In August, the arrest of Masaki Kitamura made international news when the anime staffer (assistant director on Gundam 00, episode director on Yu-Gi-Oh and Wolf’s Rain) was accused of threatening to ram a truck into pedestrians and “then stabbing whoever I can with a knife before committing suicide.” Kitamura has now been released amid suspicions that a third party may have remotely operated his PC to send the threat.
The threat was posted to Osaka City government’s web site on July 29, and later tracked to a wireless connection owned by Kitamura, who has denied knowlege of the message. Police also investigated whether an August 1st bomb threat against a Japanese Airlines flight from Tokyo to New York originated from Kitamura.
The Osaka District Public Prosecutor's Office released Masaki Kitamura on September 21st after discovering that his personal computer had been infected with a virus that could have allowed others to control it remotely.
The knife attack threat was strikingly similar to Tomohiro Kato's 2008 Akihabara mass murder. Following the tragedy, Akihabara suspended its Sunday tradition of closing roads to vehicular traffic, later re-opening to pedestrians between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on January 23, 2011.
A 28-year-old man in Mie Prefectural who was arrested suspicion of posting a message on an Internet message board warning he would destroy the Ise grand shrine has also been released after it was found that his PC was infected by the same virus.