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Tokyo police: Ex-shopkeeper likely committed suicide in fire at Nikkei Shimbun HQ

at the headquarters of the Nikkei Shimbun
A former shopkeeper at the headquarters of the Nikkei Shimbun died in a fire last week (TBS News)

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police suspect that a former male shopkeeper at the headquarters of the Nikkei Shimbun newspaper who died after a fire broke out inside the building last week committed suicide, reports TBS News (Dec. 28).

On the morning of December 21, the fire erupted inside a bathroom on the second floor of the headquarters, located in the Otemachi area of Chiyoda Ward. It was extinguished by fire personnel after about 50 minutes.

The man was pulled from inside a heavily burned stall in the bathroom. He was later confirmed dead at a hospital.

The second floor of the building consists of restaurants and an event space. According to police, the man is a 56-year-old resident of Nerima Ward who used to manage one of the shops.

In the middle of November, the contract between the man and Nikkei Inc., which publishes the Nikkei Shimbun, was cancelled, the company said.

With a cigarette lighter having been found at the scene, police believe the man intentionally started the fire in taking his life.