• Kyodo


A knife-wielding man holed up Thursday at a bank in Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture, apparently let one of his five hostages go free, police said.

According to the police, the man, whose identity has not been confirmed, demanded food for 10 people, two cases of drinks and a loudspeaker, and access to reporters, while demanding that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s Cabinet resign.

The police were alerted by Toyokawa Shinkin Bank’s Zoshi branch through its emergency system at around 2:20 p.m. Thursday. The man was holding a female customer and four branch employees — one male and three female — hostage, the police and the bank said.

One of the women later walked out of the bank, apparently released by the man.

The bank said the man first took the female customer hostage as she was using an ATM near the front door, then entered the bank, captured the four employees and demanded that everyone else leave the premises.

The branch, located about 2 km southwest of the Toyokawa municipal office, has 12 employees.

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