Man arrested over killing of ex-wife says he wanted daughter back from cult group

The Mainichi Daily News, Japan/November 25, 2010

Sattama - A man suspected of fatally stabbing his ex-wife, a follower of a group that split from the AUM Shinrikyo cult, has told police he thought that the killing would enable him to get his daughter back.

Saburo Nishimura, 70, was arrested following the stabbing in the Saitama Prefecture city of Yashio on Nov. 24 that claimed the life of his 63-year-old former wife, Michiko Tsukumo, a follower of the group Aleph, which split from AUM.

"I thought that if I killed my wife, who was an Aleph follower, then I could get my daughter back," Nishimura was quoted as telling police investigators. Tsukumo was reportedly living with her daughter, who is in her 30s, at an Aleph training facility near the scene of the fatal stabbing.

Tsukumo's cause of death was shock triggered by blood loss. Initially police arrested Nishimura on suspicion of attempted murder, but they upgraded the charges to murder.

Nishimura is known for his battle to get his former wife and daughter back after they became followers of AUM Shinrikyo and left home. In 2007 he published a book titled, "The ring of a bell: 20 years ripped apart -- me and my five children." It described the collapse of his family and his dealings with senior members of the religious group.

Saitama Prefectural Police said that Nishimura, who had been living in Fukuoka Prefecture, headed to the Kanto region in late October. On Nov. 24, he allegedly traveled by bicycle to a training facility in Yashio. When his wife came out on her bicycle, he chased her for about 1 kilometer. Police quoted him as saying he stabbed his wife after they got into an argument about their daughter.

At the time Nishimura's work was published he had stated that he wanted to continue to look for his missing children.

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