japanese nationalism at fault in this issue and that’s what the author implied as well. I’ve asked a Filipino friend of mine to try and find out how much coverage this is getting in the Philippines.

    I tell you man, less and less do I want to spend a lot of time in Japan.

  14. Why should this be big news when it is no longer a novelty as there has already been enough of such gruesome cases these past 10 or 20 years? Besides, the guy must be crazy to be doing this kind of crime again.

    Newspapers may not have dealt too much on this issue with the attention more on the Olympic torch relay, but I’ve read enough from the Shukan-shis for me to get a nightmare. This case BTW has nothing to do with Japanese nationalism. Besides, why blame all the Japanese for the sins of a weirdo.

    Foreigners coming to Japan should learn to take care of themselves, too, against these weirdos. For all you know, the creep must have learned doing these creepy murders during his more than 10 years’ stay in the USA. Up until then, neighbors in Asakusa where he grew up said he was a normal kid brought up by fairly honorable and resptable parents.

  15. Miki Bihon,
    I agree with your point that barabara jiken are nothing new and make for less unusual news these days. But I’m not sure I agree with your conclusion. If they are such boring news, why was there so much focus on the TV about Kaori-yogisha and her barabara murder at exactly the same time!

  16. Guys, who have been in Tokyo enough, knows how japanese are proud about their “supreme race”(hmm..) that’s what we called in Europe, having a Nazi principles, if this is on the nihon News=Corrupt Media=ProCorporations (like any other), Would you like to imagine what is not???…
    I think is time to stop hanging out like old ladies and talking behind the curtains; start to move our butts, of course that means being vulnerable at our jobs, Can you do that, Mr. Complainer?… As somebody said we need some kind of Martin Luther king in Japan… who can defend the interest of the “foreigners” which the “Super human Japanoids” are soooo much in need (at least wehave some luck in something here…)…but common…. a leader is nobody if he doesn’t have followers, so why do the hell we don’t get together instead of hidding ?? WE are behaving like the media, if we do not act…..

  17. Dismemberment seems to be trendy with J-murderers recently.

    Last year a woman did in her husband with a wine bottle then cut him up in the bathtub and deposited his pieces around tokyo. This meant she rode around on the train with body parts in her bag! Lovely!

    Around the same time, a 20 year old boy killed his sister then chopped her up and kept the pieces in his dresser before he got caught.

    Not long after, in northern Japan, a 13-year old showed up at a police station with his mother’s head in a shopping bag.

  18. Oh my God…. I’m always wanting to go to Japan because I am a fan of anime and even studied their language….but I guess they really treat foreigners like a second rate human beings … I’m scared… I won’t wish to go there anymore, I only live once and I don’t want to be treated like a piece of meat

  19. I was watching Japanese news when i heard this but it was too short and they didnt give enough info. So i waited for the English translated news on the same channel but then they didn’t feature it. I wonder why…

  20. It was reported days after that horrible incident here in the Philippines by ABS-CBN and anyone could notice how they made it short and even cut (seemingly unintentional) by another program called “bantay bata” portion segmet about lost childer. ABS-CBN is obviously covering this up, depriving their own nation their rights to know these kind of oppression.

    Yes it will be a big issue of racial oppression and a big impact between Filipino and Japanese however we must not close our eyes and we must accept the fact that SOMETHING is wrong! VERY VERY WRONG.

    These are the proof that Japanese are so looking down on other race especially filipinos. Sad but true

  21. I thought japan was an Ideal country, safe, clean and harmonious. I guess too much publicity can fool anyone huh. to think that I am too nice to these that are always visiting our province. sheesh now I know what is “filipino” in their eyes, just pieces of meat.

  22. Well I don’t understand why you people are so looking up on japan? That’s the sole reason why they are looking down on you. American people don’t so they are the ones that seeks us especially about military protection and english language.

  23. Isabel (Filipino Journalist),
    Maybe I can provide you the information you needed.
    The victim’s family is at lost and in dire need of help like yours.
    Get in touch.

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  25. Here’s another point to think about:

    How would this trial have proceeded with a jury?

  26. Someone mentioned Issei Sagawa, well according to the Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Issei_Sagawa) his release is basically down to the actions of French authorities, and not the Japanese justice system.

    Still, this article makes quite a contrast to the “Prison in Japan” series. Given how harshly petty criminals (both Japanese and Gaijin) are treated, it’s amazing that murderers should get treated so leniently.

    However, Japan is experimenting with a jury system, and if it goes ahead, I think it would have to result in a fairer system. Because there is no doubt in my mind that a jury would have convicted Nozaki of the murder of the first woman.

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  28. I find it hard to believe most of you you find this story so hard to believe. I have lived in Japan for nearly 7 years now and worked with the Japanese for almost 20 years in America before that. I am also a bit familiar with Japanese history both pre and post WWII. nothing shocking here. just an ordinary day in the psychie of the most arrogant racist supremists on earth. DO you really not know this? What is the average age of the reader/ writter on this page?
    Anyway it is a terrible thing
    And i dont think the real action of the state would be that much different if it were an American that was dead. Just a thicker coat of paint.
    The Japanese can do no wrong when it comes to any non japanese. and dont you forget it or you may find yourself in some very deep boiling water someday. ALWAYS watch your back here
    sorry, thats just the way it is

  29. just one more thing for any and all of you out there, non-Japanese that is. Please for your own safty contact your embasy and get the number of a lawyer who speaks your language and do two things. first put it in your wallet on a piece of paper, in your passport, and in your phone address book. Second call them. The call is free. Ask them if they have any emergency number you can have or a 24 hour number, and then ask them what to do if you need to call them in an emergency. They will kindly tell you for free. Then DONT SIGN ANY PIECE OF PAPER A POLICEMAN GIVES YOU UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, NO FINGER PRINT, NO INKON, NOTHING AND SAY i must call my lawyer, iwont talk to you or sign anything without my lawyer. period end of story. DONT DO IT! DONT SIGN IT. NOT A SPEEDING TICKET NOT ANYTHING.

    its a good idea for you to look on the net for laws of Japan EVERYTHING is in English, from LABOR LAWS, great stuff, to marriage and everything inbetween. Gaijin have a 98% conviction rate if arrested. you are guilty as charged until you escape. Sorry, its sad but true.

  30. Thank you ” idahomaniac” for your priceless advice, that is a great information that people have to do it as soon as possible, normally police they do not let you make any contact or call, that is the japanese law, however if you stick to that and you are really pushy about this, who knows.., i heard that advice too late do, so I trully apreciate this post that you wrote!

    that is a trully smart-gaikokujin tip right there!

    In case they arrest you…

    Also I would add do not talk/collaborate with a policeman even knowing that you are right until this condition is applied to you! and also ask to write to the Embassy and sign that one ONLY… If you can not read japanese to confirm that is the embassy paper DONT SIGN IT, they LOVE to make you sign things that have any statement/reality that they create…

    Their mission and the Inspectors one is make you guilty at any times; one that you are in their net that is their job, no matter you are right or not, that is the true: also this is for all japanese & gaikokujin included that is their system here… so do not feel discriminated for this

    Do many times they are useles; embasies in those moments are the only communication tool that you priviledge have as a gaikokujin, when they throw into the police stations

    So please remember that here we are just guests no matter your visa status is and your social level, so play with these tips and you will be more smarter than them!

  31. “. 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?”

    You racist bastard, why you got to say an african american would commit a serial psychotic murder. The most influential race of people on the planet and all you can tie them to is violence. You prick!!!

  32. Well I don’t think he was rascistic.

    He just stated a WHAT IF situation. And if the killer was Afro American the media would react much more drastically.

    It’s not his oppinion that Afro Americans are violent he just tries to guess how the media would perceive such a case.

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  34. This is just so horrific! I read about it and.. How could someone think they have the right to take someone else’s life away under which circumstance no matter what they are? I hate the fact that Japan doesn’t see this as a serious thing and that i haven’t heard it here in Europe on TV. When the British girl got killed in Japan it was horrific for her family of course (she went to the same university my mom attends now). A year and a few months on, no killer found and the Japanese aren’t even trying hard enough! Maybe because she’s a foreigner? I believe so!

    I have been deeply shocked by this. The fact that she is just been seen as a Filipino girl and that’s it angers me! This is a life lost, why do the police try to think if the brutal killer should be charged with murder or not? CHARGE THE GUY! These people obviously don’t care because race matters. (not generalising and not saying everyone). And trust me, if it was a Japanese girl, the whole country would be shocked.

  35. The reason this case does not get a tremendous amount of of attention is because she was a prostitute. Prostitutes live HIGH RISK lifestyles. Therefore, like in any country, when prostitutes are murdered they are treated like second class cases. If it was a Japanese girl, it would be the same.

  36. Re: BrakusJS
    I’m wondering how the Philippines’ media is covering this story.

    Hi I’m from the Philippines! The news caused a certain amount of uproar in the Philippines, but it was shortlived. In my country, we hear about news of Filipinos abused by their foreign employers, and I think, this kind of news are really the ones that get a good deal of media attention. I think this incident was more like a domestic violence and didn’t had to have as much diplomatic intervention.

  37. I reckon the Philippine media tried to cover this up because they didn’t want any unecessary uproar that could severe the relationship of both countries. It’s like choosing the lesser evil ; Justice for Honeufeit or Japan’s economic assistance to the philippines… Money always matters i guess 🙁

  38. this BIGFAT BUTTHEAD!!!!! is a very big killer and i wish they would just exicute him!! oh ok i know that sounds a little mean but r u serious!?!?!?!?!?! he deserves it! grrrr im a philipino and i am about to scream about this i know its a little late to hear about this but geez!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙁

  39. I really expect the Japanese bow publicly, and beg for the pardon from the family of this pure girl (as they would expect in a case when a foreigner kills a Japanese).

  40. Ok, first of all WHY does it say if you’re “American”? Please tell me the name of ONE Japanese person who has been sentenced to death on behalf of killing an American foreigner? You fools need to bring down all these stupid barriers and as foreigners and come together and fight the system, because unlike the title of your story, Americans would also be served injustice all the same! Wake up! You’re title should say: What would have happened is she was JAPANESE… reassuringly “rot in jail”, and THAT, unlike your title, is a fact!

    Foreigners of all nations need to band together! Japanese birth rate has dropped drastically and the need for foreign workers have increased dramatically! For the sake of your own health, the health of your children who may one day work in Japan, and the sake of your foreign friends and their families, COME TOGETHER as foreigners and FIGHT!

  41. hey, it’s JAPAN…We used to despise them, and it should be natural in our blood that we still should FUCKING despite them…I hope the nuclear bombing of JA-FUCKING-PAN HAPPENS AGAIN AND THIS TIME, ERASE THAT JA-FUCKING-PAN from the world…

    Herro, I from Japan. I not gudu speaku Engr….Engriii….Engrishu! Ok, their English is so fucked up…

  42. Japanese society is not very open to outsiders. I know of a European who works for a multi-national and is married to a Japanese. He says that even as he speaks Japanese, is married to one and they have two children => he is unable to have Japanese friends. They still don’t accept him as equal or good enough.

    In the case here:
    The Philippine government is also to blame! They prefer their female citizen to work as prostitutes because in brings money to the country. The Philippine government then can sit back and do nothing for the country and remain corrupt.
    An European in-depth-documentary once showed the hard reality of Philippine prostitutes in Japan. They were nothing more then sex slaves, less valued then dogs by their users.
    Also the story of a 14-year old was told. She was deported back to Philippines after being freed from her pimp. They interviewed her mother and the comment of the mother made me sick. She was angry at the Japanese police for stealing HER income. How am I going to live now? Now I must pay AGAIN to get my daughter at work!
    That woman and this Nozaki deserve the same sentence: to rot in jail.
    So also the traffickers and the corrupt police and government officials in both countries.

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