• Kyodo


An elderly man in Hyogo Prefecture has died after being bitten by a dog that he was watching for an acquaintance, police said Monday.

Tsutomu Fukumoto, 82, was found dead, with wounds on his back, together with the adult Tosa breed dog inside a kennel near his home in the city of Minamiawaji. Emergency services had received a call from his 55-year-old son at around 8:40 p.m. on Sunday.

According to the police, Fukumoto was taking care of his grandchild’s three Tosa dogs as well as the one for the acquaintance, which is believed to have attacked him while he was trying to care for it.

The four dogs were kept separately in iron cages, each measuring 2.6 meters long by 1.3 meters wide, with a height of 1.4 meters. The kennel contains seven such cages.

Fukumoto was found collapsed in the cage by his 75-year-old wife, who went to check why he had not returned after leaving their house, about 200 meters away, at around 5 p.m. All the other dogs were in their respective cages.

Citizens are required to register pet dogs under the rabies prevention law. However, there was no registration for Tosa dogs to be kept at the site, local officials said.

The Tosa breed, also known as Japanese mastiffs, originate from Tosa Province, now Kochi Prefecture, on the island of Shikoku, where they were bred to be fighting dogs. Owners of such dogs require a license in a number of countries.

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