Pensioner arrested for attacking neighbour with samurai sword

Pensioner, 78, is arrested for attacking his neighbour with samurai sword in Japan during an argument over noise in the early hours of the morning

  • Toshimi Ohata, 78, attacked neighbour Kiyonobu Yokoyama, 74, with weapon 
  • Pair were arguing over noise during the night in Kohoku suburb of Yokohama 

A man has been arrested for attempted murder in Japan after attacking his neighbour with a samurai sword during an argument. 

Toshimi Ohata, 78, attacked his neighbour Kiyonobu Yokoyama, 74, with the ceremonial weapon after they had a disagreement over noise in the early hours of the morning in the Kohoku suburb of Yokohama. 

Police arrived at the scene to find Mr Yokoyama bleeding from cuts to his upper body after receiving a call from a resident in the apartment block at around 2am on Tuesday. 

When officers arrived, Mr Ohata had shut himself in his flat. He eventually left his flat after speaking with police for eight hours, and admitted that he had attacked his neighbour. 

Mr Yokoyama was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

Toshimi Ohata, 78, attacked his neighbour Kiyonobu Yokoyama, 74, with the ceremonial weapon (Stock Image) 

Crime involving blades and guns in Japan is usually severely punished. However, the use of ceremonial swords is not usually prosecuted under the Swords and Firearms Possession Control Law. 

It comes just months after the country’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was forced to take cover after a pipe-like object believed to be a smoke bomb was thrown at him during an outdoor speech.

That incident, in April, came after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead on the campaign trail by a lone assailant with a homemade gun last year – an attack which stunned the nation.

The attack happened in the western city of Wakayama – only 60 miles from Nara, where Abe, 67, was assassinated on July 8, 2022. 

The murder of Abe – Japan’s most famous politician – stunned his country.

The shooting was a particular shock in Japan, where gun ownership is tightly restricted and political violence affecting top leaders has been rare in recent decades. 

Part of the collective fury at his killing was because crime is so rare in Japan, where it’s not uncommon to see cellphones and purses lying unattended in cafes. 

The nature of the attack on Abe has led to an emergency review of the way Japan guards its officials, and a tightening of security at election campaigns or large-scale events 

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