MIYAGI (TR) – Miyagi Prefectural Police have arrested a 29-year-old man for allegedly spraying graffiti in the town of Minamisanriku earlier this year, reports Kyodo News (Oct. 5).
At around midnight on August 28, Yamato Abe, a company employee, allegedly used black paint to spray illustrations for the novel coronavirus at nine locations at the Minami Sanriku Sun Sun Shopping Village.
The illustrations, painted on the walls for stalls and at least one toilet at the village, were accompanied by the text “COVID-19.”
Upon his arrest on suspicion of trespassing and causing property damage on Monday, Abe told police, “It was just a prank.”
In 2012, the village was opened by shop owners devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake the year before.
Parody of Tokyo Olympic emblem
The illustration mimics a parody of the Tokyo Olympic emblem that ran on the cover of the April issue of a magazine issued by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.
In May, the club removed the illustration from its web site after the organizing committee for the games said it infringed upon copyright.