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IMMINENT WARNING: BOMB THREAT TO TOKYO HIGH COURT

November 14, 2022

Julia Pereira, PACOM

Blake Campbell, Editor; Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff


Tokyo High Court[1]


Event: On November 14, the Tokyo High Court in Kasumigaseki District received a bomb threat through an e-mail. Following the alert, officers have prohibited the entrance to the facility between 1200 and 1400. All trial proceedings scheduled between 1300 and 1429 were canceled or postponed.[2] The bomb threat was sent to multiple agencies and institutions, including the High Court, the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, and the Tokyo Fire Department. Among the cases the court had to address was a judgment on a lawsuit filed over the vote gap in the July Upper House elections.[3] The perpetrator of the threat is still unknown, but Japanese authorities remain vigilant due to the uncommon nature of this event and in light of the July assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.


Significance: There is a roughly even chance the threat is linked to the perpetrator seeking to delay a case heard by the High Court. The threat is also very likely intended to terrorize Japanese civilians and create instability likely due to dissatisfaction with the judiciary system or the government. The Tokyo High Court will almost certainly remain vigilant. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will very likely increase police patrols around Tokyo's Kasumigaseki District to prevent further incidents. Japanese authorities will almost certainly continue searching for the perpetrator, very likely requesting the assistance of the Public Security Intelligence Agency to trace the email's IP address. The local community will very likely grow insecure as Japan in the last few months has faced uncommonly destabilizing events, such as former Prime Minister Abe’s assassination. Japanese civilians will very likely request additional law enforcement officers to safeguard the local community and better counter any related threats and to strengthen their local defense system and their law enforcement's response in case of attack or threat.


Recommendations

  • The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) recommends locals to avoid the Tokyo High Court if possible, to stay alert for suspicious behavior among personnel and visitors and review emergency and safety procedures.

  • It is recommended to report any pertinent information regarding threats to the Tokyo High Court to authorities through secure means such as Tokyo Police Department’s emergency 110, or non-emergency #9110 lines.

  • It is recommended that law enforcement retrieve data and information about the threat actor from the email and monitor online discussions and chats for discourse relating to threats and attacks.

  • It is recommended that local authorities increase the number of law enforcement personnel deployed outside Tokyo High Court and other buildings of political or juridical relevance.

  • It is recommended to report any suspicious activities or persons attempting to purchase suspicious materials to manufacture bombs or other explosive ordnance.

  • If there is any additional and or critical information please contact us at The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) by Telephone 202-643-248 or email info@counterterrorismgroup.com

 

[1] Tokyo High Court by Rs1421 licensed under Creative Commons

[2] Tokyo court receives bomb threat, Japan Times, November 2022, https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/11/14/national/crime-legal/court-bomb-threat/

[3] Bomb threat prompts Tokyo High Court to ban entry, change trial schedules, Japan Today, November 2022, https://japantoday.com/category/crime/bomb-threat-prompts-tokyo-court-to-ban-entry-change-trial-schedules

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