SAITAMA/TAKASAKI, Gunma -- A 22-year-old woman stabbed to death in the city of Saitama on Jan. 23 had planned to consult with police about filing a police report that evening against her boyfriend for violent behavior, Saitama Prefectural Police revealed on Jan. 24.
Kimika Kanai was killed in a building in the city north of Tokyo, and her boyfriend Yuya Toriyama, 25, has been arrested on suspicion of her murder.
According to Saitama Prefectural Police, they received an emergency call on Sept. 17, 2018 from the father of Kanai, a resident of Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture, saying that Toriyama had behaved violently toward his daughter.
On the following day, the prefectural police's Kasukabe station gave a verbal warning to Toriyama, an engineer with the Maebashi Municipal Government in Gunma Prefecture northwest of Saitama. According to police, Toriyama appeared to comply with the warning, issued under the Police Law. The police concluded in November that the matter had been settled after contacting Kanai a number of times, though they did not confirm Kanai's and Toriyama's relationship status and assumed they had broken up.
However, on Dec. 2, Kanai visited a Kasukabe police box to consult about Toriyama, saying that he had apparently come to her apartment. Officers suspected that Toriyama was stalking Kanai, but did not investigate further after Kanai stated that she was still dating him and that she had not been harmed.
On Jan. 22, Kanai's father called the police again to report that Toriyama continued to behave violently toward his daughter. He and his daughter had planned to go to the police station at 9:00 p.m. on Jan. 23, but she was killed about three hours before the visit. Toriyama was quoted as telling police that he had waited for Kanai at the building where she worked to kill her.
The prefectural police said that officers had previously recommended filing a police report, but that Kanai had declined.
Moreover, Kanai consulted about Toriyama with the Gunma Prefectural Police's Takasaki station several times after they were informed by their Saitama counterparts on Sept. 18 last year that Kanai had fled to the city, where she has family. The police issued a verbal warning to Toriyama on Sept. 26, and Kanai subsequently returned to Kasukabe.
"We can't believe that we lost our beloved daughter, and we are just shocked," commented Kanai's family in a statement released on Jan. 24 by the Saitama police.
Meanwhile, according to those close to the investigation, the suspect was quoted as telling police that he killed her after they talked about breaking up. Toriyama also apparently told police that he "couldn't live" if they split up.
The police sent the case to prosecutors on suspicion of murder on Jan. 25.
(Japanese original by Takuya Suzuki, Shu Hatakeyama and Yuki Nakagawa, Saitama Bureau; and Ami Jinnai, Maebashi Bureau)