The president of a famous gyoza restaurant chain was shot dead in front of the company’s headquarters in the ancient city of Kyoto.
Takayuki Ohigashi, 72, the head of Ohsho Food Services, was found bleeding and unconscious in a parking lot in front of the headquarters in Yamashina Ward, police said. The unidentified gunman fled the scene.
An employee called 119 after seeing the president lying face down on the asphalt with his clothes soaked in blood. The worker tried to resuscite the president but there was no response. Ohigashi was later confirmed dead at hospital, a spokesman for the company said.
Spent cartridges were seen at the site, suggesting he had been shot multiple times, according to officials from the fire department. It was later revealed he had been shot in the chest and twice in the abdomen.
Police immediately launched a murder investigation, but there were no witnesses and no one inside the building heard anything out of the ordinary such as gun shots at the time. There were also no causes for worry recently.
His belongings, including his wallet and car keys, were still in his possession and untouched.
Ohigashi was president of the Gyozo no Ohsho (King of Dumplings) chain, known for its low-priced Chinese dumplings. The company runs more than 650 restaurants in Japan and a handful abroad.
“He is not the type of person who would make enemies or incur resentment from people,” company spokesman Kohi Uchida said.
“He would come to work early and clean the entrance of the headquarters building himself every morning,” Uchida said.
The motive behind the killing remains unclear, but yakuza ties may be involved. In addition, the company has recently been embroiled in some high-profile incidents.
Ohsho Food filed a criminal complaint against a group of customers who sat naked at the counter of one of its restaurants in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, and took pictures of themselves. The company said their behavior amounted to obstruction of business and public indecency.
In February, an employee in Kyoto sued the company for 23 million yen for allegedly forcing him to work long hours, which made him clinically depressed.
Meanwhile, Managing Director Naoto Watanabe was named Ohigashi’s successor in an emergency board meeting.
By Maesie Bertumen