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Tokyo cops: Photographer Fumiaki Fukuda threatened METI vice minister

Fumiaki Fukuda
Fumiaki Fukuda

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested famous tabloid photographer Fumiaki Fukuda for threatening an upper-level member of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) via fax, reports Nippon News Network (Feb. 26).

On November 17 of last year, Fukuda, 69, allegedly sent three faxes from his home in Toshima Ward to the office of Ikuro Sugawara, METI’s vice minister, whose contents included threats to kill his family.

Fukuda denies criminal intent. “It was for work,” the suspect is quoted by the officers from the Marunouchi Police Station.

Fukuda is widely known for photographs that appeared in the now defunct magazine Focus, including images obtained via a hidden camera that showed Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka during his trial for the Lockheed bribery scandal and shots of singer Momoe Yamaguchi out with her future husband Tomokazu Miura.

He is also highly regarded for his black and white photo anthology “’69 Shinjuku Kaminarizoku Wa Ima,” which documents Tokyo’s hot-rodder scene in the 1960s.

According to Fuji News Network (Feb. 26), a search of Fukuda’s home by police revealed evidence that the suspect sent similar transmissions to other government officials in December.

''69 Shinjuku Kaminarizoku Wa Ima'
”69 Shinjuku Kaminarizoku Wa Ima’