Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Man Takes Hostage at Credit Union in Aichi, Demands Food, Megaphone, and Resignation of Noda Cabinet

(UPDATE as of 4:35AM November 23 Japan Time)

At 3:08AM, the Aichi prefectural police made a daring rescue attempt which was successful. The police released the hostages and arrested the man, according to Chunichi Shinbun. Before he was finally arrested, he had gotten all he wanted - bento, drink, cigarettes, megaphone, flood light - except for one thing, obviously: resignation of the Noda cabinet.

It will happen anyway, post-election, whether Mr. Noda is able to form a coalition or not.


I thought it was a made-up story in one of the popular Japanese message boards, but it turns out to be real.

I don't think I have ever heard of a Japanese hostage taking situation where the demand is the resignation of the cabinet.

From Yahoo Japan News quoting Yomiuri (11/22/2012):


A man with a knife barricades himself in Toyokawa Credit Union, takes 5 hostages


There was an emergency notification from Toyokawa Credit Union Zoshi Branch in Zoshi, Toyokawa City in Aichi Prefecture at about 2:20PM on November 22 to the Aichi Prefectural Police.


According to the Police and the credit union, a man in his 30s or 40s has barricaded himself with a knife, and 5 people including bank employees and a customer have been taken hostage. They are a male deputy branch manager (41 years old), female employees aged 27 and 19, a female part-time worker aged 55, and one female customer.


The branch is shuttered and one cannot see inside. To the policemen who have rushed to the scene, the man is demanding food and drink. He is also demanding the resignation of the Noda cabinet and the media coverage.

FNN News says the man also wants a megaphone.


Maju said...

Whoa! Someone very angry (with good reason, as we know well).

I hope he gets his loudspeaker and kills nobody. That's probably the best outcome.

Scott said...

I am more surprised that the police have nearly 2 city blocks surrounding the bank closed off to all traffic. It's a man with a knife not semi automatic weapons and explosives. Is this standard procedure for police in Japan?

I hope the hostages come out unharmed. I wonder how long this will be drawn out.

Anonymous said...

The more these kinds of incidents occur, the less that everyone else can pretend there's nothing wrong.

I'm not advocating violence or riots, but it's not our fault that the idiots in charge refuse to listen to reason.

Anonymous said...

they are not idiots, this is the inevitable outcome of climbing the corporate and government ladders, the 'idiots' have simply risen to their level of incompetence.

Anonymous said...

yes, and it's about time for "them" to come down to "the rest of us" soon. ... maybe just to "load up" with some reason.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone needs some sleeping pills ground up in his bento box.

Anonymous said...

@Scott , yep the Police in Japan are know for their over reaction and being overstaffed with not much to do, i once saw a guy who was a bit disturbed walking around with a fake samurai sword and 10 police cars showed up, local news station and 8 plain clothes cops, i kid you not... turns out the guy was just on medication.... Japan is a mess of rules and stupid procedures..

I could give more examples , the police have too much time on their hands here...

Maju said...

@Anon: I would not want to dwell too much onto the matter of whether Japanese police tend to overreact or not (it would seem so) but still I tell you that armed crazy people can be very dangerous.

A year ago an schizophrenic guy who had stopped taking his meds (maybe because he was a refugee and nobody paid for them) and had got a large kitchen knife, killed one (or was that two?) and injured several random passersby near my home here in Bilbao until some men from a bar neutralized him with a concrete slab from a nearby pile (they were repairing the sidewalk) on his head.

Everything happened too fast probably for police to show up (it's not lack of cops what we have here in the Basque Country, I assure you) but a crazy person with a weapon can be very dangerous anyhow.


Incidentally: any updates?

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Update posted, the man was arrested after police raided.

This is a country where you get arrested if you don't have a job, don't have a home, and wander about in town during the daytime and if you are a man. Citizens are supposed to alert the police when they see a strange behavior by a stranger, and not do anything themselves, just like anywhere else in the developed nations.

(Except in Bilbao in Basque where Maju is...)

Maju said...

Actually in the USA, specially in gun-toting states like Florida and such, citizens are legally able to kill in many circumstances in which they can be considered to be upholding the law, extending a lot the concept of self-defense.

Here the Spanish penal code applies and recently a woman (in Madrid?, can't recall) engaged in a car persecution with her two purse robbers and killed one (accidentally) with her car. Apparently, for what they said in TV at least, it's a clear case of unjustified manslaughter for reckless driving, which will probably bring her to jail (in the USA it'd be legal self-defense in most states instead).

However in the case here in Bilbao, it was a clear case of citizen collective self-defense because the Iranian was in murdering rampage. That's legit and almost compulsory here and in Japan (otherwise you may fail to comply with your duty to help victims in distress - although this may be hard to judge as you may feel paralyzed by panic also).

Anyhow, I'm all for US-style gun-toting laws: weapons for the people! Only that way we can reach democratic communism.

Anonymous said...

The guy can't be all that crazy if he knows enough to want Noda's cabinet to resign. Not the best way of making his case though.

Maju said...

I meant the guy with the fake katana mentioned by a commenter. The bank kidnapper is probably legit.

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