• Kyodo

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Two men being held on suspicion of involvement in the murder of a family of four in Fukuoka in June have admitted killing them, China’s Public Security Ministry said Wednesday.

Wang Liang, 21, and Yang Ning, 23, who were students in Japan, have told authorities that they killed the four, whose bodies were found in June in Hakata Bay, ministry officials said.

The bodies of Shinjiro Matsumoto, a 41-year-old clothing merchant from the city of Fukuoka; his 40-year-old wife, Chika; 11-year-old son, Kai; and 8-year-old daughter, Hina; were found June 20 in the bay, handcuffed and weighted down by dumbbells.

Wang and Yang returned to China shortly after the slayings were reported in late June.

It is extremely rare for the Chinese Public Security Ministry to publicize investigations into individual crimes in Japan.

“Police in China and Japan will cooperate closely and work to bring all the facts to light as quickly as possible,” a ministry official said.

After the official confirmation by Chinese authorities, the Fukuoka Prefectural Police said Wednesday it has decided to dispatch its own investigators to China. The investigators, together with an official from the National Police Agency, plan to travel to China on Sunday.

Investigations were launched in China after the Japanese Embassy in Beijing informed the ministry of the murders Aug. 15.

On Aug. 19, Wang was taken into custody in Shenyang, Liaoning Province. Yang was detained in Beijing on Aug. 27.

On Aug. 8, Japanese police arrested Wei Wei, a 23-year-old student who studied in Japan, on a robbery charge as he was about to leave for China.

Wei has told police that he broke into the Matsumotos’ home with Wang and Yang and killed the family.

According to the ministry’s investigation, Wang, Yang and Wei broke into the home at around 12:30 a.m. June 20 and killed all four members of the household and stole money and valuables.

They transported the bodies in the family car and dumped them in the bay. They later abandoned the car in another town and fled.

Wang, who went to study in Japan in 2002, and Yang, who went in 2000, returned to China on June 24.

Fukuoka police have said they think someone who knew Shinjiro Matsumoto well arranged for the two suspects to murder him, possibly over a drug-related matter, but the ministry did not mention that possibility, quoting the pair as saying they were not following anyone else’s orders.

Wei has told police he was informed of the time that Matsumoto would not be at home so they could break into the house.

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