Ehime Prefectural Police have arrested a 45-year-old Nigerian in connection to an investigation into the destruction of hundreds of tombstones and religious statues in Ehime and Osaka prefectures.
The police accused Abraham Emmanuel Uba, a resident of Hannan, Osaka Prefecture, of having overturned, on July 15, a Buddhist statue worth about 80,000 yen, in a temple of the city of Saijo, in Ehime.
The police are also investigating whether Uba was behind a similar destruction in a temple in Matsushima City, Ehime. On July 21, about 300 tombstones, some 1.7m high, were broken in the Tottori cemetery at Hannan (Osaka).
Six stone Jizo statues were also destroyed. According to Buddhist teachings, the statues serve to protect children and unborn babies. On the same day, similar damage was observed on several gravestones in Jinen Cemetery.