Man in Japan confesses starting fire, killing wife, 5 children

A Japanese man turned himself in to local police after setting fire to his apartment, according to local press reports. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI

Oct. 6 (UPI) — A Japanese man turned himself in to police after setting fire to an apartment where a woman and five children were found dead, according to local press reports.

Hirobumi Komatsu, 32, told police in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, he had “set fire” to his house and that his wife and five children were at home at the time, Kyodo News reported.

Komatsu was arrested not long after firefighters found six dead people at the site, including four boys, a woman and a girl.

Japanese investigators said the girl, who was taken to a hospital before being confirmed dead, had multiple stab wounds on her body.

Police said the bodies are believed to be those of the wife of the suspect, his four sons, ranging in age from 3 to 6 years, and his 11-year-old daughter.

The fire in Ibaraki Prefecture began at 5 a.m. Friday and was extinguished in under an hour, Jiji Press reported.

The suspect arrived by car soon afterwards and made his admission, according to Jiji.

Asahi Shimbun reported Komatsu confessed to stabbing his family, and may have begun stabbing his daughter with a knife at around 4:30 a.m.

Japan’s murder rate of 0.3 per 100,000 people is one of the lowest in the world, and is lower than the United States, where it is nearly 4 per 100,000, according to The Economist.

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