Shinji Miyadai Attacker May Have Committed Suicide

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Police Department
A suspect caught on security camera footage in a residential area near the site where Shinji Miyadai was attacked in the Hachioji campus of Tokyo Metropolitan University

A man suspected of attacking sociologist Shinji Miyadai in November committed suicide the following month, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department announced Wednesday.

Despite the man’s demise, the MPD will send papers on him to prosecutors on suspicion of attempted murder, once its case is established.

Police discovered in late January that a man residing in Minami Ward, Sagamihara, resembled a suspect seen in security camera footage, according to a senior MPD official. However, subsequent investigation found that the unemployed man, age 41, had hanged himself on Dec. 17 at a residence about 300 meters away from the house where he lived with his parents.

This was 18 days after Miyadai was stabbed at Tokyo Metropolitan University’s campus in Hachioji, Tokyo, where he is a professor. The suspect’s family last saw him at home on Dec. 16.

A suicide note found at the house said, “I’ve caused trouble for my family and acquaintances.” An about 30-centimeter-long ax was discovered in a closet of the house, and police are investigating the possibility it was used to attack Miyadai.

No connection between the man and Miyadai has been confirmed. Miyadai reportedly said his face and name were unfamiliar.

The attack occurred at around 4:20 p.m. on Nov. 29. Miyadai was cut from behind in more than 10 places, including his head and back, by a man using an edged tool, while walking on a sidewalk on the campus.

The man ran away from the scene immediately after the incident. On Jan. 27, the MPD released an image of the man taken by a security camera, to seek information from the public.