ASAHIKAWA, HOKKAIDO – A 57-year-old man from Furano, Hokkaido, forced a neighborhood evacuation Wednesday after telling municipal officials he had a dud munition ready for disposal after using it as an alcove decoration for over 20 years.
About 20 households in the town of Shintomi were evacuated for 3½ hours after the unusual request Wednesday morning.
The shell, which might have belonged to the Imperial Japanese Army, is 28 cm long and 7 cm wide. When the Furano police arrived at his home, they found it outside under the roof. It was then taken away to be defused by a local Ground Self-Defense Force unit.
The man said the shell was a kind of an unwanted heirloom that sometimes adorned his alcove or was kept in storage.
“A relative brought this back from a battle zone. I had long been thinking about disposing of it eventually.”