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Miyagi: Mayor of struggling town found dead in forest; suicide suspected

MIYAGI (TR) – The body of the mayor of the town of Wakuya, which has struggled recently due to its population decline, was found in a forest on Thursday, a case that is being treated as a suicide, police have revealed, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Apr. 5).

According to the general affairs section of the town, Nobuo Ohashi failed to attend a scheduled a meeting scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Members of his family confirmed that he left his residence that morning.

At around noon, his family reported the mayor missing with the Toda Police Station. That night. officers found him dead in a forest. Though no cause of death was revealed, the case is being treated as a suicide.

Nobuo Ohashi
Nobuo Ohashi (Twitter)

Ohashi was first elected mayor in 2015. In January, he announced that he would run for re-election this August.

Wakuya, with a population of 16,000, has endured difficulties over the past year. Last year, the vice-mayor resigned to take responsibility for lost public funds. This past January, the town declared a “fiscal emergency” due to a recent decline in the population.