Hostage taker demands Japan PM quit

A man armed with a knife took five people hostage at a Japanese bank on Thursday, police said, with local media reporting that he was demanding Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s cabinet resign.

About seven hours after the drama began the man released one hostage, public broadcaster NHK reported. Television footage showed a woman walking away from the bank as night fell, escorted by a police officer and apparently handcuffed.

The hostage-taking happened at the Zoshi branch of the Toyokawa Shinkin Bank in the central prefecture of Aichi in the early afternoon, a police spokesman said.

Local media said that the man, wielding a survival knife, took four employees and a female customer captive and was demanding the Noda cabinet step down as well as asking to speak to journalists.

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