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Tokyo ward official nabbed for alleged threats to set fire to eateries open amid pandemic

The Metropolitan Police Department headquarters (Mainichi/Kenji Yoneda)

TOKYO -- A part-time employee of the capital's Toshima Ward was arrested on May 20 on suspicion of threatening to set fire to restaurants staying open during the coronavirus state of emergency, police have revealed to the Mainichi Shimbun.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department's Sugamo Police Station, the ward employee, 63, a resident of the ward, stands accused of forcible obstruction of business. Police suspect that the man put sheets of paper reading "Don't open! I will set a fire!" on the doors of two restaurants in the ward at around 5 a.m. on April 14. He was released on May 22.

The ward employee has apparently admitted to the allegations, and was quoted as saying, "I did it because I'd developed an incorrect sense of justice, as the number of people infected (with the novel coronavirus) was exploding."

(Japanese original by Masakatsu Yamasaki, City News Department)

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