A bank inspector at the Financial Supervisory Agency hanged himself Thursday morning at his home in Tokyo, the FSA said Friday.

Hitoshi Higuchi, 44, had been inspecting Fuji Bank since July 24, a senior FSA official told reporters. He was part of the agency’s intensive scrutiny of 19 major banks,

A reason for his suicide was not immediately known although Higuchi left a note for his family, the official said.

It has often been stated that the FSA’s manpower shortage is putting excessive burdens on its inspectors. But Higuchi apparently had not worked an excessive amount of overtime, the official said. He is the first FSA official to commit suicide since the agency was launched in late June.

Higuchi completed an on-the-spot inspection of the bank Wednesday and was to examine the results starting Thursday, the official said. But since his absence from the office Thursday was not prearranged, one of his colleagues visited his apartment in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward where he found him dead, the official said.

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