• Kyodo


A police officer in Yokohama became the latest officer to have his weapon stolen Friday morning when one of two men involved in a violent dispute disarmed him and fired a shot before being subdued, the police said. No one was injured.

Toshitaka Suzuki, 31, was arrested for allegedly obstructing police duties after firing the officer’s pistol at an apartment complex at around 11:30 a.m., they said.

The incident took place when two officers responded to an emergency call about someone kicking a vehicle. When the officers arrived, two men were fighting and the officers tried to break it up. A brief struggle ensued, resulting in the suspect grabbing one of the officers’ guns and firing it. He was quickly restrained.

It was the latest in a spate of incidents where Japanese police officers either misplaced their guns or had them taken away.

In June last year, a former member of the Self-Defense Forces fatally stabbed a senior officer at a police box in Toyama Prefecture before taking his handgun and fatally shooting a security guard at a nearby school.

Earlier this year, the National Police Agency said it would introduce new holsters designed to make it more difficult for police officers to be disarmed during hostile situations.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.