TOKYO -- A man arrested on suspicion of punching a car driver after forcing him to pull over on the Joban Expressway in the eastern Japan prefecture of Ibaraki has told police that he "went too far" and regrets what he did, according to sources close to the investigation.
Fumio Miyazaki, 43, a company executive accused of beating a 24-year-old man in the widely publicized road-rage incident, made the comment as he fully admitted to the allegations against him during questioning, the sources said.
"I punched the man as hard as I could," Miyazaki told investigators, adding, "I went too far. I regret what I did," according to the sources.
In the Aug. 10 incident, Miyazaki allegedly punched the 24-year-old several times at around 6:15 a.m. after cutting into the young driver's lane and forcing him to pull over. Ibaraki Prefectural Police will investigate whether Miyazaki was aware that his actions could constitute the crime of dangerous driving causing injury.
His girlfriend, Natsuko Kimoto, 51, who is under arrest on suspicion of harboring Miyazaki, also admitted to the allegations against her. Ibaraki Prefectural Police on Aug. 21 searched an apartment she rented in Tokyo's Shinagawa Ward on suspicion of assault.
Kimoto, who was with Miyazaki at the time of the road-rage incident, filmed the beating with her mobile phone after getting out of their vehicle.
"I was watching him beating the driver," Kimoto was quoted as telling investigators.
"I knew that (Miyazaki) was placed on a wanted list through news shows. I went out to buy a bento at a convenience store (for him) out of fear he would get busted if he went outside," she said.
Miyazaki was also quoted as telling investigators, "She had hid me for several days before my arrest. She helped me."
The suspect was put on the wanted list on Aug. 16 and was arrested in the city of Osaka, western Japan, two days later.
(Japanese original by Kotone Nirasawa, Mito Bureau, and Shinichi Ammi, Toride Local Bureau)