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Conspiracy theories abound over drowning at sea of Japan government economist

Published on Sep 3, 2014 4:05 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's cyberspace lit up with talk of conspiracy on Wednesday when officials closed the case on the drowning at sea of a high-flying government economist who was apparently trying to smuggle himself home undetected from South Korea.

The lifeless body of Mr Kosuke Shiraishi, 30, was found in January off the coast of Kitakyushu in south-west Japan, along with the motorised rubber dinghy he had bought in South Korea days earlier.

Analysis of Mr Shiraishi's computer, left behind in a hotel in Seoul, has shown he was trying to reach a "certain destination in Japan for personal reasons", a spokesman from Japan's coast guard said, declining to give further details, citing privacy.

Mr Shiraishi, an official at the elite Cabinet Office and a specialist in macroeconomics, had been sent to study at a United States graduate school in July last year, according to earlier coast guard and press reports.

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