Man breaks into Japan's defense ministry, tries to snatch guard's rifle

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-07 16:25:59|Editor: xuxin
Video PlayerClose

TOKYO, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- A man broke into the grounds of Japan's Ministry of Defense in Tokyo on Thursday and wrestled with a Self-Defense Force (SDF) member who was on duty, and apparently tried to grab the guard's rifle.

The man, who was subsequently arrested, broke into the ministry's grounds through the front gate at around 9:40 a.m. local time, according to the ministry's accounts.

According to a ministry official quoting other witnesses, the man was clearly wrestling with the guard on duty and was attempting to snatch the guard's rifle.

The ministry official confirmed that SDF members who guard the front gate, along with private security guards working around the clock, do not carry loaded weapons.

The defense ministry is located near the busy JR Ichigaya Station in Tokyo.

Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told a press briefing on the matter that investigation is ongoing and he is awaiting further updates from local police, such as the man's motives.

The man was arrested on the spot by the Ground Self-Defense Force's police unit for trespassing. It is not yet known whether further charges will be added such as assault or more hefty charges associated with his intentions with the rifle, which he did not know wasn't loaded.

"The SDF member was not injured. I will receive further reports such as on his motives when they are known," Iwaya told reporters.

Troops from the Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces also comprise those who guard the defense ministry.