A convicted man remains at large on Friday, two days after fleeing from prosecutors seeking to detain him in Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo.
Makoto Kobayashi was out on bail when prosecutors came to his home in Aikawa Town on Wednesday to take him into custody. He brandished a knife and escaped in a car. Police found the car abandoned late on Wednesday about 7 kilometers away in Atsugi City.
Kobayashi was granted bail after the Odawara branch of the Yokohama District Court sentenced him last September to a prison term of 44 months on charges including assault and a violation of the stimulants control law. In February, the sentence was finalized with an appeal rejected, but Kobayashi repeatedly ignored orders to report to the prosecution.
Prosecutors searched the 43-year-old fugitive's home on Thursday and found a syringe. Police suspect he was using drugs while on bail.
The police put him on a nationwide wanted list on Thursday. As the man was believed to be carrying a knife, all public elementary and junior-high schools in Atsugi City and Aikawa Town were closed on Friday.
In a news conference on Friday, Justice Minister Takashi Yamashita apologized for causing concern to local residents, school officials and all the people of the country. He said that prosecutors are working closely with police and doing everything they can to capture the fugitive.