Knife victims’ DNA linked to suspect

Map, memos targeted more bureaucrats

Kyodo News

DNA from blood found on the belongings of a man arrested after he confessed to killing a former vice health minister and his wife and stabbing the wife of another former health bureaucrat matches that of all three victims, investigative sources said Tuesday.

The Saitama Prefectural Police were expected to serve Takeshi Koizumi, 46, with an additional warrant for the Nov. 17 murder of former Vice Health and Welfare Minister Takehiko Yamaguchi, 66, and his wife, Michiko, 61, in the city of Saitama, according to the sources.

They said police confirmed that one of the knives found with Koizumi when he turned himself in was the murder weapon.

The police have seized a map marked with the addresses of several former vice health ministers, the sources said.

They also found memos in which the names of these bureaucrats appear and believe the materials corroborated statements made by Koizumi that he was “planning to murder 10 more (vice ministers) and their family members” and check the home of another ex-vice minister for more targets, the sources said.

The police also seized blank delivery slips, boxes and wrapping paper from Koizumi’s home in Saitama.

The Metropolitan Police Department in Tokyo believes Koizumi prepared the delivery slips and boxes for use in attacks on other bureaucrats and their family members.

Yasuko Yoshihara, the wife of former vice health and welfare minister Kenji Yoshihara, was stabbed and seriously wounded at the couple’s home in Tokyo on Nov. 18 by a man wearing what appeared to be a deliveryman’s uniform and holding a cardboard box.

It has also been learned that Koizumi rented three cars from Nov. 17, the day when the Yamaguchi couple were stabbed to death at their Saitama home.

Koizumi is believed to have rented one of the three cars for three days from Nov. 17 and used it when he drove to the Yamaguchi home, and to have used another when he turned himself in at the MPD’s headquarters in central Tokyo on Saturday night. The police believe he used the remaining car to drive to the Yoshiharas’ home on Nov. 18 but have not located the vehicle yet.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura told reporters Tuesday morning, “The priority at the moment is to clarify the whole picture behind the incident.”

Commenting on the availability of a directory of government officials at many public libraries, Kawamura said, “We will have to think about what to do with the directory while the investigation into the case progresses.”

Meanwhile, Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe said at a separate news conference, “I don’t think it is necessary to make public the home addresses (of government officials), but there will be trouble, too, if no information pertaining to the officials can be open to the public.”

Masuzoe also stressed that enhanced security at the ministry will remain in place for the time being, saying, “Although a suspect has turned himself in, someone else may emulate him (and attack other officials). Security cannot be eased so soon.”

Koizumi has reportedly told police he attacked the former officials because he was angry over the death of his pet dog when he was a child. The dog was put to sleep at a public health center.