Blade-letters man held in custody

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 April, 2007, 12:00am

A man who sent threatening letters containing cutter blades to Shinzo Abe before he became Japanese prime minister, and to Foreign Minister Taro Aso and Japan's former consul-general in Hong Kong, because he felt they did not respect Chinese war victims, has been remanded in custody for sentencing.

Lau Yiu-tak, 25, yesterday pleaded guilty in the District Court to 10 counts of criminal intimidation.

The court heard that 10 letters were sent to Japanese leaders, each containing a 10cm blade attached to a piece of paper with handwritten Japanese characters. Eight were delivered to Mr Abe, who at the time was chief cabinet secretary, while the other two were sent to Mr Aso, and the then consul-general in Hong Kong, Takanori Kitamura.

Lau, who appeared before Judge Mary Yuen Lai-wah, said he sent the letters because he wanted to express dissatisfaction with Japanese officials. He said it was just 'a means to express my opinion, but with no intention of scaring them'. He said he had surrendered himself to police, and the court heard that he later sent out apology letters.

Prosecutor William Tam told the court a letter addressed to Mr Aso was received by the parliamentary office in Tokyo last year. The letter stated that if Mr Aso continued uttering words that damaged the Sino-Japanese relationship, he would fail the prime minister's campaign and God would kill him. The court heard that Lau had written his Hong Kong address on the back of the note.

Letters were also sent to police stations and news agencies, reading: 'If Mr Abe continues to pay visits to Yasukuni shrine, he will be punished and killed by God.'

Sentencing will be on May 3.