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Japan: Nigerian arrested after destroying hundreds of gravestones and religious statues

Prefectural Ehime police arrested a 45-year-old Nigerian national in an investigation into the destruction of hundreds of tombstones and religious statues in Ehime and Osaka prefectures.

Immediately, the police accused Abraham Emmanuel Uba, a resident of the city of Hannan, Osaka Prefecture, of having overturned a Buddhist statue worth about 80,000 yen, in a temple of the city of Saijo, in Ehime, on July 15.

The police did not say whether Uba acknowledged the facts. The police are also investigating whether Uba could be the perpetrator of a similar destruction in a temple in Matsushima City, Ehime.

On July 21, about 300 tombstones, some 1.7 meters high, were broken in the Tottori cemetery at Hannan (Osaka). Six stone Jizo statues were also destroyed. According to Buddhist teachings, they serve to protect children and unborn babies.

On the same day, similar damage was observed on several gravestones in Jinen Cemetery.

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