TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police are investigating what is believed to have been a suicide by literary critic Susumu Nishibe, who died after plunging into the Tama River on Sunday, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Jan. 21).
At around 6:40 a.m., the 48-year-old son of Nishibe alerted emergency services, saying his father jumped into the river in the Denenchofu area of Ota Ward.
Personnel arriving at the scene found a body in the river. The man, later identified as Nishibe, was confirmed dead at a hospital about two hours later.
With a will found on the riverbank, the Denenchofu Police Station believes Nishibe intentionally took his life by jumping into the river.
Nishibe, a native of Hokkaido Prefecture, was once a professor at the University of Tokyo. He regularly appeared on debate programs, including “Asamade Nama TV!” on TV Asahi.
Though a conservative, Nishibe was known for being critical Japan’s continued reliance on the U.S. for defense. In 2003, he opposed the Iraq Ward in accordance with the right group Issui-kai.