Woman hostage released unharmed after 18-hour standoff in Japan

TOKYO (XINHUA) – A woman was held hostage for 18 hours by a knife-wielding man at the headquarters of a transportation company in Shimane Prefecture, western Japan, before being released unharmed yesterday, local police said.

Kaisei Nakao, 23, who entered the premises of Ueda Cold Corp in Izumo City a day earlier at around 2.20pm local time wielding a bladed instrument, told staff he wanted to see the firm’s president and went on to barricade himself inside the premises.

After the standoff involving an employee in her 40s being forcibly confined for 18 hours, Nakao was arrested by police for alleged criminal confinement, police said.

The hostage was confined in a conference room and watched throughout the protracted ordeal, although local reports said the woman was not restrained in any way, and Nakao and his victim were not thought to be acquainted.