A Japanese man who was arrested over the death of a Filipina woman allegedly chopped up her body and cleaned the pieces in a washing machine.

Hiroshi Nozaki was arrested by police after trying to commit suicide on a street in a Tokyo suburb by slitting his wrist.

Investigators found a scribbled note and a key he was carrying to a baggage locker where they found a part of a woman's body.

The victim was reportedly cut into more than 10 pieces that were put into plastic bags inside a suitcase in a locker.

However, her head has not yet been found.

Nozaki has been arrested on charges of destroying the body of 22-year-old Honiefaith Ratilla Kamiosawa, who worked in Tokyo's Roppongi entertainment district.

The private Asahi network said Nozaki cut his victim's into pieces in his bathroom and "washed them elaborately in a laundry machine" either to make them lighter, or to make it more difficult to ascertain the cause of death.

Reports said the 48-year-old had served prison time for a similar case of mutilating the body of a Filipina bar hostess in 2000.

Nozaki burned the body parts and flushed them down a toilet, the Sports Nippon tabloid said.

The victim's cause of death was never established and he was convicted only of charges of destroying a body.

He served three-and-a-half years in prison before being released, the newspaper said.

Roppongi is known for its sleazy nightlife, including bars with foreign hostesses.

It was where 21-year-old British bar hostess Lucie Blackman vanished in 2000, with her dismembered body recovered seven months later.

Convicted serial rapist Joji Obara, a wealthy businessman, was acquitted last year over her death because of a lack of evidence, but is back on trial in an appeal.