Japanese police have arrested a man after finding parts of nine bodies in his apartment near Tokyo.

According to local media police found two severed heads in a cold-storage container outside the flat of the suspect, named as Takahiro Shiraishi, while investigating the disappearance of a woman.

They also found the body parts of seven other people, also stored in cool boxes, in his apartment.

The 27-year-old is being held on suspicion of disposing of the bodies.

Police had found the body parts of eight females and one male, some in varying stages of decomposition.

Shiraishi told police he had killed the nine and hid their bodies, broadcaster NHK reported, citing the metropolitan police department.

According to NHK and Asahi Shimbun, his next-door neighbor said he had started smelling strange odors from the flat after Shiraishi moved in in August.

Police made the grisly discovery while looking for a 23-year-old woman, who had been missing since 21 October.

Investigators found that Shiraishi had been in contact with her, after she wrote online that she wanted to commit suicide.