The cremated remains of a Taiwanese suspect in the murder of two female Taiwanese students studying in Tokyo were brought back to Taiwan yesterday.
The parents of Chang Chih-yang (張志揚), who allegedly killed 23-year-old Lin Chih-ying (林芷瀅) and 25-year-old Julia Chu (朱立婕) in the dormitory of a Japanese language school at which the three were studying, carried back Chang’s ashes after his body was cremated in Nagoya, Japan, on Thursday.
Chang slashed himself with a knife on Monday while in police custody after he was located by police at a theater in Nagoya, about 300km west of Tokyo.
According to Japanese police, Chang admitted during a ride to a local police station that he killed his schoolmates with a knife.
Chang’s emotional parents, their eyes brimming with tears, told their son: “You’re home now,” after arriving at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at about noon.
As immigration officials stamped Chang’s death certificate verifying his entrance, his parents said: “You’ve cleared immigration.”
They walked through the arrival hall under a black umbrella in accordance with a traditional rite before heading home to Taipei.
Local media hounding of Chang’s father for comment about his son earlier this week has spurred thousands of netizens to issue an online call for a boycott of insensitive news reports.
Since news of Chang’s suicide emerged, photographers, videographers and reporters had been hounding his father in Taipei. Images of the man, with tears streaming down his face while being questioned by reporters, have been broadcast repeatedly on TV news channels.
Film director Wu Nien-jen (吳念真) led the criticism of the sensationalist news coverage, posting a call on his Facebook page for paparazzi to stop chasing a man who had just lost his son.
The Facebook comment drew more than 120,000 “like” responses.
Some netizens have taken the issue one step further, launching an endorsement campaign on Facebook for the media to stop disturbing Chang’s father.