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Japanese media swarm to T&T

Saturday, February 13, 2016
Members of the Japanese media follow members of the PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars Steel Orchestra as they walk into the Queen's Park Savannah to lay roses at the spot where Japanese musician Asami Nagakiya’s body was discovered. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES

Several Japanese media representatives yesterday followed friends and colleagues of murdered Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya, as they laid flowers and candles at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, spot where her body was found on Wednesday.

Foreign media have been arriving in T&T since Thursday to cover the situation involving Nagakiya, 30, whose body was discovered on Ash Wednesday, hours after Carnival 2016 ended. She was still clad in her yellow “Legacy” Carnival costume, wearing jewelry. An autopsy subsequently indicated she was strangled. Police investigating the situation are reported to be collating information, including security camera footage, and were questioning someone in connection with the case. 

Following Thursday’s “wake” at the Newtown panyard of PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars—with which Nagakiya had played since 2012—Silver Stars bandmates and colleagues from other bands, such as the Codrington Family band, with whom she had also played, went to place flowers at the site where her body was found.

The group, dressed mostly in black and led by Silver Stars arranger Marcus Ash, started off from Silver Stars’ Tragarete Road panyard and walked up Woodford Street, Newtown, to the Savannah. They laid single red and white roses on the spot, as well as candles. 

Apart from local media, the group was followed by filming Japanese media crews. On Thursday night, a crew from the US-based Japanese Fuji TV arrived in time to view the ending of the “wake.” FT producer Nina Coomes said they had seen the coverage of Nagakiya’s death in the T&T Guardian and decided to come to T&T to follow it up.

Yesterday, two other Japanese media crews which arrived also filmed the panyard where Nagakiya last played and interviewed her colleagues.

Tokyo Broadcasting associate producer Nachum Hernandez said the situation involving Nagakiya was big news in Japan.

“A foreign national gets killed, it is big news,” he added.

Members of another Japanese media outfit, TV Asahi, told the T&T Guardian that Nagakiya was born on the island of Hokkaido in Japan—the most northerly of Japan’s islands—and had gone to state college; she had recently been based in Yokohama. Bandmates at Silver Stars said her father was a Buddhist priest.