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(old news) British girl killed in Japan - book details
02-18-2013, 04:28 PM (This post was last modified: 02-18-2013 05:17 PM by Yatsuzaki.)
Post: #31
RE: (old news) British girl killed in Japan - book details
gotta love keystone cops

In public, Tim had adopted a policy of icy praise for the police and their “meticulous” investigations. But privately his resentment was increasing. The crux of the problem was the telephone call made to Louise by “Akira Takagi” two days after Lucie’s disappearance. Obviously, this had come from someone who knew where Lucie was, if not the kidnapper himself. Trace the telephone number and its owner, and you would have a crucial witness. But to Tim’s fury, the police insisted that this was impossible. One day, this would be put down to technical difficulties. But the next time, the detectives would explain that a court order was necessary to scrutinize private commercial telephone records. Yes, they assured Tim, an application had been made with the court, but it would take time. “Please be patient,” said Superintendent Mitsuzane.

By September, patience had run out, not only among the Blackmans but also among diplomats at the British embassy. The lord chancellor, Derry Irvine, happened to be visiting Tokyo. He once again raised the case with the Japanese prime minister, and he asked the justice minister to assist in tracing the telephone records. One afternoon, Tim went to the police station with Alan Sutton, the stern, white-bearded consul general. As so often with the police, the conversation slid and slithered and proved impossible to bring to its point.

“Superintendent Mitsuzane,” Sutton began, “you told me that telephone records are not preserved. Our information is that the data is, in fact, there. Why is the telephone company not complying with the court order?”

“Our problem is the law in Japan,” Mitsuzane replied. “Another is the question of whether they actually keep the records. We have been continuing our checks. We have been doing everything that we need to do. We will be able to obtain a court warrant.”

Tim said, “But you told me twice that an application had already been made with the court.”

“Regrettably, we couldn’t get the information because it was not kept,” Mitsuzane replied.

Sutton quoted from a letter from the Japanese telephone corporation NTT, saying exactly the opposite: although it was a complicated process, mobile calls could in fact be traced through the company’s computers.

Mitsuzane smiled. “We have not received any information from NTT.” At this, Alan Sutton lost his temper. “Perhaps you don’t appreciate the high level to which the matter has gone. Lord Irvine, the lord chancellor of the United Kingdom, has received assurances from your minister of justice. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police are expected to do their job. I will be asked by my own government about your performance. How am I to respond? The police must obtain that information. A girl’s life is at stake.”

Tim said, “After ten weeks, I now want full information, not insults. If you don’t trust me, then who do you trust?”

Superintendent Mitsuzane smiled. “The telephone company tells us it is not possible,” he said. “We have to comply with the law.”


Japan has the cuddliest police in the world. To many Japanese, the mere sight of omawari-san (literally, “Honourable Mr. Go Around,” the expression for the cop on the beat) provokes feelings of tender pride more conventionally aroused by children or small, appealing animals. To the foreigner, too, there is something touchingly nostalgic about their neat navy blue uniforms and clunky, old-fashioned bikes. It is hard to believe that the handguns they carry at their hips contain real bullets and impossible to imagine them ever being fired (prudently, they are attached to their uniforms by a cord, like a child’s mittens). And then there is the symbol of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, the country’s proudest and most prestigious force: not a stern mastiff, or a watchful hawk, but a cheerful orange fairy named Peepo. The police are one of the things that impart to Tokyo its quaint, innocent, 1950s flavor: a tribe of earnest Boy Scouts, protecting the city from evildoers.
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