Chiba police free female hostage, arrest man after attack, standoff at church
Japan Times -- Feb 19
Chiba Prefectural Police arrested a 36-year-old man Friday after he went on an injurious rampage and barricaded himself in a church with a hostage 51-year-old female counselor in the town of Sakura.

Police investigators stormed the church just before 5 a.m. Friday and arrested Daisuke Kotabe for allegedly confining the woman, who suffered injuries but was safe.

Kotabe, who is from Sakura, has owned up to attacking the victim and holding her hostage, the police said.

They said Kotabe was at the church to receive counseling from the woman when at around 8:30 p.m. Thursday he took out a bat and a knife from his rucksack and attacked his parents, who are in their 70s, the counselor and one other man, also in his 70s, at the church.

His parents and the man were also injured, but they managed to escape, the police said, adding none of the four victims sustained life-threatening injuries.

千葉県で男が教会に人質を取って立てこもっているということです。 警察によりますと、18日午後8時半ごろ、千葉県佐倉市の教会で、30代から40代ぐ­らいの刃物を持った男が人質を取って立てこもっています。女性1人が人質になっている­という情報もあります。

News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
Jan 21
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent Donald Trump a message celebrating his inauguration as new president of the United States in Washington on Friday. (Jiji)
Jan 21
The manufacturer of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet plans to postpone its first delivery until mid-2020. (NHK)
Jan 20
The number of people who committed suicide in Japan in 2016 fell 9.4 pct from the previous year, its fastest decline on record, the health ministry said in a preliminary report Friday. (Jiji)
Jan 20
The organizing committee of the 2017 Asian Winter Games to be held in Hokkaido, northern Japan, next month has asked a Japanese hotel chain to take appropriate measures amid criticism for its owner's denial of the 1937 Nanjing incident. (Jiji)
Jan 20
Seven Cambodian women have been rescued from a restaurant in Japan where they were allegedly forced into sex work after a victim made a desperate Facebook plea for help, an official said on Wednesday. (scmp.com)
Jan 19
The annual number of criminal offences in Japan has dropped below 1 million for the first time on record. (NHK)
Jan 19
Toshiba Corp. has sought financial assistance from the state-owned Development Bank of Japan as it expects an asset impairment loss of up to 700 billion yen ($6.17 billion) from its U.S. nuclear business, sources close to the matter said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Jan 19
Transport ministry officials at New Chitose Airport near Sapporo say an All Nippon Airways passenger plane is stranded at the end of a runway. (NHK)
Jan 19
The first batch of the US military's F-35 state-of-the-art stealth aircraft has arrived in Japan. It's the first deployment of the fighter jet outside the US mainland. (NHK)
Jan 19
The president of the Japan Shogi Association has officially announced his resignation after a top player of the chess-like game was cleared of allegations of software-assisted cheating. (NHK)