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Former lower house member Taizo Shibano found hanged prior to Tokyo court ruling

Taizo Shibano
Taizo Shibano
TOKYO (TR) – One-time lawmaker Taizo Shibano was found hanged in his Tokyo office this morning, the same day that a key court ruling was to be announced, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Sep. 5).

The 60-year-old Shibano, current president of bio-fuel firm Nippon Chuyu, was discovered hanging from a vinyl rope inside his office in the capital’s Minato Ward sometime after 9:15 a.m. by a co-worker, said the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. The case is being treated as a suicide.

A former Lower House member from the now-defunct Japan Renewal Party, Shibano had been on trial as president of Nippon Chuyu. According to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office, Nippon Chuyu falsely listed the company’s capitalization upon establishment, in August 2009, at 20 million yen. The company was also accused of faking an increase in the company’s capital to 1.25 billion yen later that same year.

The ruling in the case was scheduled to be made this afternoon.

The Tokyo prosecutor’s office said in a statement: “The situation is unfortunate. From the bottom of our heart, we offer him prayers of happiness in the next world.”

The Sankei offices received a four-page letter from Shibano, post-marked Sunday, in which he claims he was “set up by the investigative team.”

Police investigators reported that the same letter and a will were found inside Shibano’s office.