Clinic consultation

4 suspected anti-vaccine group members arrested for Tokyo clinic robbery

The headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Department can be seen in this file photo. (Mainichi/Kenji Yoneda)

TOKYO – Four suspected members of an anti-vaccination group were arrested on April 7 for allegedly breaking into a COVID-19 vaccination site in the capital’s Shibuya district, the Mainichi Shimbun learned from a source close to the investigation.

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has arrested the four trespassing suspects, the investigative source said. Police are investigating the details, believing the suspects are affiliated with the anti-vaccination group “Yamato Q” and were protesting vaccinations.

According to the source, the four suspects are specifically accused of entering a clinic in the Shibuya district where vaccinations were in progress on the morning of April 7. After receiving an emergency call, officers from the Yoyogi Police Station of the MPD arrived at the scene and arrested them.

Yamato Q has held events including protests against masks and vaccinations across the country since January this year. Searching for attendees on social media and through other means, the group once gathered several thousand people for an event.

In Tokyo, self-proclaimed members of the group protested at the Tokyo Dome in the Bunkyo district and at a facility in the Shinjuku district where COVID-19 injections were administered in March. About 30 people stormed into the Shinjuku Ward Vaccination Center insisting, “Do not distribute vaccines that kill children,” disrupting the operation of the site for about an hour. The MPD had intensified its vigilance after being consulted by the Shinjuku district office.

(Japanese original by Buntaro Saito, Tokyo City News Department)