Japan Frustrated by Little Information on Greek Bus Hijack
The hijack of a Japanese tourist bus in Greece grabbed the nation's attention but officials were frustrated Saturday by the little information they had on the safety of 35 travelers, a Japanese tour guide and their Greek driver.
"The Japanese tourist bus was hijacked by a man carrying a rifle in the morning in Greece," said an official from the division for the protection of Japanese nationals overseas at the foreign ministry.
"According to our information from the Greek Embassy, there are 35 Japanese tourists, one Japanese tour conductor and one Greek driver," the official said.
"We are very frustrated by the little information on the bus hijack as we are doing our utmost to scramble information," he said.
"So far we have not received any reports of injuries."
The hijacked bus was surrounded by Greek police, he said.
Tokyo had no plans to dispatch officials to Greece or to set up a special emergency task force within the government, the official said.
The gunman identified by Greek police as 48-year-old Christos Kentiras had fired on a police motorcyclist who tried to close in on the bus.
Police said Kentiras had jumped aboard the tour bus after shooting dead his 77-year-old mother-in-law and a 44-year-old man earlier Saturday in the Galatas region in the western Peloponnes.
The Japanese tourists were on their way from the Peloponnese to Athens, but Kentiras forced it to make a u-turn when it reached a police roadblock near Eleusis outside Athens.
The bus then headed in the direction of Corinth, 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of the capital, with a heavy police contingent in pursuit – TOKYO (AFP)
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