While reports of exceedingly violent crimes remain low in the country, police in Sumoto, Japan have a suspect in custody for allegedly participating in a stabbing spree on Monday that have left five people dead.
The New York Daily News reports that Tatsuhiko Hirano, a neighbor to the victims, was taken into custody for his connection to the attacks. The motive for the murders is unclear, and the murder weapon has yet to be found.
The victims were between the ages of 60 and 80 years. A man and woman were found dead in their home, while another man and two women were taken to the hospital for the injuries, but later passed.
Sumoto is a small city with a population of 44,000 on Japan’s western island of Awaji, famous for its oranges, onions, and Awaji Beef, not violent crimes. In fact, crime is so low in the city, Deputy Police Chief Keizo Okumoto states his office receives a call or two a day, and is usually linked to a bicycle theft or a fight.
The Japan Times goes on further with reports that Hirano initially admitted to the multiple murders per a police spokesperson.
In Japan, Hirano is considered a hikikomori(social recluse) who lived with his aging father and grandmother, and apparently there is a growing trend among young adults in Japan to become hikikomori. The troubled youth shut themselves away from the world for years at a time in their parents’ homes with little human contact.
Many pull themselves out of this phase and go on to lead normal, productive lives. Others remain home bound with their aging parents, well into adulthood, with the isolation protecting the now adults from the pressures of every day life.
As if the murders weren’t enough, Japan has found itself under scrutiny for crimes of a far different nature than the stabbing spree. As reported by the Inquisitr, German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her address at the Asahi Shimbun newspaper in Tokyo, asked that Japan come to terms with its actions during WWII just as Germany did.
Concerns are growing that the current Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, is taking an aggressive stance towards relations with China and South Korea, both countries that were hit by Japanese wartime agression.
Needless to say, between the stabbing spree and Angela Merkel’s address, Japan has found itself the center of international attention today.