A 56-year-old man was sent to prosecutors Wednesday for allegedly trespassing on the grounds of Prince Hisahito’s school, where he is suspected of leaving two knives on the boy’s desk, a charge he has admitted to, according to the authorities.
The police tracked down Kaoru Hasegawa, who had been on the run for four days since Friday, by piecing together footage from surveillance cameras in various locations.
The incident took place as the country was preparing to celebrate the ascension of Emperor Naruhito to the Chrysanthemum Throne on Wednesday. Prince Hisahito is now second in line to the throne behind his father, Crown Prince Akishino, who is the younger brother of the emperor.
Two knives were found around noon on Friday on the 12-year-old prince’s desk, with security camera footage showing a helmeted man clad in blue and wearing a mask and gloves entering Ochanomizu University Junior High School in Tokyo earlier in the day.
The camera also spotted a man resembling Hasegawa, whose place of residence and occupation are unknown, leaving the school premises from the main gate at around 11:10 a.m., according to the police. A person thought to be him was later seen at nearby Myogadani Station, from where he apparently took a subway.
By analyzing surveillance camera footage from different locations, the police were able to determine that Hasegawa took an indirect route to a hotel in the city of Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, around 50 kilometers southwest of the central Tokyo school.
The police arrested him on Monday after he returned to the hotel.
A woman in her 50s who was staying at the hotel said she saw Hasegawa being led away by two people, apparently investigators, after he told the front desk clerk his room number.
“He looked quite calm,” she said.
The police are investigating the motive behind the incident. The two knives were attached to the end of a 60-centimeter-long aluminum bar with duct tape, resembling a two-pronged pitchfork. The blades of the knives were painted pink, according to the police.