11 Years On: Ex-Police Officer Teaches Facial Reconstruction for Unidentified

Society

Sendai, Miyagi Pref., March 10 (Jiji Press)--A workshop has been held every year at Miyagi prefectural police in northeastern Japan since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami to learn how to draw portraits of unidentified victims using forensic facial reconstruction methods.

"Some people wait for years. What we do will remain the same," said Shuichi Abe, a 72-year-old former officer at the Miyagi police's crime laboratory, who teaches at the annual workshop methods for recreating the faces of bodies from their skulls or corpse photographs based on forensic data.

Abe entered the Miyagi police in 1968 and worked mainly at the headquarters crime laboratory.

From 94 portraits of unidentified victims of the March 2011 disaster, drawn by Abe at the time, 24 bodies have so far been identified.

Abe, who is now known as a "portrait master," began his career with a case in which a young man died after falling some 100 meters from a bridge in the Miyagi city of Sendai around 40 years ago.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press