Shoe found on beach in search for Japanese tourist

Body of Eiji Takagi (63) was recovered by divers in waters close to George’s Head, Clare

A shoe believed to belong to a missing Japanese tourist was found washed up on a beach in Co Clare on Monday.

The discovery was made at around midday by local authority staff carrying out a routine clean-up on the beach at Kilkee. The shoe was handed into the local coast guard station and then handed over to gardaí.

The search for Ushio Azaki (61) resumed early on Monday after the body of Eiji Takagi (63) was recovered by divers from Kilkee Sub Aqua Club on Sunday. The body was located in about 27m (88ft) of water near George's Head.

Representatives from the Japanese embassy travelled to Kilkee yesterday where they met with Coast Guard officers and were taken to the Georges Head to view the search operation.


Divers and from the Naval Service Diving Section arrived in Kilkee at lunchtime while the Shannon based search and rescue helicopter carried out further sweeps of the area.

Remotely operated drones and specially trained cadaver dogs were used in the search at the weekend.

The pair arrived in Ireland on August 18th and spent three nights in Doonbeg before moving onto Spanish Point where they stayed in a local hotel on Friday night, August 21st.

The couple’s red Hyundai rental car was found parked at Byrnes Cove near Kilkee golf club last Tuesday but it's known to have been there, and not moved, since the previous Saturday morning.

The couple also failed to board a flight from Shannon to London last Monday, August 24th, from where they were due to catch a connecting service to Tokyo.

Coordinated by the Irish Coast Guard, including units from Kilkee, Doolin and Ballybunnion, members of Civil Defence from Clare, Dublin, Laois and Tipperary were involved in the search operation at the weekend.

Kilkee Coast Guard officer in charge Martony Vaughan said: “Divers from the Naval Service Diving Section have now joined the search and will be with us for a few days. The helicopter has been up again and the coastline searches are also continuing.”

“We had huge support at the weekend and we are very grateful to the Civil Defence teams and all the sub aqua and dive clubs who have been assisting in the search,” Mr Vaughan added.

Gardaí at Kilrush can be contacted on 065 908 0550 while anyone with information can also call the Garda Confidential Line 1 800 666 111 or any Garda station.