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Massive manhunt in Japan ends as rape suspect is caught on 'live' TV

Published on Jan 9, 2014 2:16 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - A massive manhunt that saw thousands of Japanese police flood the streets ended on live television on Thursday with the capture of an escaped rape suspect.

Footage shot from a helicopter showed dozens of plainclothes police officers and their uniformed colleagues surrounding a man believed to be Yuta Sugimoto, 20, who slipped away during his visit to a prosecutors' office in Kawasaki, a port city south of Tokyo.

Sugimoto had been on the run since Tuesday after fleeing during a break in questioning over the gang rape and robbery of a young woman in the city on Jan 2.

Around 4,000 police were mobilised, along with hundreds of vehicles, helicopters, boats and sniffer dogs in the hunt for the suspect, reports have said.

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