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Man Arrested After Approaching Prime Minister

April 1, 1995

TOKYO (AP) _ A man was arrested Saturday after knocking on the door of a car carrying Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, the Kyodo News Service said. Murayama was not hurt.

The man identified himself as Akihiko Nishioka, 29, and said he was a member of a rightist group, according to a police statement.

Nishioka approached Murayama’s car while it was stopped at a red light and knocked on the door. He was then arrested.

Security around top officials has been tightened after the March 20 nerve gas attack in Tokyo’s subways, which killed 10 people and sickened 5,500 others, and the shooting Thursday of the head of the National Police Agency.

No one has been arrested in either attack, but authorities believe that rightists were not involved.

Radical right-wing groups have, however, been responsible for a series of attacks on public figures in recent years. A man fired shots near former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa last May to protest Hosokawa’s apologies for Japan’s actions in World War II.

In 1990 a rightist shot and wounded Nagasaki Mayor Hitoshi Motoshima after Motoshima said Emperor Hirohito bore some responsibility for the war.

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