Japan closes airport under bomb threat

An airport in northern Japan closed a runway Monday after an unidentified caller claimed to have planted a bomb on a plane there, police said. No bomb had yet been found.

The airport in the city of Sendai, 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Tokyo, closed down at least one runway, said a police spokesman at the Miyagi Prefectural police.

A man calling the airport said that he had put a bomb on a morning Japan Airlines flight carrying 49 passengers and five crew members from Sendai to Sapporo, on the northernmost island of Hokkaido, the AP informs.

The flight was canceled and officials were searching the plane for a bomb, but nothing had been found yet, said the police spokesman, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity.

The bomb scare came as Japan is bolstering security ahead of the Sept. 11 parliamentary elections, mobilizing 13,600 police officers nationwide, especially at airports, major train stations and bus terminals.

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