Man admits strangling Lindsay Ann Hawker
A man has admitted raping and strangling British teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker - but said he did not intend to kill her.
Tatsuya Ichihashi, 32, made the admissions during the opening of his murder trial in Chiba, Japan today.
He stands charged with murdering the 22-year-old English teacher who worked at a private language school on the East Asian island.
Miss Hawker was found dead in a sand-filled bathtub on the balcony of the defendant's apartment in Chiba, east of Tokyo, in March 2007.
Ichihashi, 32, who was one of her students, was arrested in Osaka, in western Japan, on November 10, 2009 and has been in custody since.
Miss Hawker's parents Bill and Julia are attending the trial at Chiba District Court.
"I'm here to get justice for my daughter," Mr Hawker said yesterday. "It's been a long time coming."
Under the Japanese system the Hawkers will be classed as "victim participants" and will be able, at the discretion of the court, to question the defendant and give their opinion on sentencing.
They will also be able, for example, to ask to examine the prosecution evidence.
In January Ichihashi promised to donate the proceeds of a book in which he confessed to the killing to Miss Hawker's family.
It detailed how he spent two and a half years on the run following the murder and how he underwent plastic surgery to change his appearance.
Ichihashi also apologised to Miss Hawker's family, claiming he wrote the book as "a gesture of contrition for the crime I committed".
While at large, Ichihashi said he travelled through 23 prefectures (states) across Japan and became obsessed with cosmetic surgery due to fears of his arrest - even attempting procedures on himself with scissors.
He also claimed to have embarked on a pilgrimage tour of temples on the south-western island of Shikoku, wishing Miss Hawker could "come back to life".
He was finally arrested in Osaka while waiting for a ferry to Okinawa.
- 1 Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
- 5 Doctors declare war on Jeremy Hunt over weekend working 'myths' amid plan for seven day NHS
Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
Jack the Ripper's final victim set to be exhumed following new theory on the killer's identity
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen mocked for wearing a burka to avoid being seen visiting plastic surgeon in Paris
Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...