• Kyodo


The police in Indonesia said Monday they believe an elderly Japanese couple found dead in Bali last week were murdered, citing business troubles as a possible motive.

Denpasar Police Chief Hadi Purnomo told reporters that investigators will “bring in a business colleague from Japan in the near future for questioning” in connection with the deaths of Norio Matsuba, 76, and his wife, Hiroko, 73.

The couple died in suspicious circumstances at their house in southern Bali. They had been living on the island for about five years, after living in Bandung, the capital of West Java, for more than 10 years.

The police chief said 42 people have been questioned so far, including the couple’s son, who flew to Bali from Tokyo, and people involved with Matsuba’s tuna exporting business.

Matsuba became a middleman for tuna exports to Japan around two years ago, according to police and sources familiar with the case.

The burned bodies of the couple were found in their rented home in a quiet residential area in the Jimbaran area, their faces burned beyond recognition.

The man had puncture wounds in his back and his neck had been sliced. The woman was stabbed in the neck and stomach and was bound with a rope around her neck and wrists. No valuables were taken from their home.

An autopsy was carried out Friday and the results are expected to be released after two to three weeks.

The police said they have ruled out any involvement by the couple’s adopted son, an Indonesian man named Abdul Salam.

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