17 September 2003


Freelance journalist murdered in Tokyo

Incident details

Satoru Someya



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(RSF/IFEX) - RSF has expressed its shock over the murder of Japanese freelance journalist Satoru Someya, whose body was found in Tokyo Bay on 12 September 2003. He was apparently the victim of gangsters he had been investigating.

The organisation called on Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to see to it that every effort is made to find and punish the killers and to ensure that organised crime does not interfere with investigative journalism and obstruct press freedom.

Someya's hands were bound and his body was wrapped in chains. He had been stabbed eight times in the back and had head injuries. Police linked the 38-year-old journalist's death to his investigation of Chinese criminals' activities in Tokyo's Kabukicho red-light district.

Journalists are very rarely murdered in Japan. Tomohiro Kojiri, a reporter for the daily "Asahi Shimbun", was killed on 3 May 1987 at the paper's offices in Nishinomiya, near Kobe. His killer has never been found, though a far-right group claimed responsibility for the murder.


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