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Japan Embassy issues T&T travel advisory

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Embassy of Japan in T&T yesterday posted an advisory to all its nationals proposing to visit this country, following the murder of Japanese national Asami Nagakiya.

The advisory, titled “Safety precautions during visits in the country (T&T),” is dated February 11, 2016.

The statement mentioned that the body of a woman, who apparently came to the country to participate in Carnival celebrations, was discovered at Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain. It, however, did not go on to state the victim’s name and cause of death.

The advisory noted, however, that the rate of violent crimes in T&T has increased over the last few years and urged all visitors to be vigilant.

“Avoid encountering any unexpected threats to personal safety, please minimise any unnecessary night time outings. However, if you need to go out at night, such as in cases of emergencies, please be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution at all times and all locations,” the statement said.

Japanese ambassador to T&T, His Excellency Mitsu-Hiko Okada, said yesterday he was saddened by the murder of Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya.

Speaking exclusively to the GML Enterprise Desk, Okada said, “I feel very sad, she was a very talented individual.”

He said the embassy had been receiving a lot of support and messages of sympathy from Trinidadians.

Asked whether he had contacted Nagakiya’s relatives in Japan, Okada said he had not done so yet. He said he did not want to say more to add to the pain.

An official at the embassy yesterday told the T&T Guardian that investigations into the murder of Nagakiya were being closely monitored by Okada.

Asked if Nagakiya’s relatives were on their way to T&T, the official said that information could not be disclosed to the media.

The T&T Guardian was told by a police source, who wished not to be identified, that they had received strict instructions from the embassy to limit the information given to the local media. The officer added that they have also been instructed to guard closely their findings with respect to the case.

Since the discovery of Nagakiya’s body at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Ash Wednesday and the autopsy result which confirmed she was manually strangled to death, T&T has shot into the spotlight in international news headlines.

On Thursday, a report titled Japanese musician who frequented Caribbean Carnival found strangled in Trinidad appeared in the Japan Times, a staff report by Reuters out of Kyodo, Japan.

Yesterday, an article appeared in the Washington Post titled—Outrage in Trinidad after mayor blames Carnival killing on dancer’s lewd behaviour. The article’s headline focused on the controversy surrounding statements made by Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee following the discovery of Nagakiya’s body.

Nagakiya, 30, was strangled to death before she was thrown into some bushes under a tree at the Queen’s Park Savannah between Carnival Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.

The Washington Post’s article was written by Michael E Miller.

Quoting both the T&T Guardian and CNC3’s reports, Miller wrote: “After two days of joy, the killing came as a shock for locals and the thousands of tourists who flock to the island nation every year for the famously vibrant festival.”

Referring to Tim Kee’s controversial statement, Miller wrote: “Outrage over the crime, however, quickly shifted towards the city’s mayor after he suggested that by dressing in a revealing costume and dancing, Nagakiya was to blame for her own killing...Kee’s cringe-worthy comments kept getting worse, as he tried to link the Japanese musician’s killing to Carnival culture.”

Miller also mentioned that Nagakiya was not the first person to die during recent Carnivals in Trinidad. He said: “Last year, five people were slain during the festival…leading officials to promise better security in 2016.”

Regionally, Nagakiya’s murder was highlighted in the Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaican Observer and St Lucia’s online news Web site.

An article also appeared on the Global News website written by Chris Jancelewicz. In his article Trinidad mayor blames woman killed at Carnival for her own death, Jancelewicz also spoke of Tim Kee’s statement.


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