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Japanese police officer’s loaded handgun stolen after he was stabbed in chest on patrol

TOKYO – A Japanese police officer was stabbed several times in the chest with a kitchen knife and had his loaded handgun stolen while on patrol on Sunday (June 16) morning in the western city of Suita, in a rare case of violent crime in Japan, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The attack, which police believe may have been pre-meditated, sparked a manhunt with police using loudspeakers at a railway station to warn people to be on alert.

The stabbing comes two weeks before Japan hosts a leaders’ summit of the Group of 20 major economies in the neighbouring city of Osaka. It also follows an incident last month in which a knife-wielding middle-aged man killed a girl and an adult, injuring another 17 people near Tokyo.

Violent crime is relatively rare in Japan but occasional high-profile incidents have shocked the nation.

“It’s scary that a handgun was stolen. I want this to be resolved quickly,” a male neighbour said.

“A kindergarten’s open day was cancelled due to this incident. My kids cannot go out. It’s scary,” another man said.

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