Police and rescuers on Friday stepped up search efforts for a French woman who went missing during a trip to the eastern Japan city of Nikko in late July, after receiving a new witness report.
About 80 personnel were deployed to search areas around scenic Kammangafuchi gorge in efforts to find Tiphaine Veron, 36, who was last seen on the morning of July 29, when she left her lodging in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, a popular tourist destination north of Tokyo.
Local police said they received a report from a male tourist saying he crossed paths with a casually dressed foreign woman who was walking by herself on a mountain trail between Mt. Nakimushi and Kammangafuchi on the afternoon of July 29.
A search involving helicopters, police dogs and drones has been under way, with local volunteers also taking part.
A suitcase and passport belonging to the missing woman from Poitiers in western France were left at the inn where she was staying alone. The manager called police a day after she went out after she failed to return.
According to her family, Veron has epilepsy. Her sister recently posted a photo on Twitter of a letter addressed to French President Emmanuel Macron written by their mother asking for assistance to find Veron.
The letter said the Japanese police are making efforts but not all means have been used to search for her in rivers and woods.
Laurent Pic, the French ambassador to Japan, has also directly asked a senior official of the Tochigi prefectural police earlier in the week to speed up and strengthen search efforts.
Veron is 165 centimeters tall and has light brown hair, according to the police.
[Tochigi Prefectural Police]