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Japan road-rage suspect likely caused separate June expressway crash: police

An SUV that was driven by Fumio Miyazaki in the Shin-Tomei Expressway collision case is seen after it was seized by Shizuoka Prefectural Police, in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Sept. 13, 2019. (Mainichi/Wakako Otani)

SHIZUOKA -- Prefectural police here suspect that the same man under arrest over a high-profile August road-rage incident on the Joban Expressway also caused a crash in June in Shizuoka Prefecture.

In the June 8 collision, a truck hit an SUV driven by Fumio Miyazaki, 43, a company executive, on the Shin-Tomei Expressway in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, in the predawn hours. The collision injured Miyazaki's girlfriend, who was in the passenger's seat. Prefectural police sent papers to prosecutors accusing the truck driver of negligent driving causing injury.

However, police came to suspect that Miyazaki had induced the accident, after reinvestigating the case following his arrest in the August road-rage incident. In that case, Miyazaki is accused of beating a motorist after forcing him to pull over on the Joban Expressway running through Ibaraki Prefecture in eastern Japan. Miyazaki was slapped with fresh charges of compulsion earlier this month.

In the reinvestigation, Shizuoka Prefectural Police analyzed the truck's dashboard camera video and found that Miyazaki had hounded the driver with aggressive maneuvers for several kilometers before the collision. Based on the new evidence, police concluded that Miyazaki could be accused of dangerous driving causing injury for causing harm to his 51-year-old girlfriend, as well as of forcible obstruction of business for putting the truck out of service. The prefectural police obtained search warrants and seized Miyazaki's vehicle on Sept. 13.

The confiscated SUV, which is badly damaged, had been kept in Tokyo and was transferred to a Shizuoka Prefectural Police facility. The vehicle is different from the one Miyazaki was driving in the Joban Expressway incident.

Police will move ahead with procedures for requesting no criminal punishment for the truck driver.

(Japanese original by Wakako Otani, Shizuoka Bureau)

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