Police on Sunday arrested a 28-year-old man who held the manager of a “yakiniku” grilled meat restaurant in Tokyo hostage and claimed he had planted a bomb in the establishment, later telling police he wanted to eat grilled meat before being nabbed, investigative sources said.
No one was injured, and only a fake bomb was found in the restaurant in Shibuya Ward, the sources said.
The suspect, Akito Araki, allegedly told the manager he wanted to copy recent attacks on trains, suggesting he may have drawn inspiration from the Oct. 31 attack on a Keio Line train in Tokyo in which a man stabbed a passenger and ignited a fire, the sources said.
“I could have done (the attack) anywhere, but I wanted to eat grilled meat before I got caught,” he was quoted as saying by the sources.
When calling emergency services, the manager, 49, reported that he had been handed a note by Araki instructing him to call the police as he had activated a bomb, they said.
Araki told investigators during questioning that he “could not find a reason for living” after leaving his parents’ home in Nagasaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan, two weeks ago and becoming homeless in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district.
Three boxed objects wrapped in adhesive tape with cell phones were found at the scene. The suspect told investigators he made the fake bombs.
Araki is also being investigated for violating the weapons control act after the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department confiscated a butcher knife and a fruit knife from him.
The incident occurred at around 8:55 p.m. Saturday at the establishment in the basement of a building near JR Yoyogi Station, with investigators attempting to coax the suspect in the following hours.
Loud noises were heard as they barged into the building a little after midnight, with Araki later taken away in a police vehicle.