Guerrillas blamed for morning attack

Transport Ministry official's car, house damaged but no injuries reported

Police suspect guerrillas were behind a predawn explosion Saturday that damaged a car belonging to a Transport Ministry official.

Police said the 2:50 a.m. blast shattered a window of 41-year-old Katsuhiro Yamaguchi’s Tokyo house and caused extensive damage to his car as it was parked in the garage. No injuries were reported.

While no one has claimed responsibility for the blast, the Metropolitan Police Department’s Public Security Bureau suspect leftist guerrillas were responsible, as fragments of a detonator and lead wires that are typically used by guerrillas were recovered from the site.

The explosion shattered the driver’s window of the car and cracked its windshield. Police believe the bomb was planted on the ground under the car.

At the time of the explosion, Yamaguchi, his wife and their child were asleep in the house, located in a residential area of Setagaya Ward about 500 meters west of Jiyugaoka Station on Tokyu Corp.’s Toyoko Line.

The blast was reported by neighbors who heard the explosion and saw smoke coming from the vehicle, police said.

Yamaguchi is chief of the systems-analysis office of the ministry’s Transport Policy Bureau. Until last month, he was in charge of planning in the ministry’s Civil Aviation Bureau.

Eight guerrilla attacks have taken place since 1997 against Transport Ministry officials and employees in Tokyo and neighboring prefectures, according to police. Chukakuha guerrillas have claimed responsibility for all eight attacks.

The leftist group opposes Narita airport, east of Tokyo, because it was constructed after forcibly expropriating farmers’ land.