• Kyodo


Chiba Prefectural Police arrested the driver of a limousine bus operated by Chiba Kanko Bus on Saturday on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Shinji Kitamura, 40, an employee of the Chiba Prefecture bus operator, was arrested after about 20 passengers got off at a toll booth on the Higashi-Kanto Expressway at around 10 a.m. in protest at his driving, according to the police.

A toll booth employee called the police.

The police said Kitamura had drunk two bottles of beer and several cocktails at a bar near his home in the city of Tomisato in the prefecture until around 2 a.m.

He then drove the bus out of the company’s garage in the town of Taiei at around 4 a.m., heading for Tokyo, the police said.

When Kitamura was arrested, the bus was en route to Narita airport in Chiba after picking up passengers from a hotel in the capital. The expressway connects Tokyo and northern Chiba, where the airport is located.