Man attacks 3 children in stabbing spree in Tokyo

A man who allegedly attacked three elementary school children in broad daylight on a Tokyo street was being held by police on Friday, reports said.

The three children—two aged six and one aged seven—received cuts to their neck and arms during the attack outside Oizumi Daiichi Elementary School in Nerima Ward at around 1:40 p.m., Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said. None of the victims were seriously hurt, the broadcaster said.

The attacker got into a blue car and drove away, witnesses said. School officials took note of the car’s license plate, while a woman driving near the scene followed the car and alerted police.

Police said a 47-year-old man was arrested in Miyoshi, Saitama Prefecture, 10 kilometers away, at around 2:20 p.m. NHK said the man was detained after being spotted in his car which matched the description of the blue car in which the attacker fled.

Police said the man had two knives in the car but he has denied attacking the children. He has a record of psychiatric treatment, a police official said.

Police seek father of TV celebrity Rola

The Metropolitan Police Department has obtained an arrest warrant for the father of television personality Rola on suspicion of fraud, it was learned Tuesday.

Jurip ASA Al, 53, from Bangladesh, is suspected of conspiring with a compatriot to receive about 875,000 yen in benefits under Japan’s national health insurance system in December 2009 by submitting a fake medical certificate from the accomplice, according to the police. They allegedly abused the system’s program of paying some overseas medical costs borne by the insured.

77 year old Japanese woman paid millions for…

A 77-year-old woman who received over $4 million from a 79-year-old man in exchange for sexual and romantic favours has been ordered to repay the cash by a court in Japan, a report says.The woman succeeded in getting around 400 million yen out of the man over a seven-year period, in what he said he thought were loans, which she used to buy luxury cars and a condominium, the Sports Nippon newspaper said.The court heard how the woman, who wasnt named, used what it called an “amorous net” to persuade him to part with the cash, including stripping naked in hotel rooms and asking him to bathe her.The elderly couple began dating in June 2000, the paper said, and the woman repeatedly asked for money, which she said was to pay off debts to another man whom she would otherwise have to marry.

Aum Death-row Inmates Get Audience in Tokyo District Court

The Tokyo District Court has decided to accept prosecutors’ requests to question three death-row inmates who were senior members of the Aum Supreme Truth cult as part of the lay judge trial of another former Aum official.

The three are Yoshihiro Inoue, 43; Tomomasa Nakagawa, 50; and Yasuo Hayashi, 55, whose current family name is Koike. It will be the first time death-row inmates are examined as witnesses in a lay judge trial.

It is said prosecutors hope to examine the witnesses at their prisons to avoid damaging their mental condition.

The trial of former Aum executive Makoto Hirata, 48, is expected to start within the year.

Japanese Woman Faces Malaysian Death Sentence for Drug Smuggling

A Japanese woman faces the death penalty in Malaysia after she lost an appeal against a conviction for transporting 4kg of cocaine.

The defendant, 38-year-old Mariko Takeuchi, was found carrying the cocaine in a suitcase at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in October 2012. Takeuchi has maintained that she did not know the contents of the suitcase and that someone she knew had asked her to carry the luggage.

Takeuchi appealed the lower court ruling, but the Supreme Court found no reason to overturn the decision and has upheld the death sentence. Takeuchi’s lawyer says the judgment was unfair and is considering an appeal.

Japan Strengthening Fight Against Criminal Gangs

Japans National Policy Agency said Thursday that it will strengthen its fight against new gangs accused of repeatedly committing criminal activities such as assault and remittance fraud.    

The NPA will study the networks and funding sources of such quasi-crime syndicates as some are believed to have strong connections with yakuza organized crime.   

The effort will initially target dozens of former members of a biker gang known as Kanto Rengo and hundreds of members of the Dragon, a group composed of children and grandchildren of Japanese orphans left behind in China after World War II.

Read the rest of the story: Japan to Strengthen Fight against New Criminal Gangs.

Guam Rampage Suspect Pleads Not Guilty Due to Mental Illness

The 21-year-old suspect in the Feb. 12 rampage on the Pacific island of Guam that left three dead and several others injured on Wednesday pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness.

Chad Ryan Desoto entered the plea through his lawyer at his arraignment hearing held in the Superior Court of Guam.

Judge Alberto Tolentino subsequently ordered a psychological evaluation of Desoto and set his next court appearance for March 20.

Japan to Demand South Korea Return Tsushima’s Stolen Buddhist Statues

The government will demand that South Korea swiftly return two Buddhist statues that were stolen last year from a temple on the Nagasaki Prefecture island of Tsushima, which is situated about halfway between the two countries, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday.

“We will call for the speedy return (of the statues) through diplomatic channels and in accordance with international law,” Suga told reporters.

His comments came a day after a provisional ruling by the Daejeon District Court in South Korea that one of the statues, Kanzeon Bosatsu Zazo, from Kannonji, a temple on Tsushima, should not be returned until it becomes clear through legal proceedings if the Japanese temple acquired it in a lawful manner.

Read the rest of the story: Japan to demand that South Korea return stolen Buddhist statues.

Third Japanese Dies after Guam Tourist Stabbing

Many of the victims of a frenzied knife attack in the Pacific nation of Guam had been on the island to attend a wedding, it emerged Thursday, as the death toll from the attack rose to three.

Survivors and witnesses told of their horror as a man clutching foot-long (30 centimetre) knives in each hand launched a bloody attack on unsuspecting holidaymakers after ploughing into them with his car.

All 14 victims, including an eight-month-old baby and a three-year-old toddler, were Japanese.

Two women, 29-year-old Rie Sugiyama and her grandmother Kazuko Uehara, 81, were pronounced dead on Wednesday. A third victim, a so-far unidentified 51-year-old man, succumbed to his injuries on Thursday, medics said.

Sugiyama’s heartbroken father, who was also in Guam for his son’s wedding, told Japan’s Kyodo News: “I want my daughter back. This attack deprived me of not only my mother but also my daughter.

“Why do we have to encounter a random killer in Guam?”

Read the rest of the story: Third Japanese dies after Guam tourist attack.

One Suspect in Roppongi Club Murder Released Without Charge

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police said Tuesday that one of the men arrested over the beating to death of Ryosuke Fujimoto, 31, in a Roppongi club last September has been released.

In total, eight former members of the Kanto Rengo biker gang, including its leader, 31-year-old Taichi Ishimoto, were arrested for Fujimoto’s murder at Club Flower on Sept 2 of last year. A group of 10 men in masks walked into the club in the early morning hours and, without a word, beat Fujimoto to death with metal pipes and aluminum bats.

Fuji TV reported that the 28-year-old suspect who was released, had been arrested for allegedly preparing the murder weapons. He was caught on nearby store security cameras making contact with the attackers shortly before the incident took place. The Tokyo District Court says it has asked investigators to investigate the man’s involvement further before deciding on whether or not there is a case against him.

A total of 17 arrest warrants were issued in relation to the case.