A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Manhunt Quickly Over as Tsukuba Police Arrest Man Responsible For Thursday`s Knife and Pipe Attacks

By Avi Landau

Yesterday afternoon (April 7th 2016) parents of school-age children in the Tsukuba area received warnings on their cell-phones : “There is a criminal on the loose – keep your kids indoors – especially in the Yatabe District of Tsukuba. There has been a stabbing.”

Earlier in the day, at 10:45 AM,  Kazunori Otsuka (43) had beaten an acquaintance of his, a 63 year-old man, with a steel pipe, and then, when the older man was down, Otsuka ran him over with his car. The victim was not killed, but was seriously injured (and will probably require two months of hospitalization). This took place in Kami Yokoba, in Tsukuba`s Yatabe District.

Twenty minutes later in Hanari (another part of Yatabe), Otsuka assaulted a 77 year-old man with an  agricultural sickle, lightly injuring the man  – and relieving him of ten-thousand yen in cash.

That when the manhunt began – and by evening the Tsukuba police had their man in custody. He was brought into Tsukuba Central Police Station at around 6 pm and booked for assault, robbery and attempted murder. Otsuka was apparently drinking because he went on his rampage.

Why would he have tried to kill an acquaintance? A drunken rage over money (Otsuka is unemployed). The motive for the second attack was most probably money – he needed some money to live on the run – and a 77 year old might have looked like an easy target. The 10  yen haul would not not have gone very far even if the police hadn`t caught up with him so soon.


Today you might have heard the sound of loudspeakers being blared from police vehicles – they were announcing that the fugitive had been apprehended. As you can imagine, there are many relieved people in the Yatabe District of Tsukuba today – they are not accustomed to having violent criminals at large in the neighborhood.

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