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
May 31
Okayama Prefectural Police are investigating a shooting incident outside an apartment in Okayama City that left an organized crime member dead, reports NHK (May 31). (Tokyo Reporter)
May 31
Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a 43-year-old man who is alleged to have pushed his girlfriend into Yokohama Bay, reports TV Asahi (May 31). (Tokyo Reporter)
May 31
Japan put its military on alert on Monday for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch, ordering naval destroyers and anti-ballistic missile Patriot batteries to be ready to shoot down any projectile heading for Japan. (Japan Today)
May 31
Japanese searchers scoured thick forest Monday, looking for a seven-year-old boy whose parents left him in mountain woods as a punishment, in a case that has infuriated the public. (Japan Today)
May 31
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to delay the planned consumption tax hike for 2-and-a-half years. But he vowed not to dissolve the Lower House for a snap election. (NHK)
May 31
Defense Minister Gen Nakatani announced Monday that the Self-Defense Forces will be pulled out of Kumamoto Prefecture, 1½ months after the area was hit by strong earthquakes. (Japan Times)
May 31
Japanese public prosecutors have questioned former economic and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari on a voluntary basis in connection with a political funding scandal involving him and a former secretary to him, informed sources said Monday. (Jiji Press)
May 30
The Japanese government said on Monday it was doing all it could to secure the release of a Japanese journalist being held hostage by an al-Qaida affiliate in Syria, after an apparent photograph of the man was posted on the Internet. (Japan Today)
May 30
Five men died and another man remains in a coma after the station wagon they were traveling in plunged into a dam in Kawachinagano, Osaka Prefecture, on Sunday afternoon. (Japan Today)
May 30
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has stressed that the government will strive to build international momentum for nuclear disarmament. (NHK)