Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department made the discovery while investigating Takahiro Shiraishi in connection with the disappearance of a 23-year-old woman from Hachioji.
The woman is believed to have met the man after writing on a suicide website that she wanted to kill herself.
“It’s true that I tried to hide the bodies of the people I killed to destroy evidence,” Shiraishi was quoted as saying by the police.
A saw, believed to have been used to dismember the bodies, was also found in the apartment. Shiraishi allegedly told the police that he cut up the bodies in the bath, disposing of some body parts in the garbage.
The apartment is located near the U.S. Army’s Camp Zama.
The police arrested Shiraishi, whose occupation is unknown, on an initial charge of discarding a body. Police suspect one of the bodies may belong to the 23-year-old woman.
The body parts, kept in cooler boxes in the man’s apartment, included at least two severed heads, the police said. Investigators plan to carry out DNA tests in an effort to identify the deceased, they said.
An investigation was launched after the woman’s older brother reported her missing to the Takao Police Station, in western Tokyo, on Oct. 24, saying he had not been able to contact her since Oct. 21. The brother later learned of the suicide site after logging in using her name and password, leading to the discovery that she had been in touch with the suspect.
The apartment is in a residential area along the Odakyu Odawara Line, about 600 meters from Sobudai-mae Station. There is a day care located nearby. The suspect reportedly started living in the wooden, two-story apartment in late August.
Security camera footage showed the victim and the suspect walking together at Hachioji Station and Sobudai-mae Station.
A man who lives on the same floor as the suspect said he noticed an “odd smell” when he walked past the apartment in August.
“I thought it smelled like sewage,” the neighbor said. “It was something I never smelled before.”
He added, however, that he hadn’t heard any strange noises or voices coming from the apartment.
Although Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, it has seen some high-profile killings recently.
In July last year, a 27-year-old former employee at a care home for the disabled killed 19 and injured more than 20 in a knife attack in what is believed to be the deadliest mass killing in postwar Japan. The man’s murder trial has not started yet.
Earlier this month, a man was arrested for killing his wife and five children after setting fire to their house. In 2015, a man killed five people, including relatives and neighbours, in a knifing spree in western Japan, and was later sentenced to death.
Source: Japan Times, The Associated Press