• Kyodo


A bullet was fired through a window late Tuesday at a credit union here serving the Korean community, police said.

Police discovered the 4-cm-diameter hole at around 12:10 a.m. Wednesday at the Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, branch of Chogin Chubu Credit Union, which caters mainly to members of a pro-Pyongyang Korean residents’ organization. Police also found what appeared to be a bullet fragment nearby.

Late Tuesday night, an anonymous caller telephoned several media organizations, including the Chunichi Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun, claiming to have “shot at Chogin in Nagoya,” police said.

“I am astonished, because we did not receive any form of harassment, such as prank calls, beforehand,” said Ri Chang Nam, deputy head of Chogin Chubu Credit Union. “We want to make sure anxiety does not spread among our clients.”

According to police, a passerby heard an apparent gunshot at around 10:50 p.m. Tuesday. The credit union was empty at the time, as the last worker had left about an hour earlier, an official said.

Police are investigating to determine if the incident was an act of retaliation over North Korea’s abductions of Japanese nationals or the current nuclear standoff with Pyongyang, or stemmed from problems involving loans.

The glass around the hole was cracked over a radius of some 40 cm, but the bullet did not make its way through a shutter on the inside of the window, police said.

Chogin Chubu Credit Union, based in Gifu, was launched in 1999 as a result of a merger of “chogin” credit unions in Gifu and Toyama.

The office was once used by Chogin Aichi Credit Union, which went bankrupt in 1999. Public funds were injected when its business was transferred to Chogin Chubu Credit Union.

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