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Slain Japanese tourist remembered at historical park

Japanese diplomat and staff today laid flower at the scene where a Japanese female tourist was murdered seven years ago but the case remained a mystery.

Slain Japaense touristLeading the team of staff and local officers at the Sukhothai historic park in Sukhothai province to pay respect to their deceased countryman was Mr Osamu Ozawa, the minister in charge of political affairs at the Japanese embassy.

The victim, Miss Tomoko Kawashita, 25, from Osaka, was found killed near the Sukhothai Historical Park on November 24, 2007.

She had been seen touring the park, a World Heritage site, on a bicycle rented the day she was killed.

Mr Ozawa said although it has been over six years now that she was killed, if the Thai police could arrest the murderer, he believed the good relations between the two countries would be even strengthened.

Pol Col Montri Chutipongvivet, deputy commander of Sukhothai police said the police have not given up its effort to hunt down the murderer even though the case had been transferred to the Department of Special Investigation to handle.

Earlier the Department of Special Invesigation (DSI) has come up with a new theory that the victim might have been killed by her murderer using a military-typed knife and not a kitchen knife as earlier thought.

The deep knife wounds on the victim’s throat led the DSI to suspect that she was attacked with a military-typed knife and not a kitchen knife.

The DSI has revived the case for renewed investigation after Japanese ambassador Shigekazo Sato in February raised the case with national police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew. He also expressed concern for the safety of some 1.2 million Japanese tourists visiting Thailand annually.

For the past almost six years, there has been no progress about the case although many dozens of suspects were rounded up and eventually released.

Thai PBS

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