Tokyo police have recently arrested an Israeli-Japanese musician, Izaya Noda, over a series of suspected arson incidents on Tokyo’s train lines. Noda, 42, is a resident of Musashino, and the grandson of Moshe Barter, who served as Israel’s ambassador to Japan in1966-1972.
Tokyo police charged suspect Noda with setting seven fires along the city’s railways. In at least three of the incidents, the fires caused disruptions, affecting 150,000 passengers.
According to Tokyo police, Noda admitted his involvement in an August 23 arson, but denied involvement in the other incidents. Investigators quoted him as saying he “could not tolerate Japan Railways for consuming massive amounts of electricity.”
Noda’s father said his son had become a vocal critic of nuclear power plant operators after the 2011 disaster at Fukushima. His father added that Izaya had taken part in anti-nuclear rallies outside the Diet (Japan’s national legislature).
He continued to say that he could not believe that his son would commit such crimes.
During the investigation, passers-by reported seeing a man throwing a burning object into an electric substation in Shinagawa Ward on August 23, around the time the fire broke out. Security footage later showed a man leaving the scene by bicycle.
Tokyo police said they searched Noda’s home and found a yellow cowboy hat and a bicycle resembling those seen on the video. Police also found a plastic bottle containing a flammable liquid.
Japanese media outlets published a photo of Noda’s Israeli ID card, which was issued in Kfar Saba in 2002. According to the ID, Noda has an Israeli mother named Dorit, and a Japanese father named Tatsuya.
Japanese media also reported that Noda had penned a song including the chorus, “Hide until the time comes to attack,” and, “Burn! Burn! Burn!” The reports also mentioned that Noda posted a photo on Instagram showing a plastic bottle wrapped in white object. Police suspect that bottle was used to set one of the fires.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry refused to comment, “We won’t comment on the issue for privacy reasons.”