Investigators are racing the clock with the statute of limitations on the unresolved poisoning and extortion crimes linked to the Glico-Morinaga case due to expire in a year.

It began with the kidnapping of Katsuhisa Ezaki, president of the major confectioner Ezaki Glico Co., in March 1984. Over the next 18 months, police were confronted with a wave of crimes, including arson, extortion, mass poisoning attempts and robbery, until the culprits reportedly "declared" they were finished.

The alleged perpetrators challenged and mocked authorities and targeted firms, sending letters to the media in which they openly ridiculed the police.