• Kyodo

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The bodies of four men who went missing after going ice fishing in Iwate Prefecture were found Tuesday in a pond, local police said.

The four have been identified as residents of the Iwate city of Oshu, officials said. Police found a crack in the ice covering the pond and ice fishing equipment nearby, including a tool to drill holes in the ice. Three vehicles were also parked near the site.

The four men have been identified as Toshio Sato, 71, Yuichi Takahashi, 73, Yasushi Sato, 73, and Manji Chiba, 88.

A family member of one of the men reported to police Monday night that the four could not be reached after they went fishing for Japanese smelt.

The ice covering the pond was around 5 cm (2 inches) thick, according to police. The pond, surrounded by rice fields and forest, is in an isolated location and not known by locals as a fishing spot, a nearby resident said.

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