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An extreme left wing group has claimed responsibility for torching a car parked at the residence of a Transport Ministry official Wednesday in the town of Shiroi, Chiba Prefecture.

The statement, attributed to the Chukakuha Revolutionary Army and mailed to news organizations in Tokyo on Sunday, said the act was designed to block the construction of a provisional runway at the Narita airport.

The incident took place on early Wednesday at the parking lot of the apartment of the ministry’s Administration and Legal Affairs Division chief.

Investigators had found batteries and cables from the gutted vehicle and been looking into it as an arson case.

The same sect issued the responsibility for the similar incident at the residential parking lot of another senior ministry official on Aug. 26 in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward.

Conductor Shallon dies in TokyoIsraeli conductor David Shallon died of bronchial asthma at a Tokyo hospital early Saturday, hospital sources said. He was 49.

Shallon, who came to Japan earlier this month to conduct the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, suffered an asthma attack Friday night at the Tokyo hotel where he was staying, the sources said.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after, they said.

Shallon, who hails from Tel Aviv, had been scheduled to leave Japan on Sunday.

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