Ishikawa Digest ----------- 石川ダイジェスト

News highlight from Ishikawa Prefecture(March 21st to April 20th):

Aum Religious Cult Suspect in Ishikawa?

During the first half of April, Ishikawa Prefecture was center of a nationwide search for a suspect in a kidnapping incident which occured in Tokyo in mid-March. On April 11th, one thousand officers were dispatched in the prefecture to search for Tsuyoshi Matsumoto, an executive of the Aum Supreme Truth Religious Cult, after cult members were arrested in Ishikawa and searches in a rental villa in Anamizu Town and a hotel room in Kanazawa turned up evidence that Matsumoto spent some time at these places. After surgical instruments, soiled bandages and women's apparel were discovered, the police suspected that Matsumoto, with the aid of fellow cult members, may have had plastic surgey and tried to escape to Russia via Kanazawa Port or Nanao Port. Matsumoto has not been sighted since April 10th.


Wajima Resident Honored as "National Living Treasure"

On April 14th, 69-year old Keishiro Shioda of Wajima City was named a National Living Treasure by the National Cultural Preservation Selection Committee. Mr. Shioda, a Wajima lacquerware artist specializing in lacquer coat finishing, has a long list of accomplishments including 29 sucessful entries to the National Traditional Arts and Craft Exhibition. He is the second Wajima lacqureware artist to be honored, while the craft itself was designated as National Treasure in 1977.


Dali Lama Visited Kanazawa

The 14th Dali Lama made a two-day visit to Kanazawa on April 1st. The Nobel Laureate was invited to the city by one of his followers who is a representative of a local buddhism volunteer group. Although details of his stay was not made public for security reasons, he had plans to attend a completion ceremony of a training hall and give a sermon.


First Male Nursery School Teacher in Ishikawa

Hirosuke Teraguchi of Tsubata Town became the first male certified nusery school teacher in the prefecture. The 20-year old is a recent graduate of a nursery school program in Toyama Prefecture and started to work at the Oshirodai Nursery School in Tsubata this April. When asked why he decided to choose this profession, Mr. Teraguchi replied "I love children and I also feel that men should be actively involved with the education of them".


Rural Schools Close in Noto

March 30th marked closures of two schools in Noto Peninsula. The Mawatari Elementary-Junior High School in Suzu City and the Kaminaka Elementary School in Anamizu Town leave behind 117 and 119 years of history, respectively. Both schools cited declining enrollment for their closure, with the Mawatari school expecting no new students for the upcoming school year.


50 Million Yen Stolen from a Pachinko Parlour Parking Lot

Tsurgi Town Police Department reported that on March 22nd, about 50 million yen in cash was stolen from a car belonging to a (pachinko) prize wholesale company parked at a Tsurugi pachinko parlor. Based on footage from a surveillance camera at the parking lot, two men are believed to be involved in the crime, one acting as a lookout while the other gained entrance to the vehicle by breaking the car window with a screwdriver-like object. The suspects fled the scene in a hatchback-type car.


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