TOKYO (AFP) – A Japanese man who had doused himself with kerosene in front of police died of burns after asking to smoke during interrogation, police and reports said Monday.
Hifumi Kubota, 45, was taken for questioning to a police station in the central Japanese city of Nagoya on Saturday after a woman who was living with him told police that he was acting violently.
When officers came to his house, “he poured kerosene over himself in front of police,” a police spokesman said.
Kubota refused to change his kerosene-soaked clothes at the police station and asked to smoke during questioning, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun and other Japanese media.
Despite no-smoking rules in the building, a police official gave him a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. When Kubota stood up, his right knee was ablaze and he quickly turned into a fireball, the reports said.
The police spokesman declined to give further details, but said Kubota was rushed to hospital where he died Sunday due to burns over a wide area of his body.