• Kyodo


Police arrested two men Monday on suspicion of shooting a gynecologist to death in Gifu in January.

Police suspect 51-year-old Masanobu Tabuchi, unemployed, and 23-year-old Kenta Sumitomo, a gangster, both from Gifu, were involved in the shooting of Junichi Tanahashi, 64, in front of his house at 8:10 p.m. on Jan. 27 after he had just returned home.

Sources close to the investigation said police suspect Tabuchi fired the gun. But given Tanahashi’s lack of prior underworld dealings, someone else is believed to have masterminded the murder over a falling out with the doctor.

Tabuchi and Sumitomo denied being involved in the slaying, police said.

According to police, Tanahashi received a telephone call at home at around 7:30 p.m. on that day from a woman who said she needed treatment and he arranged to meet her at his clinic located about 1 km away.

He left home by bicycle but some time later called his family to say he would return home because the woman did not show up, police said.

The two suspects emerged after investigators worked on witness accounts of a car that sped away after the shot was fired.

Because the shot was fatal, police suspect that a gangster was involved.

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