The Fukuoka Prefectural Police have released a large warning message on their homepage about a recent rise in crimes committed with hand grenades. Although we think of Japan as a place without guns, there are a few gun related crimes every once in a while. This is the first I’ve heard of hand grenade crimes in Japan, however.
The website posts in large red letters that hand grenades are designed for killing people. It lists the dangers of being within a certain range of a hand grenade blasts and advises people that if they happen to see a hand grenade –
- Not to step on it, touch it, or throw it
- To get away from it as quickly as possible
- To hide behind something and protect yourself
Now, I haven’t actually seen any news about hand grenade related crimes lately, if ever. My initial guess would be that the police busted a shop illegally selling them and assumes there are plenty out there. I wouldn’t say that visitors or residents in Japan should be especially worried about being robbed by someone armed with a hand grenade, or suddenly having one thrown at you. If anything, there are people in a park somewhere treating them like fireworks, or some kind of weapon collectors who want to own a real live “Shuryudan” – the Japanese word for hand grenade.
Here is a screen shot of the Fukuoka Prefectural Homepage’s warning:
There is no English version of the warning, and the Fukuoka Prefectural page’s English version is just an auto translate through Excite, so pretty much useless. As I said above though, I think they are going a bit overboard and will be surprised if we hear of many hand grenade attacks on Kyushu in the near future.