Police said Thursday they have made three further arrests in relation to the Roppongi club Studio Gate where a man was beaten to death by a group of masked men wielding baseball bats in September. The total number of men arrested is 11, but none have been charged with the murder. Rather, they are charged with operating a club without a license.
Soon after the murder, the club—then named Flower—was closed, but owner Mikito Baba reopened it under the name Studio Gate on Sept 21. Police say that Baba did not apply for the appropriate license and arrested him and seven employees. A police spokesperson said that the club was also unlicensed at the time of the attack, NTV reported.
The three men arrested this week were also involved in running the club, police said.
An unsolved brutal murder in a busy nightclub has raised further fears about a deterioration in public safety in Tokyo’s Roppongi district, where the number of reported assaults has more than doubled in the past nine years. Three weeks have passed since a 31-year-old man was beaten to death by nine masked men at a Roppongi club, but the assailants remain unidentified and at large.
At about 2:40 a.m. on Sept. 2, two vans stopped in front of a multitenant building about 200 meters from the main Roppongi intersection. An hour later, nine men wearing sweatsuits and carrying metal bats got out of the vans and headed to “Flower,” a club on the second floor of the building. They put on full-face ski masks as they neared the club.
Being a weekend night, “Flower” was crowded with more than 200 people. The masked men walked straight to a VIP area at the back of the club where Ryosuke Fujimoto was drinking with friends and started bashing him with their bats. Without uttering a word, they continued their deadly assault for about a minute before making their escape.
Based on security camera footage and other information, the Metropolitan Police Department has found that the vans took the metropolitan expressway toward Higashi-Yamato, western Tokyo.
Police suspect the attackers are a group of men in their 20s and 30s with gang ties.
At 3:40 a.m. on the morning of Sept 2, approximately 10 individuals, faces concealed by ski masks, stormed into Flower, a large club in Roppongi 5-chome.
The group gained access via a private entrance (described elsewhere as an emergency exit) adjacent to the club’s VIP lounge area, where a group of four to five customers, police investigators have learned, had booked the lounge in advance.
As reported in Tokyo Sports (Sept 4), the assailants made a beeline toward Ryosuke Fujimoto, the 31-year-old operator of a barbecue restaurant in Shibuya, who had been relaxing with friends for the previous two and a half hours. They bludgeoned Fujimoto with what appeared to be metal pipes, and after an assault that took no longer than two minutes, the men fled from the exit and down the steps into waiting vehicles.
Foreigners who visit restaurants and bars in Tokyo’s Roppongi entertainment district are increasingly becoming the targets of credit card fraud in which they are charged for payments they did not make.
According to Azabu Police Station, which oversees the district, it has received more than 100 consultation requests from foreigners over such scams since last year, mostly involving people from Europe and the United States.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting the area has been sharply on the rise recently and they could also become targets of such fraud, the police said.
An Italian man in his 30s who lives in Tokyo said he filed a lawsuit against two credit card firms and a restaurant in Roppongi he had never visited after receiving account statements from the firms last fall notifying him that he spent about ¥370,000 at the restaurant.
Masatoshi Shimbo has always felt more than a bit paternal toward the changeling Roppongi district, the inner-city neighborhood where he grew up and his family made its real estate fortune. But Roppongi often breaks his heart, over the decades turning from a U.S. servicemen’s haunt into a respectable business district and then back to disrepute — the gentle women in kimonos giving way to mobsters and drug dealers. Good or bad, in this famously safe city, Roppongi stands out: elegant one block, seedy the next, a multicultural meeting spot known as Tokyo’s most cosmopolitan dusk-to-dawn adult playground. Through it all, Shimbo has fiercely gone to battle over Roppongi’s reputation. Now the 58-year-old merchants association leader is facing a new challenge: bar touts. Popping up sometimes five or six to a block, the mostly young men from Nigeria and other African nations have a particularly un-Japanese way of doing business.
There is a New Friends International Party in Roppongi this Sat Jul 25th.
It’s summer and time to get out and meet new friends. This time the party is in prime partying territory, Roppongi! This is a joint party hosted by Hirosuke and Dave Faulkmore.
Different DJs will spin their favorite genres, so expect a mix of music. All you can drink wine, cocktails, soft drinks and lite snacks. All you can drink bar until ~8:30PM. Casual dress code. Smoking allowed outside. So everyone can relax and have a good time, this party we are encouraging people to have at least one strong drink.
New Friends International parties holds parties at various locations throughout Tokyo twice a month. It’s a great place for Japanese and foreigners to meet in a casual setting. Usually there are about 50-60 people, so it no small get together- It’s a party!
Time: Sat Jul 25th 6:00-9:00PM
Place: Saito Bldg 5Fl 3-13-8 Roppongi Minato-ku Tokyo ~4 min walk from Roppongi station