• Kyodo


A 51-year-old man killed himself after shooting to death a former manager of Suntory Ltd. and seriously injuring his wife at their home in Kawasaki on Monday night, police officials said Tuesday.

The man, identified only as a jobless man from Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward, worked under the victim, Kentaro Ohashi, 60, after Ohashi was dispatched on loan to Haagen-Dazs Japan in the late 1990s, police said.

The suspected assailant, who left a suicide note suggesting he killed Ohashi, is believed to have held a grudge against Ohashi over job-related matters, the officials said.

He had been receiving treatment for mental depression, they added.

Around 8:20 p.m. Monday, the Kanagawa Prefectural Police headquarters received a phone call from a man saying, “An incident has taken place,” and giving Ohashi’s Miyamae Ward, Kawasaki, address.

An officer from the local police station rushed to the house and found Ohashi lying naked in the bathroom with bullet wounds in his head and chest.

His 55-year-old wife, Kikuko, was lying on the living room floor with a bullet wound in her head.

The man, holding a handgun in each hand, was found nearby — also bleeding from the head. Police said his wound appeared to have been self-inflicted.

Ohashi and the man died soon thereafter and Kikuko was listed in serious condition as of Tuesday night.

There was no evidence of a fight or burglary at the scene.

A note addressed to the police that was left in the living room reads: “I am suffering from mental depression and I sometimes cannot understand what I say and do. My life has been changed by a superior (in the company) and now it is my turn to change (his life).”

Investigators believe the suspect shot Ohashi and his wife before killing himself. They plan to send papers on him to prosecutors for murder and attempted murder, the officials said.

A search of the man’s house on Tuesday revealed two air guns and dozens of used cartridges as well as several knives.

The man quit his job at Haagen-Dazs Japan in August 1998 for private reasons. Police said he had complaints about his jobs.

Ohashi, a former chief of Suntory’s No. 1 purchasing division, was transferred to Haagen-Dazs Japan to oversee its logistic operations in 1997. He retired from the company in June.

According to Haagen-Dazs Japan, the suspect began working under Ohashi when he was promoted to chief of the firm’s quality control division.

“He said he would have preferred to have kept his previous job in new product development, but Ohashi persuaded him to accept the new post by saying it would be good for his career path,” an official of the company said. , adding that he did not remember Ohashi and the man arguing while they were working together.