The Tokyo Metropolitan Police and a spokesman for the U.S. military have both revealed that parts for improvised rocket launchers were discovered outside the Yokota Air Force base late on Thursday night. Authorities confirmed that there weren’t any injuries or damage done, either on or off the base, and that the parts were found after several local residents called the police to complain of hearing explosions after dark.
In a field roughly 300 meters from the perimeter, police found two metal pipe pointed towards the military base and partially buried underground, along with other parts, including batteries and wires. However, they have not been able to find any projectiles or locations of impact from the potential weapons, nor is it clear what the explosions were meant to accomplish.
Local media including the Jiji Press have reported that investigators believe the incident is the work of an extreme left-leaning political group attempting some kind of attack. No one has made claims of responsibility, but the suspicion is further strengthened by the fact that one of the leftist group’s top members was taken into police custody earlier on Thursday. In addition, the Tokyo police were forced to raid the same group’s hideout about four years ago, after a similar incident had taken place.
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