GIFU — Six men linked through a samurai sword dealer’s association have been arrested for a spate of arson and shooting attacks on leftist organizations and the AUM Shinrikyo doomsday cult, police said Friday.
Ichiro Murakami, head of the Token Tomo no Kai, the samurai sword dealer’s association, headed the list of six arrested for breaking the Firearms and Swords Control Law.
Many of the other five arrested for the same alleged offense are also members of the association.
Since November last year, there have been 23 reported attacks on organizations such as the Pyongyang-backed General Association of Korean Residents of Japan, the radical teacher’s union in Hiroshima Prefecture, AUM, and the homes of top Foreign Ministry officials and politicians.
After each attack, the victim received a call from a man claiming to be a member of a patriotic organization.
Public safety officials suspect Murakami was involved in the attacks.
Police said the specific case for which the six were arrested involved shooting a bullet into a door of the AUM base in Tokyo’s Suginami-ku on May 29 and unleashing an identical attack on the Hiroshima Prefecture branch of Nikkyoso, the communist-influenced teacher’s union, on May 27. Nobody was injured in either attack, which were both followed by telephone calls to the media from the “patriotic” man.
Police said the bullets used in both attacks were .38 caliber fired from the same weapon. The bullets used helped police track down Murakami.