Tragic Case: 16-Year-Old High School Girl’s Death Linked to Relationship with 58-Year-Old Man | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Tragic Case: 16-Year-Old High School Girl’s Death Linked to Relationship with 58-Year-Old Man

The girl was taken away by car on a street in Minami and later died of acute drug intoxication.

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The arrested suspect Tachibana, who uploaded many photos of himself overseas on SNS (photo from Tachibana’s Facebook page)

“On the evening of that day, I received a message from Child A with a picture of drugs, stating that she was too dizzy to go home and requested me to come pick her up. When I met her, she was unable to walk. Initially, I attempted to take her back to her house in Osaka City, but her parents live in a municipal apartment complex with stairs up to the fifth floor. Realizing I couldn’t carry her alone, I brought her back to my own house temporarily, placed Child A on the bed, and, after checking on her, went to sleep myself. However, when I woke up in the morning, I found her lying there, cold.”

The 58-year-old suspect disappeared after leaving a 16-year-old girl who died at home. In early December 2023, when a FRIDAY reporter who had been pursuing the whereabouts of the fugitive suspect Tachibana contacted the suspect, who was about to turn himself in, he made this one-sided defense.


On November 11, 2023, a 16-year-old high school girl, A, was taken away and killed on a street in Minami, Osaka. The cause of death is being investigated as likely to be acute drug poisoning caused by an overdose of cough medicine. Takanori Tachibana, 58, was arrested by the Osaka Prefectural Police on suspicion of abducting a minor.

On the day of the incident, the suspect, who was running a solar business company, is suspected of taking Takanori A back to his apartment in Ibaraki City, Osaka, without the permission of her parents. The next morning, when emergency medical personnel were called by Tachibana, they rushed to the home and found her lying on the bed, unconscious and not breathing. Subsequently, she was confirmed dead. However, there was no sign of Tachibana at home, and the prefectural police issued a wanted notice to search for her whereabouts. Then, on December 7, Tachibana turned himself in and was arrested. The prefectural police are investigating the possibility that Tachibana may have committed the abandonment of a child by a person responsible for his/her protection.

The investigation revealed that Ms. A purchased four boxes of cough medicine at a pharmacy in Osaka City at around 7:00 p.m. on November 11, and contacted Tachibana via SNS, asking her to come pick them up.

Tachibana claimed about his encounter with Ms. A. He said, “I met her on SNS.”

“I met her on a social networking service, where I heard that A’s parents are Chinese and that she was being bullied at school because of that. I wanted to protect her, so we kept in touch and started dating. I understand that the age difference between us is strange in the eyes of the world. However, I was in a relationship with her of our own volition. We did not live together, and I had given her mother my home address so that she would not worry unnecessarily.”

Although the truth is unclear, Tachibana described his close relationship with A. He continued, 

“Once, she was very hungry. I went to a convenience store and bought her some salmon sushi, but when I left the store, she dropped it on the ground and the sushi was covered in sand. When I went back to the store to buy her a new one, she brushed the sand off and said, ‘This will be fine’. She was a very honest girl.”

The suspect reveals what happened on the day of the incident

Before the incident, neighbors of the suspect’s house saw a woman who looked like Ms. A.

Ms. Tachibana moved in around this summer. He said, “I used to live in a busy place, but I got tired of it, so I moved here where it is quieter.” The woman was seen shortly before the incident occurred. Mr. Tachibana’s light truck was parked in front of his house, and I saw a girl with a short cut and blonde hair sitting inside.

The suspect said they had been dating despite the 42-year age difference between them.

“I fully understand that my love affair with her is something that is not understood by the public. But I really loved her. I did not help her overdose, much less kill her. I will turn myself in and give a full explanation to the police.”

Tachibana claims that Ms. A died while he was asleep, but it is unclear whether he really had nothing to do with her death.

There is no excuse for the fact that he called 119 but disappeared without waiting for the arrival of the emergency services. Tachibana stated, 

“I had a history of getting into trouble with the police in connection with methamphetamine, and at the time, I was afraid that they would not believe me even if I explained the situation. I thought that I would rather die than be arrested on suspicion of having had a hand in her death, so I left home with the intention of committing suicide on the run. However, I was persuaded by an acquaintance that I should not die, and I decided against it.”

Throughout the interview, Tachibana claimed to be in a serious relationship with Ms. A. However, he took Ms. A back home with him and left her to go to the school. However, the fact that he took Ms. A home with him and that she died at home is too serious, and the full details of this inexplicable case in which a 16-year-old girl lost her life must be clarified for Ms. A’s sake.

On the street where Ms. A. was put in the car. Security cameras around the house captured images of the girl being taken by Tachibana.
A photo posted by Tachibana on his Facebook page three years ago. He looks a little proud of himself.

From the January 5 and 12, 2024 issue of “FRIDAY

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