• Kyodo

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The Gifu Labor Standards Inspection Office has granted workers’ insurance to the family of a taxi driver who was slain in November 1999, it was learned Tuesday.

It is rare for authorities to grant the coverage before an arrest is made in an on-the-job slaying, according to experts.

Harumitsu Ishiguro, 49, was found lying on a road near his taxi with stab wounds to his stomach on Nov. 15, 1999, in Gifu.

He was pronounced dead shortly after he was carried to a hospital, according to police.

Gifu police have been investigating the murder, but no clues have led to an arrest, police sources said.

Ishiguro’s family filed the insurance applications in January 2000 with the local labor standards inspection office to cover his death.

Officials there said workers’ insurance does not cover people who were murdered for personal reasons, such as a grudge.

“But we think Mr. Ishiguro’s case is unlikely due to personal affairs, but likely due to his job,” one of the officials said.

The job of a taxi driver, who usually carries cash and works in a confined environment, is accompanied by certain dangers, the official said.

Workers’ insurance was granted to the family of a high-ranking official of the now-defunct Yamaichi Securities Co. who was stabbed to death on a road in Tokyo’s Ota Ward in August 1997, setting a precedent to allow the insurance for a victim of a crime that has been resolved.

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