Or that's what it sounded like when I read this in the Mainichi today:
According to investigators, the picture was taken prior to the cosmetic surgery. The man had a beard and mustache in the picture, but police intentionally erased the features in the released picture to avoid confusion.
So it would appear that the police have provided the public with a photo that won't really help the people who have seen him recently understand that they have actually glimpsed the fugitive himself, Tatsuya Ichihashi. Why? Because when they saw him he had a mustache and beard in addition to all of the cosmetic surgery that the media is currently talking about.
And it won't really help the rest of us either. If he's still sporting facial hair, then how does that doctored photo assist in his apprehension?
Or did the police hold off on releasing the photo long enough so that Ichihashi would have plenty of time to shave...?
Well, either way, I think it would be helpful if police released the original, untouched photo as well.