“If an author had been arrested, it might have sparked a discussion about freedom of religion and speech,” said Sachi Sakanashi, a researcher at the Tokyo Institute of Energy Economics who specializes in Iranian politics. “However, that did not happen.”
In 2009, the professor’s widow, Masako Igarashi, recovered his wallet, glasses and other belongings from a police station where they had long been held as evidence, Shukan Asahi magazine reported.
But last year, police officials told the Mainichi Shimbun they were continuing to investigate Mr Igarashi’s murder in the hope that the statute of limitations would not apply if the perpetrator appeared to have fled the country.
Ms Igarashi, a high school principal and scholar of comparative Japanese literature, told the newspaper that she remained hopeful of finding justice.
“When times change,” she told the Mainichi Shimbun, “the possibility of a sudden breakthrough will not be zero.”
Hikari Hida reported from Tokyo, Mike Ives from Seoul.