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Monday, July 17, 2017, 12:45
Bodies indentified as Chinese sisters missing in Japan
By Cai Hong in Tokyo and Zhao Xinying in Beijing
Monday, July 17, 2017, 12:45 By Cai Hong in Tokyo and Zhao Xinying in Beijing

Japanese police have confirmed that two bodies dumped in the mountain woods in Hadano, Kanagawa prefecture, are the Chinese sisters who disappeared in Yokohama on July 6, the Chinese embassy in Tokyo has said.

Autopsies showed that Chen Baolan, 25, and Chen Baoling, 22, were strangled, Japan's Kyodo News agency quoted police as saying. There were also bruises on their bodies.

The women probably died in early July. Their room, with their purses and money, showed no signs of fighting. The door was locked, police said.

The two sisters had been in contact with friends on the members-only website SNS until July 6, according to police.

Chen Baolan worked at a restaurant, and Chen Baoling studied at a vocational school.

A surveillance camera for the apartment where the sisters lived in Yokohama showed a 30-something Japanese man entering the building on July 6 and leaving on July 7 with two suitcases, according to Tokyo News. The man was a frequent diner at the restaurant where Chen Baolan worked.

An investigation found that the man's vehicle had passed through Hadano, which is 50 kilometers from Yokohama.

The sisters' father, identified only by his surname Chen, told Fuzhou Evening News on Saturday that the women are his second and third daughters and had been in Japan for years since they graduated from high school in Fujian, China.

Chen said they were lovely girls who worked hard and treated their family well. They often contacted relatives through WeChat and mailed them gifts from Japan.

Chen said the last time his daughters contacted him was the day before they disappeared. The women had returned from a trip to Yokohama with friends and had a WeChat video call with their father. He told them he had mailed them some food.

"Now there's nobody there to sign for the parcel. My girls will never have the opportunity to taste hometown food sent by parents," Chen said. He added that he got his passport on Saturday and wished to go to Japan as soon as possible.

In an interview with China Central Television, Liao Xiaoying, of the Chinese embassy's consular section, said they are cooperating with Chinese authorities to help the sisters' family members come to Japan.

"We've reached the Japanese consulate in Guangzhou, asking for humanitarian visas for the victims' family members," she said. "And we will assist the family in dealing with their loss."

On Saturday, the embassy warned Chinese in Japan to stay mindful of their safety.

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