A 59-year-old truck driver named Shuji Hotta has been arrested by Japanese authorities for allegedly faxing an arson threat to the organizers of the Aichi Triennale in the Japanese cities of Nagoya and Toyota. He was apprehended on Wednesday after convenience store security footage showed him sending a fax the week before. Police arrested him on suspicion of obstructing business by force, police told Japan Times. Hotta’s handwritten fax threatened to set fire to the Aichi Arts Center using gasoline, evoking last month’s arson attack on the Kyoto Animation studio, where 33 people were killed.
The current edition of the Aichi Triennale includes the exhibition “After ‘Freedom of Expression’?”, which features artworks that have previously been censored by Japanese institutions. Earlier this month, the exhibit fell victim to censorship when it was closed because of official outcry over the inclusion of a life-size sculpture of a seated female figure, a so-called “comfort woman.” The sculpture, by Korean artists Kim Seo-kyung and Kim Eun-sang, represents one of the 20,000 to 410,000 women who were forced to become a sexual slave for Japanese soldiers during World War II. Seventy-two of the artists in the exhibition signed a letter calling for the reopening of the exhibition.