was an official in the small rural town of Kowaura in the Mie Prefecture. (News stories incorrectly say that he came from a city called Kowaura Minamiise Machi Mie.) After Fukushima, he became an anti-nuke activist. On January 3, around 10:30 in the morning, he drove out to his farm
, bringing along a shotgun to scare some crows -- or so we are told. He was found in the car, his chest blown out, and the shotgun outside the vehicle.
A lot of people are questioning how that can happen. Physically, the tableau doesn't seem very likely.
If you check out the area on Google Earth, you'll see that the town is surrounded by trees and hills. Plenty of places for a sniper to hide -- and a subsequent shotgun blast would disguise an entrance wound made by a rifle. Of course, for this scenario to work, the killer would need to know ahead of time that the target was going to bring that convenient shotgun to the scene.
So far, I've seen no indication that Uemura Yasuhiro was important enough justify the effort, expense and risk of hiring a hit man. Yes, he lectured against nuclear power -- but so do others. Was he having a massive impact on the national dialogue?Added note:
Temps are in the 30s in the Mei Prefecture right now. How likely is it that the victim would drive around with an open window?
Perhaps he opened the window to speak to someone. In which case, I'm no longer thinking in terms of a sniper but a small handgun at close range. What about footprints? We need to know if the car was on a paved surface.
Would a man intent on suicide by shotgun sit in
the car, twist his torso, and hold the gun out the window?