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Man denied Japan gov't cash handout arrested for allegedly threatening to stab himself

The Chiba Prefectural Police headquarters (Mainichi/Mayumi Nobuta)

CHIBA -- A man was arrested on May 13 for allegedly threatening to stab himself at a city office in Chiba Prefecture east of Tokyo after he could not immediately receive the national government's promised handout of 100,000 yen as a relief measure amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

According to the prefectural police's Matsudo Police Station, Tsuyoshi Otani, 39, a resident of the city of Matsudo who claimed to be unemployed, stands accused of violating the Act for Controlling the Possession of Firearms or Swords and Other Such Weapons. He was arrested on the spot at Matsudo City Hall.

Otani has admitted to the allegations and was quoted as saying, "I came here to receive the handout." The national government's 100,000 yen allowance is designed to be distributed to all residents in Japan through their respective municipal governments.

According to sources including the police station and the city government, Otani visited the city office at around 9 a.m. on May 13. However, he was told by an employee that it was impossible to supply the cash right away. He responded, "I'll kill myself here if I can't get the money!" and pulled out a kitchen knife and pointed it at himself.

(Japanese original by Seiho Akimaru, Chiba Bureau)

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