A senior Transport Ministry official ordered All Nippon Airways on Jan. 21 to investigate how a man managed to carry a kitchen knife aboard an ANA flight from Osaka late Jan. 20 and hijack the aircraft, Transport Minister Makoto Koga said. Yukio Kusuki, deputy chief of the ministry’s Civil Aviation Bureau, told ANA Vice President Hideo Aoki to improve safety measures.Fukuoka-bound ANA Flight 217, a Boeing 777, was reportedly hijacked late Jan. 20 by a 31-year-old man, who was arrested shortly after the plane landed at Fukuoka Airport. The suspect, whose name is being withheld, was carrying a knife about 15 cm long. He was subdued by the crew after the plane landed at Fukuoka and the passengers were allowed to leave the aircraft.He was initially arrested on suspicion of violating the weapons control law. He was served an additional arrest warrant on suspicion of violating the Hijack Prevention Law. “We will investigate the case in an effort to prevent a recurrence,” Koga said. “ANA is currently checking video recordings made at the metal detector, and we would like to wait for the airline’s report.”

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