• Kyodo


Police served an arrest warrant Friday on a man who allegedly vandalized copies of “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank and related books in libraries and a bookstore in Tokyo, after the suspect admitted damaging the books, investigative sources said.

The 36-year-old unemployed man, already under arrest for putting up posters in the bookstore where defaced copies of the diary were found, has reportedly told the police that he discarded pages he tore from the books, some of which were subsequently found by the police.

According to the arrest warrant, the man is suspected of ripping out pages in 23 books related to Anne Frank at the Minami-Ogikubo Public Library in Suginami Ward on Feb. 5.

The man told investigators he had defaced even more books, raising the possibility he was behind all the incidents in the wave of vandalism, the police said.

More than 300 copies of the diary and related books have been reported damaged in 38 libraries in western Tokyo since late February.

The man reportedly said he is “without a doubt” the perpetrator. A person resembling the suspect was caught by the Minami-Ogikubo library’s security camera removing books from shelves. The books were later found to have been damaged, the police said.

They have yet to decide whether he can be held criminally responsible, however, because they are still assessing his mental competence given the incoherent nature of some of his statements.

The man was arrested March 7 after he was found putting up posters without permission inside the Junkudo bookstore in Toshima Ward in February.

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