On June 2nd, Asagumo News reported on the involvement of Self-Defense Force members in the arrest of a suspect in an attempted murder case in Ishinomaki.

SDF Members involved in Disaster Relief Operations Aid in Arrest of Suspect in Attempted Murder at Ishinomaki Hospital.

Heroes of the day (from left to right, front to back): MSgt. Nakajima, Col. Inui, 2nd Lt. Doi; 1st Airman Sasaki, 1st Airman Komagata, Tech. Sgt. Hagimoto, and Snr. MSgt. Sugita

Heroes of the day (from left to right, front to back): MSgt. Nakajima, Col. Inui, 2nd Lt. Doi; 1st Airman Sasaki, 1st Airman Komagata, Tech. Sgt. Hagimoto, and Snr. MSgt. Sugita (Source: Asagumo)

On May 17th, Air Self-Defense Force members dispatched on disaster relief operations in Miyagi Prefecture assisted in the arrest of a suspect involved in an attempted murder incident at a hospital in Ishinomaki. Based out of ASDF Matsushima Air Base, the medical support unit were patrolling the evacuation centers in Higashi-Matsushima. The unit, consisting of 7 members under Col. Takuo Inui (Aero-Medical Laboratory), visited the Ishinomaki Red Cross Hospital in Hebita, Ishinomaki (with 402 beds) to replenish their supply of medicine when they came across the incident.

At 3:40 p.m., a 26-year old female volunteer from Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, was stabbed in the lower back from behind by a 47-year old unemployed local man on the hospital premises. Col. Inui’s team were on the way back to their vehicle having completed their business at the hospital, when they heard the scream of a witness to the incident. Technical Sgt. Akiko Hagimoto (1st Air Wing) rushed over to the injured woman and found her hemorrhaging blood from her back. The suspect had left the woman and was headed for the hospital’s main gate, chased by 2nd Lt. Daisuke Doi (1st Air Wing) and MSgt. Shun Nakajima (Air Defense Operations Group). Before the man could ride away on a bicycle at the entrance, Doi overpowered the man while Nakajima secured the man from behind using his belt. Col. Inui, Snr. MSgt. Masayuki Sugita (Iwoto Base), Airman 1st Class Takahiro Sasaki (Aero-Medical Laboratory), and Airman 1st Class Kazuaki Komagata (Aero-Medical Laboratory) contacted the police, hospital security and emergency services, and the woman was rushed away for emergency treatment.

10 minutes later, the man cryptically said “I was ordered to stab [her] by the hospital’s doctors and nurses,” having been caught red-handed in the murder attempt. The woman was not in a serious condition.

The next day, the Chief of Ishinomaki Police visited Matsushima Airbase and presented a thank you letter to Doi, Nakashima, and Hagimoto. Base Commander Sugiyama and Base Operations Commander Tokito were also present at the event at the headquarters of the 4th Air Wing. The seven ASDF members involved returned to their home units on May 27th.

2nd Lt. Doi (33) is originally from Matsushima. His family home was damaged in the tsunami and his parents have been unable to return home. He has been deployed on disaster relief operations twice in three months. “I am angry that someone would choose to randomly attack someone at a hospital at the center of the disaster zone. I am happy that we were able to help while performing our other duties.” Doi commented.

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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch