Body of crime journo found

2003-09-13 09:03

Tokyo - The battered body of a freelance journalist specialising in underworld crime reporting has been found at a Tokyo Bay pier, police and reports said on Saturday.

Police have begun a murder investigation after the body of Satoru Someya, 38, was found floating near the pier on Friday, a spokesperson at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department said.

"There were eight stab wounds in the back ... and the body was bundled up with a chain," the spokesperson said, without giving further details.

Jiji Press news agency said the reporter had taken two blows to the head, his hands were tied with rope and diving weights were attached to his waist.

The body was reportedly clad in a T-shirt, shorts and socks.

Someya had published a book on Japan's largest red-light district, Kabukicho, in July under the pen-name Kuragaki Kashiwabara.

The book, titled "Kabukicho Underground", included in-depth reports on mafia and other criminal groups operating in central Tokyo.

He had suggested he was in danger as he wrote in a postscript to the book: "I may have made an enemy of Kabukicho by writing this book."

Reports said Someya had also been in financial trouble with acquaintances.