In arson-murder case, Aichi man admits killing three family members


A 66-year-old jobless man admitted Monday that he killed three members of his family and later set his house on fire in the city of Toyota, Aichi Prefecture.

“That is correct,” defendant Yoshiharu Matsui said as he admitted the charges in the first hearing of his lay judge trial at the Okazaki branch of the Nagoya District Court.

In their opening statement, the prosecution said, “The defendant intended to commit a murder-suicide as he became increasingly anxious about life in the future after finding out his wife had given more than ¥80 million to a female acquaintance over a 15-year period.”

But the prosecution also pointed out taking the lives of three people who had done no wrong is “serious.”

According to the indictment, Matsui strangled his 65-year-old wife, Ayako, his eldest daughter, Rie, 37, and his 89-year-old mother-in-law, Kiyoko, to death with a towel and electrical cord around May 25 last year. He set fire to his house in the early hoursof the next day.

The suspect was also indicted for allegedly being in possession of two knives in a street in violation of the Firearm and Sword Control Law after the alleged arson.

The 66-year-old female acquaintance, to whom his wife was assumed to have given money, is on trial for fraud in the same branch.