• Kyodo


The man who set fire to the office of a money-lending firm in Aomori Prefecture on Tuesday morning, killing five people and injuring four, fled the scene in a dark green minivan, possibly a Subaru Sambar Dias Classic, investigative sources said Thursday.

The van the man fled in from the Takefuji Corp. branch is thought to have been manufactured between 1995 and 1999 by Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., they said.

The model was first manufactured in 1993 and had minor changes in 1995. The dark green body paint was used on models manufactured in 1998 and 1999, the sources said.

Police are going through a list of owners of such minivans in Aomori Prefecture, they said.

They are also looking for other manufacturers’ minivans similar to the Subaru, because witness descriptions of the vehicle differ.

The killer reportedly spoke in a dialect from the Tsugaru area in the prefecture, according to the sources.

Police said earlier that eyewitnesses saw the man fleeing the scene in a dark green minivan.

The man set fire to the office with gasoline after branch manager Yoshihisa Torii, 30, refused to hand over money, police said.

He appeared to be between 40 and 45 years old and was 160 to 165 cm tall. He had gray hair and wore blue clothes, police said.

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