Police Investigating Deadly Explosions North of Tokyo


Firefighters investigated a car burned in a series of explosions in Utsunomiya, Japan, on Sunday.

Kyodo, via Reuters

TOKYO — A series of explosions rocked a parking lot and nearby park on Sunday morning in Utsunomiya, a city about 80 miles north of Tokyo, killing one man and injuring three other people, the local police said.

The police identified the dead man as Toshikatsu Kurihara, 72. His badly charred body was found in the park, according to NHK, the public broadcasting service.

The NHK said Mr. Kurihara was a former officer in Japan’s military, the Self Defense Forces, and that the police had found what appeared to be a suicide note on his clothes. The police would not immediately confirm those details.

The NHK report said that two of the injured had been hurt by shrapnel from an explosive device and had been taken to a hospital.

According to the police, two men, ages 64 and 58, and a 14-year-old boy were injured in the blasts. The police were investigating whether Mr. Kurihara had intended to harm others.

The explosions, which happened in quick succession in the morning near a traditional cultural festival, destroyed two cars and partially burned another. A fire department spokesman said a building near the parking lot was also damaged by the explosions.

NHK also reported that Mr. Kurihara’s home had burned down about half an hour before the explosions, but the police did not immediately confirm a connection.

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