Okayama man accused of emailing death threat to Abe


Police on Friday turned over to prosecutors their case against a 25-year-old man in Okayama Prefecture who last year allegedly emailed a death threat to Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe, the current prime minister, as well as other intimidating messages to other targets.

The police nationwide have been trying to pinpoint the party behind a series of threatening emails that were sent, by remote control, via apparently innocent people’s personal computers that had been infected with a virus.

But in the case against the 25-year-old man, who stands specifically accused of obstructing business through fraudulent activities, he admitted sending the threat and other problematic emails, police officials said, adding that he said he used language gleaned from someone else’s site.

Police examined personal computers taken from the man’s home but found no viruses indicating the PCs were controlled remotely, the officials said, ruling out that he was involved in the other email threats, which led to the wrongful arrests, and apologetic release, of four people.

The man allegedly sent six emails that included the threat to kill Abe to the website of the Prime Minister’s Official Residence between last Oct. 2 and 9 from a PC at his home. Abe became the LDP chief in September and prime minister last month.

According to an investigation source, the man sent some 120 threatening emails to public offices, including to the National Police Agency, and to the blogs of lawmakers during the month.

The contents of the emails suggested they had been sent via remotely controlled PCs, but the man told police he had used the language of someone else’s site, according to the source.

Last November, police found the man’s home by analyzing Internet protocol addresses and seized the PCs there for further scrutiny.

Further information about the nature of the threats was not provided.