Tokyo police, under criticism for their handling of the murder of 18-year-old student Saaya Suzuki, have released new details in the case against Charles Thomas Ikenaga, the stalker and ex-boyfriend who murdered the girl in front of her house in Mitaka, Tokyo earlier this month. A police search of Ikenaga’s home had revealed a computer file where the 21 year old had apparently planned and budgeted his trip to execute the crime.
According to data from the police, a file on Ikenaga’s computer had a list that contained items such as “knife”, “gloves”, “rope” and “bag.” Police further revealed that the file also included calculations of what is thought to be an itemized budget for the murder – including entries for travel costs from Kyoto – his home town – to Tokyo, where Suzuki lived and where the attack took place. This new data gives the police an idea that Ikenaga had carefully planned the attack – the file was created on Sept 20 and last updated on Sept 27. Suzuki was murdered in her own home on Oct 8, when the stalker had allegedly broke into Suzuki’s house and hid in a downstairs closet for around two hours, until Suzuki got back home from school. Ikenaga had emerged from the closet and stabbed her in the stomach and arm near the front door. Suzuki ran outside, but he tackled her and stabbed her once more in the neck. The girl was taken to hospital where she died a short time later from loss of blood.
The Tokyo Police were roundly criticized for their handling of the case, but the authorities have defended their actions by explaining that under Japan’s new anti-stalking legislation, offenders must be given an oral warning and a written warning to stop. The police had also tried to contact Ikenaga by calling him, but the cell phone number that the police had dialed three times that day to warn him was actually not the stalker’s phone, but a phone which he had borrowed after Suzuki started blocking his calls. The friend told police he did not answer the calls because he did not recognize the number. Because of these circumstances, the National Police Agency is now being pressured to strengthen anti-stalking tactics and allow police to take immediate action against stalkers due to the impracticality of the current system.