Curiouser and curiouser...
According to reports, the AWOL (the news reports have called him a deserter but the Navy would probably charge someone stationed in Japan with the lesser crime of being "Absent Without Leave") sailor is of Nigerian extraction. He claims to have no connection to the murder of the taxi cab driver.
If the sailor is indeed of Nigerian heritage or even a Nigerian citizen, then his ability to hide out in Japan becomes more comprehensible. Anyone who has walked through Roppongi on a Friday night knows there are plenty of jobs available for English-speaking African men in the entertainment and leisure industry, principally as bouncers and touts.
In general, non-Americans seem to have an easier time of disappearing into the nooks and crannies of Tokyo. Recall that last June on the occasion of the second goodwill visit ever by the Pakistani Navy, 11 Pakistani sailors simply vanished .
I have had a difficulty believing the sailor to be the murderer. Part of my doubt can be attributed to my recurring pattern of sympathy for defendants in high-profile criminal investigations. A more significant portion, however, is is attributable to my unease when the number of inexplicable events exceeds one. The absurd itinerary (from Shinagawa to the gates of the Yokosuka Naval Base by taxi, then back to Shinagawa by some unknown conveyance) the too convenient presence of an incriminating credit card, the 62,000 in cash still in the cabby's purse--does not fit the story of a desperate deserter on the lam. If he were on the run, why take a taxi back to the gates of the Navy base? If he were desperate, why did he not take the money?
Who killed this cab driver and why? A pair of questions not so simple...
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