On Saturday, February 5, 2005, Japanese police found nine people in two separate group suicides. The deaths by suicide were by inhaling carbon monoxide, via charcoal burners and sleeping pills. The reports indicate that in one incident, six people, three men and three women mostly aged in their 20s, were found in a rented minivan parked on a farm road on the scenic peninsula of Miura at the mouth of Tokyo Bay. A few hours later, the bodies of one man and two women, in their 30s and 40s, were found in a rented sedan on the grounds of a villa on a Pacific coast in Higashi Izu, some 100 kilometres south-west of Tokyo.
Police found several charcoal burners inside the two vehicles.
"The two separate cases appear to be the latest in a string of such group suicides using traditional terracotta charcoal burners in Japan, many of which have involved strangers who met over the Internet to die together. The charcoal burner is rarely used in modern living in Japan except at traditional-style Japanese or Korean restaurants. Nearly 50 people have died in similar suicides since early October," notes the overseas accounts.
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