• Kyodo


A man has confessed to receiving 20 million yen from a woman for killing her gynecologist husband in Gifu Prefecture in January, police sources said Wednesday.

The sources said Masanobu Tabuchi, 51, has admitted his involvement in the plot to kill 64-year-old Junichi Tanahashi.

On April 30, police arrested Tabuchi and Kenta Sumitomo, a 23-year-old gangster, on suspicion of shooting Tanahashi in the head in front of his home in late January.

Tanahashi’s 64-year-old wife, Mieko, who was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of murder, has denied all the allegations against her.

But one of her second cousins, Yuhachi Tanahashi, 65, who is also being held on suspicion of murder, has admitted transferring the money from Mieko to Tabuchi and Sumitomo, according to the sources.

Shigeru Itofuji, 22, a suspect arrested for allegedly staking out the doctor’s home in advance of the incident, was quoted as telling investigators that he took part in discussions on murdering the man in April 2000.

Police sources said they believe the shooting had to be postponed for a year after Sumitomo was charged and imprisoned in a separate case.

Police sources believe Mieko decided to kill her husband because he was involved with another woman and was spending money recklessly despite his clinic’s faltering operations.

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