• Kyodo


A man arrested on suspicion of selling the scabbard of a stolen Japanese sword has admitted to killing the sword’s owner, who is the older brother of a popular jazz musician, police sources said Sunday.

Bunichi Taguchi, 60, is suspected of killing Tokio Watanabe, elder brother of renowned jazz saxophonist Sadao Watanabe.

Taguchi, a miscellaneous goods retailer with no fixed address, told police he killed Watanabe. He said he conspired with Katsumi Naka, 61, who was also arrested on suspicion of fraud for selling the scabbard.

Naka has so far remained tight-lipped during police questioning, the sources said.

Police plan to serve fresh arrest warrants for suspected murder to the two men as early as Tuesday.

Watanabe was found dead in a closet with his hands and legs bound at his home in Utsunomiya on Sept. 9. Suffocation is listed as the cause of death, according to the sources.

Watanabe was known as a sword collector. Taguchi, Naka and five other men were arrested Sept. 7 on suspicion of selling parts of swords owned by Watanabe at a Tokyo antique shop.

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