A 56-year-old man who has admitted to trespassing into a Tokyo school attended by Prince Hisahito is suspected of cutting some of the electric wiring connected to the campus surveillance camera system to avoid being recorded, investigative sources said Tuesday.
Pruning shears were discovered on the premises of Ochanomizu University after two knives were found on 12-year-old Prince Hisahito’s classroom desk in its affiliate junior high school around 11 a.m. Friday, according to police.
The police believe the man, who identified himself as Kaoru Hasegawa after his arrest Monday, avoided the university’s main gate when he entered the junior school.
The discovery of the knives occurred ahead of the Tuesday abdication of 85-year-old Emperor Akihito and the enthronement of Crown Prince Naruhito the following day.
The imperial succession will promote the prince, who is the son of Prince Akishino — the younger brother of Crown Prince Naruhito — to second-in-line to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
Police are still trying to confirm Hasegawa’s address and occupation.
According to the sources, footage from surveillance cameras shows a man believed to be Hasegawa walking past the main gate of the university at around 10:30 a.m. Friday and walking near the junior high school 20 minutes later.
A man also believed to be the suspect used the main gate to leave the campus at around 11:10 a.m., the sources said, adding that a person resembling him was seen at nearby Myogadani Station on the Tokyo Metro subway network.
Around Friday at noon, a school staffer found a 60-centimeter-long metal bar with two knives attached on one end placed across the prince’s desk and the one next to it. The blades of the knives were painted pink.
Each desk in the classroom bears a piece of a tape with a student’s name on it, according to the sources.
Prince Hisahito, who began attending the school in April after graduating from the national university’s elementary school on the same campus, was attending classes outdoors at the time and the classroom was empty when the two knives were left there.
When the man was entering the school premises, he identified himself as a plumber to the school staff via the intercom, according to an investigative source.