Japan Police Arrest Men in Connection With Financier’s Death

Japanese police arrested two men in connection with the deaths of financier Makoto Shimomi and a woman believed to be his wife, whose bodies were found near Tokyo almost two months after they disappeared.

Takaaki Kuwahara, 41, was arrested on Miyakojima, an island in Okinawa, southern Japan, yesterday on suspicion of abandoning the bodies, said a spokesman for the Tokyo metropolitan police, who spoke anonymously because of department policy. Tsuyoshi Watanabe, 43, was detained on the island for the same reason today, another police spokesman said. Watanabe received hospital treatment after attempting suicide and is being flown to Tokyo, the spokesman said.

Shimomi, 51, and his wife vanished on Dec. 7, and police suspect Kuwahara and his associates buried them around that time in a field in Kuki, Saitama prefecture, north of Tokyo, the spokesman said. The bodies, which were uncovered two days ago, showed signs of strangulation, police said.

Shimomi was a Japanese citizen who worked as a fund manager in Switzerland for a company with headquarters in Liechtenstein, the Yomiuri newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information. The couple returned to Japan in November and were scheduled to fly back to Europe on Dec. 14, the newspaper said.

Tests will be made on the female body to confirm whether it is Shimomi’s wife, a police spokeswoman said yesterday.

The Nikkei newspaper reported today that before Shimomi went missing, he was telling people that acquaintances invited the couple to a party in Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo, featuring a celebrity. Police suspect that the party never happened and the acquaintances may have been involved in the incident, leading to the arrest of Kuwahara, the newspaper reported, without citing anyone.

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