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Osaka: Man, 53, accused of starting fire in Tobita Shinchi brothel quarter

in Tobita Shinchi in January
Osaka police have accused a customer of starting a fire at a brothel in the pleasure quarter of Tobita Shinchi in January (Mainichi Broadcasting System)

OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of a male customer for allegedly starting a fire in the Tobita Shinchi pleasure quarter of Nishinari Ward earlier this year, reports Mainichi Broadcasting System (May 9).

On the night of January 5, Mitsushige Kitano, a 53-year-old manufacturing employee, used a ladder to smash a window of one two-floor wood structure in the district. After entering the premises, he started the fire, which spread to eventually engulf two other businesses, covering a total of around 500 square meters of space.

According to police, an 85-year-old woman suffered light burns to her right leg in the blaze.

Kitano, who has been accused of arson in an inhabited building, admits to the allegations.

Tobita Shinchi consists of alleys of brightly lit ryotei structures. In the first-floor doorway of each establishment sits a woman attired in revealing clothing. Next to her is an elderly female proprietor who verbally solicits clients.

Kitano emerged as a person of interest in the case after an examination of security camera footage. Police are now seeking a motive for the crime.