Japanese police rescue four bank hostages
TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese police rescued four hostages from a bank on Friday and arrested the knife-wielding man who had held them captive for more than 12 hours while demanding the prime minister resign.
In a televised news conference, a police spokesman said the hostage-taker, identified as Koji Nagakubo, was arrested on suspicion of taking a total of five people captive, including one person whom he had released earlier.
All the hostages were safe and in protective custody following the pre-dawn police raid, a spokesman said, though local media reported one of them - a 19-year-old female bank employee - was slightly injured.
The 32-year-old man began the siege Thursday afternoon at the Zoshi branch of the Toyokawa Shinkin Bank in the otherwise quiet residential area of Toyokawa city in central Aichi prefecture. Wielding a survival knife, he took four employees and a female customer captive and demanded the cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda step down, local media said.