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Japanese detained in Manila admits killing partner in Tokyo.

MANILA, April 9 Kyodo

A 45-year-old Japanese man wanted for allegedly abandoning the body of a businessman in Tokyo and currently detained in Manila admitted Wednesday to killing the man in November last year.

Takashi Imamura, an automotive mechanic from Tokyo's Edogawa Ward, said in an interview with Kyodo News in his detention cell at the Philippines' Bureau of Immigration detention center that he killed Yoichi Kawaguchi, 45, over business troubles.

''I had been waiting for a chance to kill Mr. Kawaguchi and such a chance arose last November so I did it,'' Imamura said.

Imamura said he and Kawaguchi, of Yachiyo in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, were business partners in a project to revive a bankrupt hospital in Hachioji, western Tokyo, adding that he personally invested 5 million yen in the partnership.

Imamura was detained by Philippine immigration authorities after arriving at Manila airport Monday night on a flight from Nagoya, central Japan, and has since been held at the detention center.

Immigration Commissioner Andrea Domingo said Tuesday the Japanese Embassy in Manila requested the detention of Imamura.

Japanese police suspect Imamura conspired with two other Japanese already in custody to dump the body of Kawaguchi, who has been missing since November last year. The body has not yet been found.

Imamura said he shot Kawaguchi in the chest and waist with a rifle Nov. 15 last year near Tokyo's Ariake waterfront area and that two of his acquaintances helped him dump the body in a river in Tokyo's Koto Ward.

He also said he stole 30 million yen that Kawaguchi was carrying to pay the hospital redeveloper. However, he said the money was not the motive for killing Kawaguchi, whom he had known for 15 years.

''He (Kawaguchi) was calling all the shots in the (hospital) project, which annoyed me so much I set out to kill him,'' he said.

Imamura said he gave most of the money to a friend for safekeeping and some to the two men who helped him dump Kawaguchi's body.

He said he fled to Manila to commit suicide after Japanese police detained his two accomplices.

After returning to Japan, he said he hopes to be executed without trial in order to end his misery and remorse. He also offered apologies to the family of the victim.

Meanwhile, investigators from the Chiba prefectural police arrived in Manila on Wednesday to fetch Imamura, who is expected to be taken back to Japan on Thursday.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Apr 15, 2002
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