Angry over divorce, man hinted at making ‘dramatic’ act before ‘suicide’ blast at Japanese park

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 October, 2016, 1:58pm
UPDATED : Monday, 24 October, 2016, 9:13pm

A 72-year-old man who apparently committed suicide in an explosion on Sunday near a festival venue in Utsunomiya had repeatedly posted angry messages online about his divorce and spoke of wanting to make a “dramatic” act to attract people’s attention.

I must make things dramatic ... I’m so desperate
Toshikatsu Kurihara

“I wanted my blog to go up in flames but it only gets a few visitors. I must make things dramatic,” said a blog post dated October 9, carrying the name of Toshikatsu Kurihara, a former Ground Self-Defence Force official. “I’m so desperate,” the post said.

He also uploaded an audio file expressing his anger with people paying no attention to an issue “unless it becomes a major incident”.

“I will end my life with an action that will never be forgiven by society,” a separate post said.

Kurihara is believed to have detonated a device while seated in Utsunomiya Joshi Park, Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo, around 11.40am on Sunday. His body and a bench were both badly damaged, indicating the use of powerful explosives, investigators said.

A note saying, “I will pay with my life,” was found inside a sock he was wearing. Three people were wounded in the blast – two seriously, as metal pieces cut into their bodies, and another sustaining a minor injury.

Kurihara’s house, some 8km from the park, was destroyed by a fire which started around 11.15am on the day, while his car was also burned some 15 minutes later along with several cars at a parking lot near the park, according to the investigators.

Other online posts believed to have been written by Kurihara said his relationship with his wife failed due to disagreements over medical treatment of their daughter and repeatedly criticised the judge and officials of the Utsunomiya family court over the divorce lawsuit he lost.

“They confiscated my assets, and my house will be auctioned,” one read, while another post said, “It is as if the family court is telling me to go to jail”.

A separate website also believed to be his said, “This is my ending note”. “There might be a day I leave the earth,” and, “I would feel lonely if I leave alone,” it read.