• Kyodo


Police said Thursday they have arrested a 67-year-old man who sold the scabbard for a Japanese sword owned by Tokio Watanabe, 81, who was found slain in his home here earlier this month.

Watanabe was the renowned jazz saxophonist Sadao Watanabe’s older brother, 12 years his senior.

Police said Toshio Kondo, of no fixed address, sold the scabbard to an antique shop in Tokyo on Sept. 7 for 1 million yen after producing a photocopy of the victim’s health insurance card to pass himself off as the real owner.

Kondo told investigators another man asked him to sell the scabbard, leading police to believe Kondo was not directly involved in the slaying of Watanabe, who lived alone.

News reports Sept. 9 that Watanabe was found dead prompted the antique dealer to alert police to the scabbard sale, they said.

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