Major university hospitals in Tokyo have received a barrage of bomb threats linked to demands that medical schools increase their admissions, a news report and authorities said Monday.
No explosives have been found so far at 11 hospitals targeted, Kyodo News agency said. Tokyo Metropolitan Police would only confirm that 11 locations had received such threats, but refused to identify them or provide other details.
The reported threats come as police have bolstered their presence in train stations and other public places during the campaign for parliamentary elections next week. An anonymous bomb threat last week forced the evacuation of an airliner in northern Japan.
The letters said the bomb attacks would come within 45 days, and at least some of the threats also criticized universities for not accepting enough applicants to their medical schools, Kyodo News agency said.
A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity in accordance with official practice, confirmed a link between the school admissions and the bomb threats, adding that the letters were similarly phrased and appeared to come from the same author or authors.
"Unless the number of admissions to medical schools is doubled next year, there will be a large-scale terrorist attack," Kyodo quoted a typical letter as saying.
It was not clear whether the writers were threatening to attack the hospitals or whether they had other targets in mind.
Several neighborhood police stations confirmed that specific hospitals in their jurisdiction had received threats. One officer said on condition of anonymity that more than 20 hospitals had received such letters.
One of the recipients, Keio University Hospital, received a Sept. 1 letter warning of a "large-scale terrorist attack," said hospital spokesman Nobuo Kuroda.
The letter did not specify targets or what kind of attack it would be, Kuroda said. Police have increased security in and around the hospital, he added.