Japan: Sweet and Deadly

The typewritten letter was neatly addressed to "Moms of the Nation" and signed Kaijin 21 Menso, the Man with 21 Faces. The message, sent to Osaka news agencies, warned that 20 packages of Morinaga candy had been laced with deadly sodium cyanide and placed on supermarket shelves. Within days police had scoured stores from Tokyo to cities in western Japan, and found more than a dozen of the lethal packets of Morinaga Choco-Balls and Angel Pie, apparently before anyone was poisoned.

The appearance of the poisoned candy was the latest in a series of extortion attempts aimed at two of Japan's...

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