Saturday, June 16, 2012

In Plain Sight

News reports and onlookers in front of
lockers at Craneview Station
Temple Valley - Yesterday the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department announced the arrest of Katsuya Takahashi, the last remaining suspect wanted in connection with the 1995 Tokyo subway poison gas attack. The earlier arrest this month of another wanted fugitive, Naoko Kikuchi, had led police to discover the whereabouts of Takahashi. Both suspects had been hiding for over a decade in plain sight. Kikuchi lived in Tokyo, where she worked as an adult caregiver and Takahashi in the adjacent city of Kawasaki, where he worked for a construction company. 

Takahashi was finally found hiding out in one of Tokyo's many all-night manga cafes. The Aum Shinrikyo cult member and wanted fugitive had apparrantly also visited the Temple Valley area over the last week as he evaded a police dragnet. A bag, containing a large sum of money, that Takahashi had been widely described as carrying, was found stashed in a locker at the local Craneview Train Station

Over the last 24 hours news cameras have been keenly focused on both the empty chair in the manga cafe where Takahashi had been found sitting as well as the empty locker that once held his stash of cash. Meanwhile in front of the Prime Minister's residence, thousands gathered on Friday to rally against today's decision by the Japanese government to begin restarting the country's dormant nuclear reactors. In comparison with the media circus surrounding Takahashi's arrest, domestic news outlets have given scant attention to what is perhaps the largest single protest of its kind this year. Anti-nuclear critics have been quick to note that as the media spotlight has moved on to the arrest of Takahashi, the administration of Prime Minister Noda has been left alone to work in the shadows. They say that the shift in news coverage has enabled the government to virtually hide any opposition over its decision to restart Japan's nuclear engines in plain sight.


As of Sunday reporters were still covering the
empty locker at Craneview (aka Tsurumi) Station
but had still not uttered a peep about the massive
demo in front of the prime minister's residence

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