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Police launch murder probe after real estate mogul found dead with drugs in body

WAKAYAMA -- Police have launched a murder probe after a real estate mogul dubbed the "Don Juan of Kishu" was found dead on May 24 with a large amount of stimulants in his body, investigative sources disclosed on May 31.

    Wakayama Prefectural Police searched the home of mogul Kosuke Nozaki, who had served as president of a real-estate related firm, and are also questioning people in connection with the death, the sources said.

    Investigative sources said Nozaki was found collapsed at his home in the Asahigaoka district of Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture, on the evening of May 24 and was later confirmed dead. He was 77.

    An autopsy detected traces of stimulant drugs in Nozaki's body. Due to unnatural circumstances in the background to his death, police searched his home and other locations on suspicion of murder.

    An employee of the firm that Nozaki had managed told the Mainichi Shimbun, "I heard from the company that the president had died. After that all employees were asked by police to provide urine samples, which surprised me." An acquaintance of Nozaki, meanwhile, stated, "He loved health foods and hated anything that was bad for his body. I can't imagine that he would take drugs himself."

    Nozaki was known for his wealth, and often appeared on public lists of top taxpayers. He had written a book about his life of relationships with many women, and had been featured in weekly magazines and on television. He had been dubbed the "Don Juan of Kishu," referring to the area of Japan where Wakayama Prefecture is located.

    (Japanese original by Shinji Kurokawa, Kenta Sunaoshi, and Nao Goto, Wakayama Bureau)

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