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Literary critic Susumu Nishibe dies in apparent suicide in Tama River

Susumu Nishibe
Susumu Nishibe (TV Asahi)

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.