A severed finger was among several intimidating items sent to a Japanese politician by right-wing activists yesterday.
Hiroshi Nakai, a veteran lawmaker in the left wing Democratic Party of Japan, received a shoe box, delivered by a courier service to his office at 2pm yesterday.
The box contained the tip of a little finger, a DVD reportedly with a recording of the severing process, an eight-centimetre bladed knife and a letter containing right wing sentiments.
The letter, which was addressed to Nakai, had a handprint reportedly made in blood, and contained phrases like “the Imperial Family has been politically shamed” and “prepare for divine retribution”.
Japanese media are reporting that the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department are treating the incident as an intimidation case.
Police are also tracking the parcel, which was sent from Hiroshima Prefecture by a self-identified senior member of a right-wing group.
Although severed fingers are an infamous Yakuza punishment it more likely the parcel was sent by one of Japan’s ultra nationalist groups. Some of the largest and most well known nationalist groups have connections with the Yakuza.
Last year, Nakai came into strife after shouting insulting comments towards the members of the Imperial family.
Nakai called for Prince Akishino and his wife to “Hurry up and sit down! We can’t sit down [until you do]” at the 120th anniversary of the opening Diet.
Since then, Nakai has been closely scrutinised by a small group of bloggers who criticise his Chinese birthplace and communications with North Korea, as well as his political career.
Since the slowdown of Japan’s economy in the early 1990s scholars believe young Japanese have been increasingly drawn to nationalist groups.
More recently, as Japan’s economy slows in stark contrast to China’s never ending power climb, there has been more tension towards China and issues surrounding territorial disputes and Japanese war crimes.