Police Detain Radical Leftists
JAPANESE police have put out an unusual dragnet to detain members of militant leftist groups that plan to ``destroy'' the enthronement of Emperor Akihito. Tokyo police forces will also be increased by nearly one-fifth during next week's rites, to protect the emperor and visiting foreign dignitaries, such as Vice-President Dan Quayle and Britain's Prince Charles.
The estimated cost for special security for the proceedings is $32 million.
Dozens of bomb attacks and other incidents have preceded the enthronement in recent month. Most of the attacks have been blamed on the Chukaku-ha, or Middle Core Faction, and the Kakurokyo, or Revolutionary Worker's Association.
A special target are Shinto shrines, which were once closely tied to the imperial system.
The government had threatened to invoke a special law allowing the detention of any identifiable group that is believed to be subversive.
To avoid criticism for doing that, police have instead rounded up members of leftist groups on minor charges, such as using false names.
At least 124 radicals have been arrested so far this year, says a high-ranking police official, adding, ``It's very difficult to uncover them.''
Police are concerned about a possible mortar attack on the palace.