A well-known Japanese blogger and expert on the “dark web” was stabbed to death by an internet user he had clashed with online shortly after delivering a lecture on how to manage online disputes.

Kenichiro Okamoto was reportedly followed to the toilets in the lecture centre in the Chuo district of Fukuoka city, in south-west Japan, at around 8pm on Sunday evening.

Mr Okamoto, a 41-year-old employee of a cyber security consultancy who was better known by his online name Hagex, was found with multiple stab wounds to his chest and neck. He was confirmed dead at a local hospital a short while later.

According to national broadcaster NHK, a man in his 40s surrendered to police about three hours later, telling officers that he “hated” Okamoto and adding: “I am responsible for the murder in Chuo Ward”.

A blood-stained knife was found in the bag carried by the man, identified in other media as a 42-year-old from Fukuoka.

Reports have described the suspect as a “hikikomori”, one of the estimated half-a-million Japanese who have shut themselves off from society and only communicate through their computers.

The suspect reportedly had a history of becoming embroiled in disputes in cyberspace and it is believed that he had argued with Mr Okamoto prior to the incident.

Mr Okamoto was recognised as an expert in cybercrimes but was also a prolific blogger who had clashed with other online posters. In one of his last blog entries, he had said he was giving the lecture in Fukuoka to “share my experiences about quarrels online and how to deal with them”.

 

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