Akita woman arrested in murder of female acquaintance 8 years ago

On December 14, 2007, the body of Ryuko Kobayashi, who was 55 years old at the time, was found lying face-up inside the living room of her first-floor residence, located in the Itagawamachi area, by her eldest son.

The neck of her body contained markings consistent with strangulation by a cord. The cause of death was ruled to be suffocation.

At a press conference held on Sunday, police announced the arrest of Haru Hayama on charges of murder. “I don’t clearly remember such thing at that time,” the suspect is quoted by police in denying the allegations.

The eldest son had been unable to contact his mother for a three-day period prior to the discovery of her body. Upon his arrival at the residence, its interior had not been ransacked, no valuables stolen and the doors were locked.

Three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) were indicted Monday for allegedly failing to take measures to prevent the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, which was struck by massive tsunami waves five years ago. (Japan Today)

Akita Prefectural Police have arrested a 64-year-old woman for the murder of her female acquaintance in Katagami City eight years ago, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 29). (Tokyo Reporter)

Emperor Akihito, 82, has been diagnosed with influenza after suffering a fever over the weekend, the Imperial Household Agency said in Tokyo on Monday, without giving further details. (Asahi)

New security methods, including a facial recognition system and drones, were employed in this year’s Tokyo Marathon on Sunday. (Jiji Press)

Police in Tokyo’s Taito Ward said Sunday that a 41-year-old woman was found strangled to death at her apartment on Saturday night. (Japan Today)

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has decided not to field a candidate in a House of Representatives by-election to fill a seat vacated by a party Diet member who resigned over infidelity, an LDP source said. (Japan Today)

Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia won the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday, pulling ahead of Kenya’s Dickson Chumba inside the final two kilometers to claim his first major marathon win. (Japan Today)

A 19-year-old woman died after being stabbed on a street in Fukuoka on Saturday night, police said Sunday. Police identified the victim as Hikaru Kitagawa, a prep school student, Fuji TV reported. She was stabbed in the neck and face, police said. (Japan Today)

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned Sunday of a possible small eruption at Mt Io, which straddles the southwestern prefectures of Miyazaki and Kagoshima, after observing an increase in volcanic earthquakes. (Japan Today)

Japan will sign an accord with the Philippines to allow Tokyo to supply military equipment to Manila, the first such Japanese defense pact in a region where both have expressed alarm over China’s island-building and other aggressive acts in disputed waters. (Japan Times)

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