Two men arrested over death of Irish student Nicola Furlong in Tokyo

Tuesday 29 May 2012 12.27
Nicola Furlong was found dead on Wednesday night
Nicola Furlong was found dead on Wednesday night

Two American men - held in connection with the death of Wexford student Nicola Furlong at a hotel in Tokyo - have been charged with assaulting her companion.

The 21-year-old, from Curracloe in Co Wexford, was killed after she and a friend went to see a concert by rapper Nicki Minaj in Tokyo on Wednesday night.

Her family say they are "devastated by the loss of their beautiful daughter and sister."

Reports suggest Ms Furlong and another woman from Wexford missed their train after attending the concert and so went for drinks and a meal with two men they had met.

The group later took a taxi and while police in Tokyo continue to investigate what happened, Ms Furlong was found on the floor of a room at the Keio Plaza in the early hours of Thursday morning by a hotel employee. She was later pronounced dead.

A 26-year-old named James Blackston and an unnamed 19-year-old, both from the US, were arrested. They are still being questioned by Tokyo police.

Her family said Nicola was a "warm, generous, stunning person who always had time for her family and other people."

"Nicola will always be at the centre of our lives. She stood for everything that is good in life."

Ms Furlong had been in Japan as an exchange student from Dublin City University.

She had been studying at the Takasaki City University of Economics in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo.

In a statement on Friday, Dublin City University said that "the staff and students of DCU were saddened to learn of the death of one of their students while studying abroad in Japan.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to the family, classmates and friends at this very distressing time."

Ms Furlong had been due to return home in July.