Senior health official stabbed to death in brother’s Tokyo apartment


A senior health official was fatally stabbed early Saturday, and her 52-year-old brother was later arrested for the murder, which allegedly occurred at his Tokyo apartment, police said.

Tomoko Kitajima, 56, was head of the Kanto-Shinetsu Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare, a unit of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, police said. Before taking the position last month, she had been vice governor of Niigata Prefecture.

Her brother is suspected of stabbing the elite-track bureaucrat in the abdomen at his Minato Ward apartment at around 5:15 a.m. Saturday. Kitajima lived nearby.

Kitajima was taken to a hospital but was pronounced dead. The man’s daughter had called the police to report that her aunt had been stabbed.

The suspect’s name has been withheld as he is suspected to be mentally ill. He lives with his two children and mother.

Kitajima joined the health ministry in 1988 after a two-year stint with the Saitama Prefectural Government.

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