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Bomb threat, shot directed at Japan Teachers Union

An object apparently designed to look like a crude bomb was found at the Japan Teachers Union headquarters Sunday night, and someone appeared to have shot at a local JTU office in western Tokyo, according to police.

Investigators said Monday that a security guard found a suspicious object placed at the side of the entrance of the Japan Education Center in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, at around 9:50 p.m. Sunday.

According to police, the object was a plastic box covered in transparent plastic that was 15 cm long, 8 cm wide and 6.5 cm tall.

Police believe the box -- which contained a clock, batteries, lead wires and white clay on the bottom -- was intended to look like a bomb. It did not contain any explosives, they said.

Meanwhile, at around 11 p.m. Sunday, a man telephoned the Tokyo head office of the Asahi Shimbun, saying he had fired a bullet into the JTU's office in Kunitachi, western Tokyo, and claimed a bomb had been placed at the union's headquarters.

The man said he was a member of the "Kenkoku Giyudan Kokuzoku Seibatsutai," which roughly translates into the "Nation-Building Volunteer Corps to Conquer Traitors." Police responding to the call said they found a shattered window on the first floor of the JTU's Kunitachi office.

Police said they believe the incidents were the work of the same group, calling itself names that include such phrases as "Kenkoku Giyudan," "Kenkoku Giyugun" or "Kokuzoku Seibatsutai," which claimed to have planted a bomb at the home of Deputy Foreign Minister Hitoshi Tanaka and sent rifle bullets to Hiromu Nonaka, former Liberal Democratic Party secretary general, and Muneo Suzuki, a former House of Representatives member.

The Japan Times: Oct. 28, 2003
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