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Japanese Jogger Set on Fire, Dies

December 27, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ A 20-year-old jogger died from serious burns after being doused with gasoline and set on fire by an assailant, police in southwestern Japan said Wednesday.

Manabu Furusawa, a utility company employee, was discovered by a passer-by on Tuesday morning lying in an underground pedestrian passageway in Yamaguchi City, 485 miles southwest of Tokyo.

He died Tuesday night after being taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition, police said.

Before he died, Furusawa told police that he was attacked by a stranger. Investigators found a cigarette lighter and a plastic bottle containing gasoline residue near the scene of the crime.

Such violent assaults are rare in Japan, which has one of the lowest crime rates of any industrialized nation.