crime

Another gas canister explodes in Sapporo

30 Comments

A gas canister exploded at the entrance to a large bookstore in Sapporo's Kita Ward on Tuesday morning, a week after a 51-year-old woman was arrested over a series of similar blasts in the ward earlier this year.

According to police, a gas canister of the type used for portable stoves was inserted into the roof overhanging the entrance to the bookstore. TBS reported that it exploded sometime early in the morning. The hole was discovered by a janitor at around 7:30 a.m. No one was injured, police said.

Several hundred 3.5-cm-long nails were found nearby, as well as a solid fuel igniter and a second exploded canister, police said.

Japanese media speculated Tuesday whether police arrested the wrong person last week in connection with five gas canister blasts in Kita Ward this year.

The suspect, Sanae Nasukawa, has so far only been charged with the 5th explosion that took place at a police dorm on April 3, but she has denied the charge, police said.

Since January, there have been five mysterious explosions of gas canisters filled with nails and thumb tacks at a police station, a home center, an Ito-Yokado store and a shop within a 3-km radius of a police station in Kita Ward. In the fifth blast at the police dorm on April 3, the canister was filled with nails. Nobody was hurt in any of the blasts.

Surveillance camera footage placed Nasukawa's car at the scene of the April 3 blast.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments
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Japanese media speculated Tuesday whether police arrested the wrong person last week in connection with five gas canister blasts in Kita Ward this year.

As usual.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Already more than a month but police/camera have failed to catch the culprit(s), Safety Japan?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Yup, l think they arrested the wrong person too....

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Whoever it is - is probably not working alone.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

thank God no one has been hurt so far. i sure hope they get the real person who is repsonsible!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What this article fails to mention is that the modus operandi is different, as well as using different types of nails, leading police to suspect this is a copycat crime.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

There have been attempted bombings in Sapporo for YEARS. The Yosakoi festival has been the target several times.

Sapporo. Come for the nature, stay for the bombings.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They may have arrested the wrong person, but it may also have been a copycat, or there may be a group behind the explosions. So it's premature to assume they arrested the wrong person.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

StrangerlandMay. 07, 2014 - 08:42AM JST They may have arrested the wrong person, but it may also have been a copycat, or there may be a group behind the explosions. So it's premature to assume they arrested the wrong person.

When their only evidence was, "she had some nails similar to the ones used in the bomb" in her house? ... yeah, the smart money is on them being wrong. If it was the same brand of nails and she had a LOT of them (bags and bags full), and more than 1 gas cylinder lying around... yeah, that would be grounds for arrest - but in a Western court they'd still need something positively linking her to the crime, like a partial fingerprint on the bomb.

But seriously, similar nails?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Haven't the Japanese media learned anything from the Matsumoto sarin incident of 1994? Remember Kono san?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Yep! I also stated I could not believe the arrested the right person. I'm not saying she wasn't involved, but it was unlikely a rich 50 y/o woman was behind the bombings.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Shesh, I called it when the woman was arrested because of the tiny amount of evidence they had. Obviously the police has messed up again and arrested the wrong person.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

When their only evidence was, "she had some nails similar to the ones used in the bomb" in her house? ...

That was their only evidence? And you know this because you are one of the investigators? Or you are on close terms with someone on the inside of the investigation who is letting you in on their inside information?

Or, maybe because that's what you read on the news, and you are playing armchair detective.

Which of the above options sounds most plausible.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Its sad that the police spattered photos of the person they arrested, without bothering to gather concrete proof. Thus destroying her life (if she is innocent), and the best part is that the police will never apologize if they turn out to be wrong.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Nails and gas canisters that most people have in their homes here makes millions suspects.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Either copycat, or they got the wrong woman. In any case, they certainly distributed the photo of the suspect too early.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Haven't the Japanese media learned anything from the Matsumoto sarin incident of 1994? Remember Kono san?

@Crazy Joe

I completely agree. The Japanese police set the bar pretty low in terms of evidence when under pressure to find a culprit and maintain that 99% conviction rate — flimsy circumstantial evidence (similar nails, car in surveillance video) seems to trump any concern of wrongful conviction.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The "evidence" was she was seen near a crime scene on a video camera and had nails at her home similar to ones used.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

One factor that I don't remember seeing mentioned in any of the Japan Today articles related to this case, but have seen on the TV news, is that the suspect had various dealings with the police last year. What exactly those incidents involved hasn't been made clear in any reports that I have seen, but have been mentioned as a possible motivating factor, especially given the content of the letters that were received from someone claiming to be the bomber. Maybe the suspect is guilty, maybe she has been framed by the police or someone with a grudge against her. I don't know and I don't think any of the other people posting here know either. Really wonder about the motivation of those who immediately put all fault at the feet of the Japanese police. Have you never heard of cases in other countries where not all details are immediately publicized during an ongoing investigation or people arrested for a crime have the charges dropped or are later found innocent at trial?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Could be a copy-cat (or the real perp) on the loose. Only way to know is to check and compare similarities. There are key components used in ANY bomb, the way it is made, the way it explodes, the places where it is detonated and how the perp thinks. This is a very complicated case and with time it may escalate to detonating future devices in a condensed populated area. Who knows, the police may have the primary perp but it could be that SHE (the person in question) is not working alone or at its worst... it may not even be her. It could be that it has been someone else ALL along. This needs a special task force with additional help from satellite feeds and cell tower assistance allocating the time and place of the last detonation. Sometimes you need to let the rat go in order to find the rat nest.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The woman had the exact same nails at home as the ones used in the explosion, same canisters and her car was located at the crimescene. Im not a detective but that is 3 pieces of evidence. The police here wont just arrest someone on a hunch, also this is a serious crime so better safe than sorry.

As for the last explosion I agree with some users that this is either a copycat or someone working together with her. Happened before in the past.

We all have to wait how this story unfold before we can make any assumptions really.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The "evidence" was she was seen near a crime scene on a video camera and had nails at her home similar to ones used.

No. She also had a plastic "ruler" with katakana carved out so you can trace it and write letters with it, so people cannot recognize your handwriting (similar to cutting out letters from a newspaper and pasting them). The characters matched the ones on the letters the police received.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Of course it I very easy for some posters to easily blame the police, since that's what they do all the tome anyway, earthquake, blame the police...

Any case the police probably do have the right person involved and 'tis recent explosion could be a copycat or another accomplance in the crime, it doesn't necessarily mean they have the wrong person.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

First people.... as some stated early. Nails and gas canisters are basically as easy as to buy candy in a store (I think you can find all those thing in almost every combini). That will make virtually the entire city of Sapporo suspect of the bombings. That conclusion even a 7 years old can come up with without effort.

So, we should assume that the police took special precaution when arresting the 50 year old woman (videos, the nails, the gas, and that here name came out involving in another matter years before). The arrest itself came three days after consecutive "willing" citations of the woman with the police.

We don't know any further details (may be there is more evidence that is not mentioned because is seem of little relevance to the media)... And again the woman could be innocent too. Though, if she is innocent why the family hasn't made any noise?, is a Japanese thing you may say... but still.

It could be that the real bomber is out there, or could be a copycat... or she was just one of several members.

Funny thing that the modus operandi and the alleged letters the bomber wrote give the strong impression that it was a male.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One JT poster hinted darkly that this bears the hallmarks of one of the old left-wing terrorist factions, like the Japanese Red Army. If some of them still hang around in Sapporo, then a small group looking after each other does make some sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is called terrorism. Ask the US for help in finding the actual culprit!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They arrested the wrong person.

They arrested the right person, and this is a copycat.

They arrested the right person, but she had a partner(s) to carry on the war.

Aliens!
0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope they're videoing her interrogation?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That has got to suck being arrested for something you know you didnt do. The logic behind this poor ladies arrest is similar to a person being seen in a video with red tennis shoes on and it just so happen the police see the individual in the video and visit their home and see a pair of red tennis shoes in the home. Nice police work watson

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Er, no, they have a lot more evidence than that, kaimycahl, as we have discussed here above, and in previous articles concerning her alleged involvement.

Please do not jump to conclusions either way before deciding on her guilt or innocence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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