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Tokyo: Man sent death threats to journalist Akira Ikegami

Yusuke Nakayama
Yusuke Nakayama (Twitter)

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 45-year-old from Shizuoka Prefecture for allegedly sending death threats to political commentator and journalist Akira Ikegami earlier this year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (May 23).

On February 25, Yusuke Nakayama, of no known occupation, sent a message to the production company for a television program that referred to Ikegami with such text as “You are a fake journalist, which I cannot allow” and “[I] absolutely must erase [you].”

The following day, similar messages appeared on a bulletin board site. “[I] will kill [you] this week,” one message said.

Nakayama, who has been accused of making threats, admits to the allegations. “I did it,” the suspect was quoted by police.

In March, a reader of the bulletin board site tipped off police. Nakayama surfaced as a person of interest after examining the email address used to send the messages.

Ikegami regularly contributes columns to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and weekly tabloid Shukan Bunshun. Last year, he discussed Donald Trump’s regular claims about mainstream news outlets reporting “fake news.”

“Aiming to suppress freedom of speech with intimidation must not exist in democratic society,” Ikegami said about the case. “Regarding the person arrested, I hope you are able to regain your footing [in society].”