1m yen offer as clues sought for missing love in Japan

Top News | Sophie Hui 4 Jun 2019

The husband of a yoga instructor is offering a reward of 1 million yen (HK$72,300) for information that helps locate his 46-year-old wife, who vanished while on holiday alone in Japan.

Sally Yip San-hung was last seen drinking coffee at a Starbucks shop in Toyama prefecture between 1pm and 2pm on April 20.

She had checked out from the Dormy Inn at around noon that day, but left her luggage to go sightseeing.

Yip was supposed to go to Hotel Route-Inn Toyama Ekimae later that day, but it has no record of her checking in.

With no exit records at immigration, she is believed to still be in Japan.

Yip is about 1.56 meters tall, weighs around 56 kilograms, is of medium build and has short black hair. She is seen wearing a green jacket and blue trousers and carrying a blue backpack in a security footage.

Husband Andy Lau, who works in property services, told The Standard he has so far spent about 500,000 yuan (HK$567,250) trying to locate her. He said he will continue looking.

A few days after Yip went missing, Lau flew to Japan to report her disappearance to police and hired a translator and private detective. He also issued a missing person notice in Japanese.

"We have done everything we can," Lau said. "We don't know what happened."

Lau said Japanese police and hospitals said they have not received any reports of accidents.

Lau said they have lived in Chongqing for many years due to his work and that Yip sometimes teaches yoga. They do not have any children and Yip often travels alone as Lau is busy at work.

Lau said his wife is independent, reliable and careful, adding they had kept in contact every day before she went missing.

"She went on a trip every month. She has traveled to Japan many times, but it was her first time in Toyama. She was going to visit other places nearby after staying in Toyama for few days," he said.

He said he did not notice anything unusual before she went missing. And the night before Yip went missing, she sent him a photo of his name written in the snow with a heart sign.

Lau replied to his wife the next morning: "I love you forever." He said Yip told him she was happy. Lau added: "It is impossible for her to commit suicide."

He said Yip arrived in Tokyo on April 9 with her Hong Kong passport and originally planned to return to Chongqing on April 22. After that Yip planned to go to Hong Kong and fly to France.

Lau said a Taiwanese tourist has told the family that Yip was seen heading to a hot spring in Kurobe. The tourist talked to Yip on the bus while they were on the way to the hot spring at 3pm on April 20.

But they went their separate ways at 5pm as Yip said she wanted to take a walk before going to the hot spring. Yip also told the tourist that she would return to Toyama after enjoying the hot spring.

Hong Kong's Immigration Department said it has received a request for assistance from Yip's family and it has contacted the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in Hong Kong and the consulate general of China in Nagoya to gain a better understanding of the situation.


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