Japan Cops: Exchange Hostage Taker Is Rightist

TOKYO (Reuters) - Police identified a man holding a hostage at the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Tuesday as an ultra-nationalist who wants to talk to Finance Minister Hiroshi Mitsuzuka.

A police spokesman said the middle-aged man was a disciple of a right-wing activist who committed suicide in a Japanese newspaper office in 1993.

The man, armed with a "pistol-like object," has been holding a Finance Ministry official on loan to the exchange hostage for more than three hours on the building's 14th floor.

The spokesman said the man was a follower of Shusuke Nomura, who in October 1993 committed suicide by shooting himself twice in the stomach in the offices of the Asahi Newspaper group.

Nomura, head of the "Kaze no Kai" (Wind Party), took his life because of a cartoon in a magazine owned by Asahi that ridiculed his Japanese nationalist views.

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