A 40-year-old unemployed man fatally stabbed five people at two houses on a farmstead in the city of Sumoto on Awaji island, Hyogo Prefecture, on Monday morning.
The alarm was raised by a 32-year-old woman who rang police to say her parents had been stabbed at around 7 a.m. Police found the bloodied bodies of a man and a woman, both aged around 80 years, in the main house on the site.
Two unconscious women, aged around 60 and 80 were discovered in another building, while a badly-injured man in his 60s was found outside. All three were rushed to hospital where they were later confirmed dead.
Japanese media identified the suspect as Tatsuhiko Hirano. He was apprehended near one of the houses, with his clothes covered in blood.
Hirano, who lives in the neighborhood with his father and grandmother, was quoted by police as saying he will not say anything until he speaks with a lawyer.
Locals told Jiji Press that he rarely leaves his home and has largely been isolated from society since his school days.
A Twitter account that appeared to be run by the suspect had been used over the past month.
Tweets included one with the address of the homicides and a map of the scene. Other tweets appeared to be about telepathy and stalking.
Media descended on the usually quiet island, with helicopters hovering over the farmstead where the five were slain.
Sumoto has a population of about 44,000.© Japan Today/AFP