The Straits Times
Published on Nov 22, 2012

Man armed with knife takes hostages at Japan bank


TOKYO (AFP) - A man was holding hostages at a Japanese bank on Thursday, police said, with local media reporting that he was armed with a knife and demanding to speak with journalists.

The man, reportedly in his 30s or 40s, began the siege at the Zoshi branch of the Toyokawa Shinkin Bank in central Aichi prefecture just after 2pm local time (1pm Singapore), a police spokesman said.

National broadcaster NHK said he was holding five people - one customer and four staff. He was also asking for food and drinks, the Yomiuri Shimbun said.

Television footage showed the area around the bank sealed off and guarded by police officers.