Japanese slayings provoked by dog’s death?
The stabbings last week that killed a former Japanese health minister and his wife were the result of an unemployed man’s lingering anger not over his pension, but over the death of his dog in a local pound decades ago.
A man with a knife last Monday and Tuesday attacked the homes of two retired vice ministers who had led the pension department in the Health and Welfare Ministry in the 1980s, when millions of records were lost during a botched computerization effort.
Originally, police suspected that the attacks were connected to public anger over the loss of the pension records.
But Takeshi Koizumi, 46 and unemployed, who turned himself, and his knife, in to police over the weekend, has told police he was “hacked off” not about pension issues but about the death of his dog in a local pound, according to the Washington Post.
Police said Koizumi admitted to killing the former vice minister and his wife, as well as to involvement in the knife attack on the wife of another vice minister.
Koizumi is believed to have sent an e-mail message to a Tokyo television station that elaborated on his motives. “The uprising this time is not a pension terror attack,” he wrote, according to the Tokyo Broadcasting System. “This is revenge for the killing by a health-care center of my family member 34 years ago. Even now, they keep killing as many as 500,000 innocent pets every year. They should know that if they commit needless butchery, it will come back to them.”
Koizumi’s 77-year-old father said that the family adopted a stray dog when his son was in elementary school. But the dog barked too much, the father said, and he took it to a pound, where it was euthanized.
Koizumi, it appears, attacked officials from an agency that has nothing to do with dog pounds. The pounds are run by local governments, not by the Health and Welfare Ministry.