U.S. Woman Throws Live Bullets Into Japan Airport Trash Can

Plane at Haneda
The airplane with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson aboard departs from Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Friday, March 17. REUTERS/Eugene Hoshiko/Pool

Isn't it annoying when you get to the airport, and realize you've accidentally packed something in your hand luggage you can't take on your flight?

For one U.S. citizen in her 60s, that something was 100 live bullets. Aftering arriving at Tokyo's International Haneda Airport Wednesday with her husband to transfer to a flight to Southeast Asia, she noticed the bullets were in her bag and dumped them in a trash can, Japan Times reported.

Police arrested the woman, who has not yet been named, on suspicion of bringing 100 live bullets into to the country, which is in violation of Japan's Firearm And Sword Control Law.

The woman has accepted the charge, telling the police the bullets may be intended for her son's gun back in the U.S. She was not carrying a gun. The 100 live bullets were for a .22 caliber pistol.

Japan's Firearm And Sword Control Law was introduced in 1958 and overhauled in the early 1990s, after studies showed that guns were moving away from the mafia and into the hands of ordinary citizens. Between 1975 and 1995, the number of firearms confiscated by Japan increased by 25 per cent.

Items banned from being taken into the country include handguns, military rifles, machine guns and hunting guns. According to Japanese law, anyone in possession of these items can receive a jail sentence of 1-10 years.

Japan also announced this week that it will begin a new biometric security check in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Three gates will be introduced at Haneda airport in the fall.