Police in Japan are searching for a British woman who has not been seen for nearly a week after she failed to turn up for work at an English language school in Tokyo.
Alice Hodgkinson, 28, from Nottingham, arrived in Japan in March last year. Her family in the UK said it is “completely out of character” for her not to stay in regular contact.
“We would hear from her pretty regularly and catch up on Skype, but the first I heard that something was wrong was when the manager of her school called to say that she had missed work for a few days and that they were concerned about her well-being,” said Stephen Hodgkinson, her father.
“It came as a bolt out of the blue,” he told The Telegraph.
He last spoke to her on June 30. Shane Corp, a chain of language schools in Japan, said Ms Hodgkinson had not turned up to work since July 1.
“I last spoke to her on the day before she disappeared and there was no indication that anything was wrong,” said Mr Hodgkinson, a retired computer software engineer. “She had sent me a father’s day present and an e-mail and I wanted to thank her.
“There was nothing out of the ordinary at all, nothing suspicious.”
The family is now liaising with police in Nottinghamshire, Interpol and the British Embassy in Tokyo.
A missing poster being circulated in Japan
Her housemates had previously said they had not seen her for two weeks. Friends and colleagues in Japan have launched a campaign to locate Ms Hodgkinson, with fliers being left in areas of Yokohama and Tokyo where she is known to have visited and messages being shared on social media.
The Japanese authorities have confirmed that they went to her apartment, in the city of Yokohama, just south of Tokyo, and broke down her door. The police said they found a note, but have not yet disclosed its contents or whether it has anything to do with her disappearance.
One friend, Veronika Danovich, met Ms Hodgkinson during their training for the school and described her as, "just a really nice person, but very driven and with the specific goal of studying psychology and becoming a lecturer."
Ms Danovich, 30, from New York, is leading the leafleting and social media drive. She said the Japanese police should be doing more.
"I don’t feel there’s a sense of urgency in the search for her at all," she said. "They come to the shared house each day and ask if she has come back and they say they are looking at local video footage, but if this was another country they would be sending out search parties."
A spokesman for the Yokohama police declined to comment on the investigation on the grounds that it was ongoing and “sensitive”.