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Man faces arrest after 4 found dead in northeast Japan in suspected murder-suicide attempt

The Fukushima Prefectural Police headquarters is seen in this file photo from Feb. 22, 2019. (Mainichi/Motoyori Arakawa)

IWAKI, Fukushima -- A woman and three minors were found dead in a car in a parking lot in this northeastern Japan city in the early hours of Jan. 22, after police received an emergency call from a man claiming responsibility for a stabbing.

Iwaki Prefectural Police arrived at the scene to find five people in the car, four of whom were dead with stab wounds to their necks. The other person, a man in his 50s, was found injured and sitting in the driver's seat. He was reportedly in a dazed state when discovered, and told police he stabbed the others. Police suspect the man had planned to kill himself after slashing the four, and intend to arrest him on suspicion of murder.

According to prefectural police, the four found dead were a woman in her 40s, and two girls and a boy all aged under 20. They were all sitting in the vehicle's passenger seats, and there was reportedly no evidence of a struggle.

The man in the driver's seat also had stab wounds to his neck and abdomen, and was dispatched to a hospital, where his injuries were judged to be non-life-threatening.

All three of the minors are said to have been of around junior high school age, and the woman in her 40s was their mother. She was reportedly acquainted with the man facing arrest. Multiple bladed objects were found inside the car.

The incident took place some 10 kilometers northwest of JR Iwaki Station, in a park at the summit of Mount Mizuishi.

(Japanese original by Mina Isogai, Fukushima Bureau, and Tatsushi Inui, Iwaki Local Bureau)

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