Police in Kitsuki, Oita prefecture, on Monday arrested a 40-year-old man on suspicion of setting fire to his house, killing four of his eight children.
According to police, Kenichiro Suemune, who is a member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF), has been initially charged with arson, Fuji TV reported.
Flames were seen coming from the two-story wooden house at around 12:10 a.m. It took firefighters about 100 minutes to extinguish the blaze which destroyed the 125-square-meter house. Police said Suemune, his 42-year-old wife and one daughter got out with minor burns and suffering smoke inhalation. Their oldest son was staying with relatives at the time, while the other two children were uninjured.
However, the bodies of the couple's four other children were found, police said. They have been identified as their oldest daughter Yukari, 14, their second oldest daughter Mayumi, 7, their fourth oldest son Masahiro, 9, and their fifth oldest son Shigeru, 5.
Police said Suemune has admitted to the charge. he is stationed in Hiroshima Prefecture but returned home on Saturday night.© Japan Today