Five people have been found stabbed to death on a rural Japanese island, with police arresting the island’s local ‘misfit’, local authorities have said.
Five people have been killed in rural Japan in a stabbing attack that has shocked the nation.
A local 40-year-old unemployed man has been arrested for allegedly stabbing to death five residents, in the city of Sumoto on Awajishima island in western Japan.
Media descended on the island of Awajishima, with helicopters hovering over the farmstead where the five were slain.
Police found two women in their 50s unconscious and a man in his 60s badly injured in one house.
All three were rushed to hospital where they were later confirmed dead.
At another house nearby, a man and woman aged around 80 were also found dead.
The attacker has been identified as Tatsuhiko Hirano who local media say lived in the area with his father and grandmother and initially admitted to the multiple killing.
Locals said he rarely left his home and had been largely isolated from society since his school days.
No motive has been established but Hirano is being quizzed by police with reports saying he is a “hikikomori” or social misfit who lived nearby.
The phenomenon of so-called “hikikomori” – literally “the withdrawn” – rears its head fairly frequently in Japan.
Often it applies to maladjusted people in their late teens or early 20s who shut themselves away for years at a time in their parents’ homes, many living in darkened bedrooms with little or no human contact.
While many eventually emerge, others continue well into adulthood, protected from the pressure of life by their ageing parents.