The tuning world has been rocked by news that the president of J’s Racing, Junichi Umemoto, has been arrested on attempted murder charges that stemmed from a bizarre late night incident that could have been avoided had he not attempted to flee the scene.
The incident in question took place on the night of 22 January in Osaka. Police alleged that the incident started with Umemoto brushing a pedestrian with his car, and then thinking that it was a serious incident, tried to flee the scene. The pedestrian that had been brushed, 39 year old Eiji Fujikawa, then tried to stop Umemoto from fleeing by jumping onto the car and grabbing onto the mirror.
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Umemoto kept driving off at speed and about 100 meters later, Fujikawa released his grip and fell to the road, severely fracturing his skull and was admitted to the hospital in critical condition, where he later succumbed to his injuries.
A visibly shaken Umemoto was reported to have said that he was afraid of the repercussions and kept on driving, adding that he didn’t mean to kill Fujikawa.
Police investigations haven’t yet determined if alcohol was a factor in the incident but regardless, serious ramifications are at hand for Umemoto, regarded as one of Japan’s premier Honda tuners and an able racer himself having clocked up more than 100 races in his time.
Such is the severity of the situation that the makers of the Hot Version DVD have decided to remove the entire Honda CR-Z Battle segment from volume 109 of the Hot Version DVD in which Umemoto and the J’s Racing CR-Z competed.