A Japanese man detained over the murder of a young British teacher has refused to speak about the case following his arrest earlier this week, The London Times reported.

Tatsuya Ichihashi had been on the run since the body of Lindsay Hawker was discovered in a tub of sand on the balcony of his apartment in early 2007, also had about $3,300 in cash on him, police said, according to the paper.

Ichihashi was picked up on Tuesday at a ferry terminal in Okinawa, Japan, where he was trying to catch a ship to Okinawa island. He was reportedly carrying a small gun designed to fire tear gas when he was arrested, the paper reported.

Detectives have begun interrogating Ichihashi at the Gyotoku Police Department in Chiba Prefecture, located east of Tokyo, but officials said he was only willing to talk about his early life.

Police said that Ichihashi would be questioned for up to 20 days before prosecutors decide on an indictment.

He was arrested on a charge of abandoning a body rather than the more serious crime of murder, which is a capital charge in Japan.

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