Man accused of killing wife wrote of need to save daughters from Aleph cult in notes

The Mainichi Daily News, Japan/December 16, 2010

Saitama - A man accused of fatally stabbing his ex-wife, a follower of the Aleph that split from the AUM Shinrikyo cult, had written personal notes before the deadly stabbing revealing his yearnings to rescue his two daughters living in Aleph facilities, it has been learned.

Saburo Nishimura, 70, was indicted on Dec. 15 on suspicion of murdering his ex-wife Michiko Tsukumo, 63, in Yashio, Saitama Prefecture, in November.

In his personal notes, titled "A lonesome battle," Nishimura confides his desperate desire to rescue his daughters while he is still alive.

"I'm not sure how many years I have to go before I die. The future of my daughters is more important than what I have left in my life as a father," he wrote, referring to colon cancer surgery he underwent in August 2009.

"What action should I take?" he asks himself in the note, which was apparently typed on a computer. "I'm filled with pity for my daughters who are being brainwashed. I need to resolve the case by all means available to me," he stated at the closing of his 10-odd pages of notes.

In 2007, Nishimura published a book titled, "The ring of a bell: 20 years ripped apart - me and my five children," chronicling his fight against the cult to take back his daughters and his ex-wife, who had left home around 1987 after becoming an AUM follower. With the recently-found additional notes, he was apparently preparing to publish an updated version of his book.

According to the indictment, Nishimura chased Tsukumo by bicycle for about 1 kilometer as she emerged from an Aleph training facility in Yashio on her bicycle on Nov. 24, before fatally stabbing her with a knife.

"I thought that if I killed my wife, then I could get my daughter back," Nishimura was quoted as telling investigators after the incident.

According to investigative sources, Nishimura left his apartment in Fukuoka in late October and headed to the Kanto region by taking a highway bus. He reportedly stayed at several business hotels before coming to Yashio.

An 80-year-old resident living near the Aleph facility in Yashio told the Mainichi that he spotted Nishimura watching the facility for about 20 days before the incident.

"Nishimura asked me about how many people are living in that facility and told me he was looking for someone. He had a fierce look and was apparently cornered," said the local resident.

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