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Monday, 30 October, 2000, 13:35 GMT
Japan couple in net suicide pact

A Japanese man and woman, who met through a suicide website, have apparently killed themselves after forming a death pact.

The 46-year-old dentist and the 25-year-old woman got to know each other through a chat room on the suicide website about a month ago.

They met for the first time a few days before taking their lives at the dentist's home in Fukui prefecture, central Japan, according to reports.

Japanese newspapers said the pair had exchanged numerous e-mails in which they asked for the support of the other in committing suicide.

"If we have a common purpose, we have nothing to fear," the national daily Yomiuri Shimbun quoted one e-mail saying.

Autopsies showed they had died after swallowing lethal quantities of sleeping pills. Reports said suicide notes were found at the scene.

Websites

The dentist, who was separated from his wife, had serious health problems and family trouble, according to news agencies.

The woman, who had recently resigned from her job, was also thought to be worried about family problems.

Reports said they were found by the dentist's wife on Wednesday, but details of the case have only just emerged.

The website where they met provides information on different ways to commit suicide and a bulletin board with messages from people wishing kill themselves.

Police said there were several such sites in Japan.

Cyanide

In December 1998, a young Tokyo woman died after swallowing potassium cyanide acquired from an internet suicide service.

Investigations showed the poison packs, on offer for between $258 and $430, had been ordered by eight people.

Reports said the man who provided the cyanide had stocked enough to kill 3,000 people. He has since killed himself.

Last year another Japanese woman was found unconscious in a hotel room after she posted a message on the internet requesting a suicide drug.

A suspect was later arrested for allegedly sending her 100 sleeping pills.

One of the most popular recent films at the Japanese box office uses a plot twist about a suicide website.

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26 Dec 98 | Asia-Pacific
Japan Internet suicide probe
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