53-year-old Japanese woman arrested for squirting water gun at Olympic torch

She could also be heard shouting anti-Olympic slogans.

Matthias Ang | July 07, 2021, 01:19 PM

A 53-year-old woman in Japan has been arrested after she sprayed a water gun at the Olympic torch as a runner carried it past her, Japanese media The Mainichi reported.

Police have said that the woman has since admitted to her actions and said that her motive was to protest the Olympics.

Shouted anti-Olympic slogans as well

The incident was captured on video, showing the woman waiting for the 77-year-old relay runner with the torch, she then squirted the water gun at the torch.

In addition, she can also be heard shouting in Japanese, "Oppose the Olympics! Stop the Olympics!"

Security personnel surrounding the runner are then seen raising a small plastic shield to repel the water before stopping to question her.

Soranews24 further reported that the water gun she used was the pink model of a Fancy & Toy Tonari Splash Water Gun, with a range of five-metres, a 130-cubic-centimetre clip, and a snub-nosed 21-centimetre design, which allowed her to conceal the gun easily.

A deputy police chief in Mito, Noriaki Nagatsuka, said that she had been deliberately aiming at the runner with the intention of interfering the relay, according to Vice News.

He was quoted as adding, "You can’t shoot water at people for no good reason. She clearly wasn’t playing around—this isn’t child’s play."

Media poll: 86 per cent of Japan fear new Covid-19 escalation if Olympics are held

The woman's action comes amidst what appears to be growing fears of the Olympics leading to a fresh escalation of Covid-19 cases in the country once it is held, with 86 per cent of Japan fearing such a scenario, according to a poll held by Kyodo News.

The survey on 2,000 people, also found that just over half, at 50.8 per cent, felt that the government's decision to end the latest state of emergency in Tokyo, Hokkaido, Osaka and six other prefectures on July 4 was premature.

When asked if about the declaration of a new Covid-19 emergency once the Olympics begin, 55.7 per cent said that measures such as the barring of spectators should be continued, while 35.4 per cent said the games should be cancelled.

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