Republic of Ireland news

Hunt for missing Japanese tourists after hire car found in Co Clare

Tourists Eiji Takagi (63) and Ushio Azaki (61) who have vanished from George's Head in Kilkee, Co Clare  
Ed Carty, Press Association

NEW CCTV images of two Japanese tourists missing for more than five days has been released.

Eiji Takagi (63) who has joint American and Japanese nationality, and Ushio Azaki (61) arrived in Ireland from Tokyo on August 18.

Fears have been mounting over their whereabouts after they vanished at a popular scenic spot overlooking the Atlantic.

They hired a car at Shannon airport and are known to have stayed at a number of lodgings along the west coast.

Concerns were raised when their hire car - a red Hyundai with the registration plate 151 D 23003 - was found at George's Head in Kilkee, Co Clare.

Computer files from the rental company, which tracks its fleet, show it has been there since last Saturday, at around 9pm.

The pair had checked out of a hotel in Spanish Point, Co Clare, that morning and were due to catch a flight from Shannon Airport back to Tokyo, via Heathrow, on Monday.

The last images were recorded on Friday at 4.25pm as they left a bar, the day before the car was abandoned at George's Head.

A search operation around the Co Clare coast is ongoing in conjunction with the Irish Coast Guard.

Authorities have also been in contact with the Embassy of Japan in Dublin.

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