It was May last year when the JDP started covering the events surrounding the disappearance of prominent Tokyo expat and businessman Garin Dart. As the investigation around these events progressed, it was feared that Dart was dead, but he has now resurfaced in his native England, alive and well. According to his testimony, he was running from the Japanese yakuza, who had threatened his life and asked him to “disappear”.
Dart’s friends, and even his Japanese wife Yukako, initially believed that the then 40-year-old businessman had been kidnapped or killed when he disappeared without any warning and seemingly abandoned his pregnant wife and their four-year-old son around eight months ago. Both the Japanese and British authorities had searched for Dart, they dropped their investigation when they discovered he had withdrawn around £40,000 (approx. 6.8 million yen/US$66,000) from his company and left the country. At that point, it was assumed that he just ran off with the company’s money.
In his testimony to the Daily Mail, Dart said that the threats from the Japanese mafia were the biggest reason for his disappearance. He told of his casual connections with friends who also had their own connections with the Japanese yakuza. At one of these social meetings, he said that one ‘gangster’ got drunk and started talking of his plans to murder a mutual acquaintance. Dart had then warned the person so he could escape, but Dart claimed that after this move, he started being threatened by the gangster who had let slip the information. “He said he would kill me and hurt my pregnant wife and son,” he said. “It was terrifying. I feared something would happen to my family and I knew I was in trouble.”
With the £40,000 he took from his company – which his family had paid back eventually – he used £30,000 (5.1 million yen/$49,300) to pay off the local gang to stop the threats to his life and family, while keeping £10,000 (1.7 million yen/$16,500) for himself. The Tokyo yakuza took the money, but advised him to “disappear” on the promise that his family wouldn’t be harmed. “If the yakuza say they will kill you, they will. But if they say you are safe, you are safe. When they said they would leave my family alone if I disappeared, I believed them,” Dart said. He said that he went out of the country to Thailand the same day, without leaving word to his wife or business partners.
Dart has now resurfaced in Britain, alive and well. According to his testimony, he returned to London in October. He has since found a job and gotten in contact with his wife. “She was upset. She was angry that I hadn’t got in touch. That is the biggest thing I regret,” Dart said. “She is OK now but we had some pretty heavy conversations the first few times we talked. It is still difficult, she is still angry,” Dart concluded. Yukako had the couple’s second child, a few weeks ago, but Dart says he does not know when he will be able to meet his son. Dart says that he fears he can never go back to Japan, but is hoping that he would be reunited with his wife soon.
[via Daily Mail]