Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Japanese hardliners targeted?

Is someone trying to kill Japanese politicians who advocate a "hard line" against North Korea?

Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara said Tuesday he has been hearing "rumors" that a bomb found in the garage of Deputy Foreign Minister Hitoshi Tanaka in September was placed by people seeking to discredit hardliners on North Korean issues -- like the governor himself.

"The bomb did not explode, even though it was complete with a fuse. . . . It is widely rumored that somebody who is critical of us did it to attract sympathy," Ishihara told a gathering in Tokyo.

The gathering was organized by supporters of people whose families were abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.

Police found a bomb Sept. 10 in Tanaka's Tokyo home. He is a key Foreign Ministry official for negotiations and policymaking on North Korea.


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