Tokyo, March 25: A 55-year-old unemployed man has been arrested for mailing a shotgun cartridge with a threatening note to a lawmaker, Japan Today reported Monday.
The cartridge, along with a note saying “I’m going to kill you,” was sent to Japanese lawmaker Taro Yamamoto in November.
Yamamoto, an actor-turned-politician, caused a furor by handing a letter to Emperor Akihito during a royal garden party October 31, which some critics say was a breach of protocol. At the time, Yamamoto said he handed the letter to the emperor to make him more aware of the plight of the people suffering after the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
According to police, the man who sent the shotgun cartridge has been identified as Mikio Mizutani, a former company employee from Nagoya.
TV Asahi reported Monday that the letter was X-rayed at the post office in Ginza, Chuo Ward, and not delivered to Yamamoto once the cartridge was found. Police said that the sender’s name was a former boss of Mizutani who said he knew nothing about it.
Police said Mizutani has admitted to the charge and quoted him as saying he was angry at Yamamoto for giving the letter to the emperor.
After the garden party, Yamamoto received more than one death threat, including an envelope that contained a knife and a menacing letter, warning that “a group of assassins will be dispatched shortly”.
Police are also questioning Mizutani over an incident in February in which his former boss received a bullet in the mail, as well as the sending of a bullet to the Asahi Shimbun’s head office in Tokyo.