Gunman on the run in Japan after killing man

TOKYO • A man who allegedly shot dead a construction worker and wounded three other people in Japan is on the run, police said yesterday, marking a rare incident of gun violence in the country.

Public broadcaster NHK said the man, who is yet to be identified, was an acquaintance of the victims and is believed to still be armed.

He opened fire inside the office of a construction company in the western city of Wakayama, a police spokesman said, adding that 45-year-old Junsuke Ishiyama died after being sent to hospital with a bullet wound to his stomach.

The three wounded were also sent to hospital, the spokesman added, one of them unconscious.

"We're still investigating" who and where he is, she said, without giving further details. Local media said police were yet to find a motive for the shooting.

The city of Wakayama issued a warning, asking residents to stay in their homes, NHK said.

Japan is known for social peace and low crime rates while strict firearm control laws make gun violence extremely rare.

Last year, there was a total of just eight incidents of gun violence in Japan, with one person being killed and three wounded, according to the National Police Agency.

When gun violence does occur it is often linked to organised crime gangs.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2016, with the headline 'Gunman on the run in Japan after killing man'. Print Edition | Subscribe