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Activist group member accused in launch of projectiles at Yokota Air Base

Toyotsuna Numata
Tokyo police have accused Toyotsuna Numata over the firing of projectiles at Yokota Air Base in 2013 (TBS News)

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a male member of an activist group over the firing of projectiles near a U.S. military base in the western part of the capital four years ago, reports TBS News (July 14).

On Friday, police accused Toyotsuna Numata, a 65-year-old member of Kakumeiteki Rodosha Kyokai, in the firing of projectiles from two improvised rocket launchers at Yokota Air Base on the evening of November 29, 2013.

The suspect, who has been accused of violating the Criminal Regulations to Control Explosives Law, is believed to have been behind the production of the weapons. He had been living at the residence of his parents in Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture.

There were no reports of damage or injuries in the incident. Police later found two steel pipes buried in the ground, wiring, batteries and other items near the base. The open ends of the pipes were pointed in the direction of the base.

Kakumeiteki Rodosha Kyokai, a left-leaning group that supports blue-collar workers, subsequently took credit for the incident, according to Jiji Press (July 14).

Three hideouts searched

In February of last year, police raided three hideouts for the group, including a location in Toshima Ward, on suspicion of violations of the Swords and Firearms Control Law. During the raids, police seized parts for launchers, circuit diagrams and other documents.

Several fingerprints belonging to Numata were also discovered on the items, leading investigators to believe he has been involved in the production of explosives.

First in 24 years

The arrest of Numata is the first in 24 years for a guerrilla incident involving an explosive. In 1993, police made an arrest for a rocket attack of a reception hall.

Numata is also under investigation for other incidents that took place last year, including one at the U.S. base Camp Zama, located in Kanagawa Prefecture.