Living through the murder of one’s child is the worst torment a parent can ever experience. Tragically, Junko Furuta‘s parents were forced to endure such an ordeal when the 17-year-old schoolgirl was abducted while on her way home from her after-hours job on November 25, 1988. The four kidnappers kept Junko captive for over 40 days, during which she was subjected to the worst kind of rape and torture.
Eventually, Junko passed away from the extreme physical abuse on January 4, 1989, and her body was found encased in concrete in a cement truck in Kōtō, Tokyo. The 1995 Japanese movie ‘Concrete’ is based on her tragic murder, portraying how the perpetrators were eventually brought to justice.
Who Are Junko Furuta’s Parents?
A native of Misato, Saitama Prefecture in Japan, Junko Furuta lived with her father, Akira Furuta, mother, and two other siblings. Reports mention that she grew up in a loving and close-knit family, and her loved ones always encouraged her to follow her dreams. They never hesitated to push Junko toward greatness and took great pride in her achievements at school. While she was described as someone who could light up a room with her smile, she was the apple of her parents’ eyes, and they supported her unconditionally.
Moreover, Junko shared an intimate bond with her younger and older siblings, and her parents looked forward to her bright future. Naturally, her parents were concerned when the 17-year-old failed to return home from work on November 25, 1988. They initially combed through the local areas with a few other volunteers but grew even more anxious as each hour passed without any news of the teenager. Ultimately, her parents contacted law enforcement officials on November 27 and requested them to investigate the matter.
By this time, the kidnappers had taken Junko to a house in the Ayase district of Adachi, and they forced her to telephone her parents to call off the investigation. As a result, her family received several calls from the kidnapped girl, in which she insisted she had run away from home on her own. Junko even asked her parents to call off the search, and the investigation witnessed no progress since then. Once weeks passed without any news of her, her parents began fearing the worst, even though they hoped for her safe return.
Tragically, the Furuta family’s worst fears were proved accurate when an unrelated rape investigation led the police to two of the kidnappers, namely Hiroshi Miyano and Jō Ogura. The former believed the cops were investigating Junko’s disappearance, and he immediately confessed to his murder. Consequently, the police could round up all four kidnappers before taking them into custody.
Junko Furuta’s Parents Prefers to Embrace Privacy Today
Although some sources mention that Junko’s mother had a mental breakdown upon learning about her daughter’s ordeal, the news has never been corroborated. Subsequently, the kidnappers received arguably lenient sentences, which left her parents disappointed as they believed justice was not served accordingly. Besides, the Furutas also filed a civil suit against the parents of kidnapper Shinji Minato, as they knew about their daughter being kept on the first floor of their house and yet did nothing about it.
Eventually, the court ruled in the prosecution’s favor and some reports claim Hiroshi Miyano’s mother was ordered to pay ¥50 million as compensation to the Furutas. At the funeral, Junko’s future employer also gave her parents the uniforms she would have worn on the job, which they placed beside the teenager in her casket.
On top of it, the 17-year-old’s parents were invited to her class’ high school graduation day, where the principal presented them with her certificate. However, the Furuta family has since embraced privacy and prefers to keep their personal life under wraps. Although this makes Akira and his wife’s whereabouts unclear, we pray they fight against the demons of the past with support from their loved ones.