Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Itcho Ito, Mayor of Nagasaki, has been either wounded or killed during a shooting around 8pm tonight. MSN-Mainichi reports that police arrested the shooter at the scene and that Ito underwent treatment by ambulance personnel. "He was reportedly critically injured and remains unconscious after the attack." The news service provides approximately 100 words and the photograph above.

Kyodo News reports authorities saying that Ito "is in a serious condition with his heart not moving". They also supply the name of the assailant: Tetsuya Shiroo, 59.

He was arrested on the scene "on suspicion of attempted murder". On suspicion?

"Ito was shot near his campaign office and fell on his stomach." Nice bit of colour, there.

Kyodo also adds some relevant background: "In January 1990 in the city, former Mayor Hitoshi Motoshima was shot and seriously injured by a right-wing extremist after he refused to retract controversial remarks that the late Emperor Hirohito was partially responsible for the war."

So today's event is also an attempt by the far-right to influence mainstream politics? We're not told.

Kyodo's story is 125 words long. A similar Kyodo feed on the Web site of Japan Today is 180 words long. But it adds an interesting detail: "[The shooter] is believed to be a member of a gang affiliated with Japan's largest organized crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi".

"The motive is unknown."

Another story is provided by a foreign service, AP/AF. (I'm guessing that the second part of this cryptic tag means Agence France (Presse).) It is carried on the Web site of The Sydney Morning Herald. It contains 150 words.

The story is based on a broadcast from public station NHK.

"[Ito] did not appear to respond to efforts by office staff to resuscitate him before he was rushed to hospital."

Add MSN-Mainichi's "remains unconscious" with Kyodo's "his heart not moving" and the SMH's "did not appear to respond" and we can be pretty sure that the politician, who was seeking his fourth term in office, is dead.

Boo to the Japanese press for not providing more comprehensive details. And hiss to the authorities for gagging the press.

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