Attack on Chinese businessman in Japan prompts hunt for alleged assailants
- A trading firm owner in Tokyo told police two Chinese-speaking men assaulted him and later took off with US$985,600
- The case is the latest in a number of abduction and ransom incidents involving the Chinese community in Japan in recent years
Shortly after midday on October 4, the Chinese owner of a trading company called police from his home in the Arakawa district of Tokyo, and reported that two men had attacked him when he arrived home shortly after midnight.
The businessman, who has not been named, told police that the men assaulted him at his front door and forced him into his home, the Mainichi newspaper reported.
The assailants allegedly bound the businessman’s hands and feet with adhesive tape and demanded that he hand over money, threatening him with a bladed weapon.
The businessman was forced to contact one of his workers, who was instructed to leave a sum of money in a bag at the front door of his home.
The assailants collected the bag, which contained about 110 million yen (US$985,600), and fled. The businessman was later able to free himself, and contacted the police.
The man’s family was not at the property at the time, suggesting that the assailants had been watching his movements before the attack.
The two attackers were reportedly both in their 30s and spoke to the businessman in Chinese. One is described as stocky and wearing a white mask, cap and a blue shirt, while the second man was slender and wore a black jacket.
Police have declined to comment on the case on the grounds that the investigation is ongoing.
There have been a number of similar abduction and ransom incidents involving the Chinese community in Japan in recent years.
In January this year, police in Tokyo arrested a 37-year-old Chinese woman on suspicion of ordering the abduction of her father in 2020, in a dispute over the management of a cosmetics company that he had set up.
The 66-year-old father, also a Chinese national, was attacked by three men as he cycled through Tokyo’s Ginza district and bundled into a waiting van. The assailants used pepper spray to subdue him before binding his arms and legs with tape.
After initially demanding a ransom of 30 million yen (US$268,700), the man was released five hours later in the car park of a hotel in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, and was able to contact the authorities.
Police were able to identify six men involved in the abduction of the man, including at least one who was a member of one of Japan’s underworld groups.
The subsequent investigation indicated that the man’s daughter, who has not been identified in media reports, had been behind the plot. According to coverage in the Tokyo Reporter, the woman had previously worked at her father’s company but had fallen out with him over plans for the business and resigned from the firm.
In a case in 2017, a member of an underworld group made up of the descendants of Japanese abandoned in China in the closing days of World War II was arrested on charges of illegally confining and attempted extortion of a Chinese resident of Japan.
Suhei Cho, aged 22 at the time of his arrest, was a member of the Chinese Dragon organised crime gang and allegedly seized the 19-year-old victim after he had been invited to a karaoke parlour by a female accomplice.
Cho and two other assailants demanded 1.4 million yen (US$12,450) in cash for his release, but when he resisted they burned his hand with a cigarette.
Police said they were investigating a link between the case and a series of similar abductions of Chinese people in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo over the preceding 12 months.