• Kyodo

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A 21-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of confining a woman for about two weeks at his home, police said Wednesday.

Yasuyoshi Kobayashi, unemployed, is suspected of imprisoning the 20-year-old woman in his home in Ebetsu, Hokkaido, between Sept. 11 and 23, according to police.

Kobayashi repeatedly beat the woman, whom he met through an acquaintance, and warned her against attempting to escape, claiming that he had people watching the house and that he would bring her back by force should she flee, police said.

He locked his second-floor room whenever he went out, but the woman occasionally went outside with him. Police believe she was too frightened to attempt an escape.

Kobayashi was initially arrested in March on suspicion of beating and hurting two other captive females, including a 17-year-old girl, at his home on separate occasions, police said.

Investigators believe Kobayashi has confined and injured other women as well.

Kobayashi married several women over a short period of time, and although he was not married to the woman he allegedly confined in September, police quoted him saying that they were “just living like a married couple.”

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