View Full Version : Japan: American sailor in trouble for homicide
03-22-2008, 12:20 PM
which is just making the news.
TOKYO (AP) -- A U.S. sailor sought for questioning in the killing of a Japanese taxi driver near an American navy base was taken into custody early Saturday, U.S. Navy officials said.
U.S. Navy investigative officers apprehended the sailor in downtown Tokyo. He is charged with desertion and he "may have information regarding the murder," according to a statement released by the Commander U.S. Naval Forces Japan.
And the interesting part..."
The 61-year-old victim, Masaaki Takahashi, was found fatally stabbed in his cab Wednesday night in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, about a kilometer (half-mile) from the U.S. naval base.
Local media reports have said credit cards belonging to the detained sailor were found in the taxi driver's vehicle. Authorities had been looking for the sailor, said to be a seaman in his early 20s, since he was reported missing from his base on March 10.
The sailor was being held on base to answer the desertion charge, U.S. Navy spokesman Cmdr. David Waterman said. He said the man has not been named a formal suspect in the murder and no requests have been made to hand the man over to Japanese police under the accordance of a bilateral security agreement.
The name, age, nationality and other details about the sailor - a crew member of the USS Cowpens based at Yokosuka - were not released for privacy reasons, Waterman said. Kyodo News agency reported that the sailor is a Nigerian national serving in the U.S. Navy and that police are investigating witness accounts that he was connected with a group of Nigerians based in Tokyo.
Non-U.S. citizens with a proper immigrant permit can serve in the U.S. military.
Kanagawa prefectural police, where Yokosuka is located, were requesting the U.S. military give them direct access to the sailor so he could be questioned about the cab driver's killing, a police spokesman said on customary condition of anonymity....
Full article at : http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_GEN_JAPAN_US_MILITARY_KILLING_ASOL-?SITE=YOMIURI&SECTION=HOSTED_ASIA&TEMPLATE=ap_national.html
03-23-2008, 07:38 AM
Huh? what? He was a scammer too?
03-23-2008, 12:42 PM
They think he could be in with the scammers. The main thing is, he is wanted for questioning about a murder.
03-24-2008, 09:25 AM
It's difficult I think. :confused:
The Yomiuri Shimbun
YOKOHAMA--Police on Sunday asked U.S military authorities for permission to question a sailor they are holding for going absent without leave in connection with the murder of a Tokyo taxi driver.
The special investigation team at Yokosuka Police Station plans to question the the 22-year-old seaman apprentice at the Yokosuka Naval Base as it believes he may be linked to the incident in which Masaaki Takahashi, 61, a taxi driver from Shinagawa Ward, was found fatally stabbed in his taxi Wednesday night in Yokosuka.
The investigation headquarters has information that the sailor is a U.S. citizen of Nigerian origin and that he keeps company with a private group for foreigners of African descent in Tokyo. It believes that establishing the sailor's movements and other information related to him will hold the key to the case, and is to proceed with an investigation of the group.
According to U.S. forces, the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) apprehended the sailor at 3:41 a.m. Saturday in Gotanda, Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo, after the sailor called the base early Saturday saying he was in the Tokyo metropolitan area and wanted someone to come for him.
In questioning by the NCIS after being taken to the base, the sailor reportedly denied involvement in Takahashi's murder.
According to the police, after leaving the base on March 1, the sailor is believed to have met with members of the group for foreigners of African descent--a group with links to U.S. military personnel.
The group is based in Roppongi, Tokyo, close to where the sailor was apprehended in Gotanda.
The investigation headquarters has been looking into the sailor's activities before and after the incident. In its voluntary questioning of the man, it plans to probe him over the circumstances in which a credit card belonging to him was found in the taxi. It will also proceed with an investigation of the sailor's connection to the group.
U.S. Naval Forces Japan headquarters explained to the Yokosuka municipal government Saturday how it would respond to a request by the Kanagawa prefectural police to question the sailor, saying it was prepared to accept a demand from Japanese authorities to hand the sailor over for questioning at any time, and it would fully cooperate with the police's voluntary questioning at the base.
Authorities to cooperate
The likelihood that the sailor being detained by U.S. forces has information regarding the murder of the taxi driver in Yokosuka means that the outcome of cooperation in the investigation--based on the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which determines the legal status of U.S. forces in Japan--will be watched with interest.
Regarding crimes involving U.S. military personnel in Japan, the agreement states, "The authorities of Japan and the military authorities of the United States shall assist each other in the carrying out of all investigations into offenses, and in the collection and production of evidence."
If it is deemed likely that the sailor has important information regarding the incident--even if he has no direct involvement and is not served with an arrest warrant--U.S. military authorities must cooperate with the police.
"If the Kanagawa prefectural police force's Yokosuka Police Station sees it as necessary, it can require U.S. military authorities to cooperate in such ways as having them give testimony regarding details of their questioning of the sailor, and the prefectural police can question the sailor directly," a senior Foreign Ministry official said.
However, in instances in which U.S. military personnel are suspects in a crime and are detained by U.S. authorities, the U.S. side will detain the suspect until Japanese investigative authorities charge the suspect with a crime.
During this period, Japanese investigative authorities may question the suspect. They may also request that the suspect be held in a detention facility to prevent escape.
Since the 1995 amendment of the SOFA, U.S. authorities have been required to "pay amicable consideration" to strong requests by Japanese authorities to hand over suspects--limited to heinous crimes such as murder--making it possible for suspects to be transferred to Japanese authorities before indictment.
(Mar. 24, 2008)
03-31-2008, 04:01 AM
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Police will soon question a U.S. sailor in connection with the murder of a Tokyo taxi driver as they discovered Sunday that the seaman had hinted at his involvement in the killing during a phone call to an acquaintance from near the crime scene immediately after the incident, sources said.
The special investigation team of Yokosuka Police Station plans to officially request that U.S. military authorities cooperate in the investigation into the murder based on the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.
According to the police, the sailor, a U.S. citizen of Nigerian origin, told U.S. Navy investigators that he called a Nigerian friend and told him that he did it, apparently referring to the killing. He also told navy investigators that he told the acquaintance that he stabbed someone.
The credit card of the 22-year-old seaman apprentice stationed at the Yokosuka Naval Base was discovered inside the taxi of Masaaki Takahashi, 61, from Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo, who was found fatally stabbed in his taxi in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, on March 19.
The U.S. sailor left the base without permission on March 8 and surrendered himself to the the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigation Service on March 22 in Gotanda, Shinagawa Ward.
He is currently being detained on the base over being absent without leave.
(Mar. 31, 2008)
04-02-2008, 12:06 PM
YOKOHAMA, April 2 KYODO
A 22-year-old U.S. Navy sailor held by the U.S. military admitted Wednesday to killing a Japanese taxi driver last month in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, during questioning by Japanese police, Kanagawa prefectural police sources said.
The Japanese police are set to seek an arrest warrant for the U.S. serviceman, identified as a man of Nigerian nationality, on murder and other charges by Thursday and request that the U.S. military hand him over for arrest in line with bilateral arrangements of the Status of Forces Agreement, the sources said.
Japanese investigators went to the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka on Wednesday to question the sailor, who is being detained on suspicion of desertion. Questioning started at around 9:30 a.m. with an interpreter and U.S. Navy officials present, according to the sources.
The man, who is a seaman and member of the crew of the U.S. 7th Fleet's cruiser Cowpens based at Yokosuka, had also admitted to killing the driver during earlier questioning by the navy, according to navy officials.
Taxi driver Masaaki Takahashi, 61, was found dead with a kitchen knife stuck in the neck in his cab in Yokosuka on the night of March 19, apparently after he picked up his last customer at Tokyo's Shinagawa train station. A credit card was left inside the cab and the U.S. serviceman was identified as its owner.
The sailor had not returned to the base since March 8 and was seized by U.S. Navy personnel in Tokyo's Gotanda area on March 22. He initially denied the accusation against him but later admitted to it, navy officials said.
According to investigations by the Japanese police and the U.S. Navy, the serviceman took a kitchen knife from the home of a female acquaintance in Tokyo and called a male acquaintance right after the murder and hinted that he killed the driver, the sources said.
A man who looks like the serviceman was also captured by security cameras at Shinagawa station and in a commercial district in Yokosuka city, the sources said.
The Japanese police are currently checking logs of the sailor's mobile phone, and they have also received fingerprints and DNA samples of the sailor from the U.S. Navy, the sources said.
04-03-2008, 12:05 PM
YOKOSUKA, Japan, April 3 KYODO
A U.S. Navy seaman was arrested Thursday on suspicion of murdering and robbing a Japanese taxi driver last month in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, police said.
Olatunbosun Ugbogu, 22, allegedly stabbed Masaaki Takahashi, 61, in the neck fatally with a kitchen knife in his cab in Yokosuka on the night of March 19 and ran off, according to the investigation.
A credit card was found inside the cab and Ugbogu, of Nigerian nationality, was identified as its owner, according to the Kanagawa prefectural police.
They questioned him on Wednesday at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, and he admitted to killing Takahashi, they said.
They suspect Ugbogu had trouble with Takahashi over the 17,000 yen in taxi fare, they added.
The arrest came after an agreement on the sailor's handover was reached by the Japan-U.S. joint consultation committee on matters related to U.S. bases in Japan. Japan needed an agreement with the United States for a pre-indictment handover of the sailor, who was detained by the U.S. Navy for alleged desertion.
It is the fifth handover of a U.S. serviceman before a formal indictment is filed, in a special arrangement worked out by Japan and the United States concerning the Status of Forces Agreement following the 1995 rape of a Japanese girl by three U.S. servicemen in Okinawa.
The serviceman, a crew member of the U.S. 7th Fleet's cruiser Cowpens, based at Yokosuka, had not returned to the base since March 8 and was seized by U.S. Navy personnel in Tokyo's Gotanda area on March 22.
He initially denied the accusations against him but later admitted to them, navy officials said.
According to Japanese police and U.S. Navy investigations, the serviceman had taken the kitchen knife from the home of a female acquaintance in Tokyo.
U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer met with Yokosuka Mayor Ryoichi Kabaya on Thursday, together with the U.S. Naval Forces Japan commander, Rear Adm. James Kelly, to offer an apology.
Schieffer visited Yokosuka city hall ''to express our deep regret and sorrow at the murder that occurred here and we also pledge to you full cooperation of the United States government in bringing the perpetrator to justice.''
''We want to do whatever we can to reassure the people of Yokosuka that we deeply regret this and we are going to try to take measures'' to prevent the recurrence, he added.
Kelly said during the meeting, ''On behalf of the U.S. Navy, please accept my deepest apology for this cruel and shameful incident, and the trouble, fear and sorrow it has caused.''
''You have my solemn promise that a maximum and continuing effort will be made to prevent the recurrence of such a heinous crime in Yokosuka, or anywhere else in Japan,'' he added.
Kabaya told them, ''It is quite regrettable that a U.S. military person committed such a crime again, despite our repeated requests to strengthen discipline and to take preventive steps.''
''I expect you to immediately come out with concrete measures to prevent such incidents and report them to us,'' the mayor said.
04-04-2008, 12:10 AM
Olatunbosun Ugbogu...well at least we finally got his name.
04-04-2008, 12:43 PM
It's Olatunbosun Ugbogu. from kyodo.
04-05-2008, 04:27 AM
I take it that Olatunbosun Ugbogu is in some major trouble.
De Master Yoda
04-05-2008, 06:09 AM
I take it that Olatunbosun Ugbogu is in some major trouble.
It would seem that 'Fuchu' prison will be even more crowded!:rolleyes:
04-05-2008, 07:22 AM
Can you say, "premediatated"?
04-05-2008, 12:39 PM
YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) The Japanese lawyer representing a 22-year-old U.S. Navy seaman who was arrested Thursday for the murder of a taxi driver last month in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, said Friday that his client told him he heard voices ordering him to stab someone.
Lawyer Yasutoshi Murakami said Olatunbosun Ugbogu, a Nigerian national and crewman off the Yokosuka-deployed 7th Fleet cruiser USS Cowpens, expressed remorse and said he is ready to accept any punishment.
Murakami said he will raise the issue of whether Ugbogu is mentally competent to stand trial, quoting his client as saying he repeatedly heard voices and has been involved in a lot of trouble in and outside the navy.
On Thursday, the navy handed Ugbogu over to Kanagawa police, and he was arrested in the fatal stabbing of taxi driver Masaaki Takahashi, 61, in his cab in Yokosuka on March 19 and for failing to pay a ¥19,000 taxi fare.
Ugbogu denied there was any trouble with Takahashi over the fare, the lawyer said, quoting his client as saying he was carrying ¥30,000 and $100 in cash at that time.
The lawyer said his client denied having an intent to kill the cab driver. Police sources said Ugbogu stabbed Takahashi in the left shoulder with a kitchen knife with a 20-cm blade that penetrated the victim's lung, correcting earlier reports that the cabby had been stabbed in the neck. The suspect had taken the knife from the home of a Tokyo acquaintance, reportedly after hearing a voice telling him to stab someone.
Murakami, who was retained as Ugbogu's lawyer with the assistance of the U.S. Forces Japan, met him Thursday night for about two hours after he was arrested.
Investigators grilled Ugbogu on Friday morning in the presence of U.S. naval officers.
Ugbogu was being held by the U.S. Navy for alleged desertion before he was handed over to Japanese police.
In Tokyo, state minister Shinya Izumi, who supervises police forces as chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, told reporters he sees no need to revise the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.
"As long as this case is concerned, we have no perception that there are major problems (due to the agreement) in the investigation."
The accord stipulates that U.S. forces in Japan are under no obligation to hand over suspects to Japanese authorities before an indictment.
Izumi said, "It took 10 days to get the suspect from the United States . . . but this was a major step forward."
Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura told reporters the government plans to strengthen information-sharing between the two countries in the event of other desertions from U.S. forces in Japan.
The agreement does not require the U.S. to report to Japan when U.S. military personnel desert or are missing in Japan.
Japan Times here: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20080405a3.html
Cold War Kid
04-08-2008, 08:09 AM
Plead insanity? Do they have that in Japan?
02-08-2009, 12:01 PM
Is he convicted yet?
US sailor jailed for Japan murder
Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Thursday, 30 July 2009
A US sailor has been jailed for life for killing a Japanese taxi driver, in a case which strained relations.
Olatunbosun Ugbogu, 23, a Nigerian national, was sentenced in the Yokohama District Court.
He was convicted of killing Masaaki Takahashi, 61, who was found with stab wounds in his neck near a US base in Yokosuka, near Tokyo, in March 2008.
Ugbogu's lawyers had argued that he was insane at the time, but the judge ruled that he was fully competent.
The trial began in December, and Ugbogu testified that he heard "voices" ordering him to kill the taxi driver, Kyodo reported.
Presiding Judge Masaaki Kawaguchi found Ugbogu fully competent, dismissing the defence plea for a not-guilty verdict based on insanity.
Prosecutors alleged that Ugbogu got into Takahashi's taxi in Tokyo on 19 March, 2008, and instructed him to drive to Yokosuka, about 60km (37 miles) southwest of the capital.
He failed to pay the fare and fatally stabbed Mr Takahashi with a knife, according to the prosecutors.
The defendant then fled from the scene of the crime.
Ugbogu had deserted the US Navy at Yokosuka base in early March last year.
At the time there was criticism of US authorities that they did not hand him over to Japanese officials fast enough.
But the US Navy said he was handed over as soon as they requested him.
The killing strained US-Japanese relations, prompting the US ambassador to apologise to the victim's family.
In the wake of the killing the US Navy introduced restrictions on its servicemen.
The sale of alcohol at its Yokosuka base was banned, and travel restrictions imposed, in an effort to placate the local population.
There are about 50,000 US military personnel in Japan, and the relationship with the local population is often uneasy.
De Master Yoda
07-30-2009, 01:29 PM
@Kit Kat. Thank you for the update, I was also wondering what happened to this sailor.
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