Man held over fake news

Police arrested a former computer programmer on Monday for allegedly publishing a fabricated news article on a fake Yahoo Japan news website saying that China had invaded the Japanese island of Okinawa.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police department arrested Takahiro Yamamoto, 30, on suspicion of violating patent laws, a police spokesperson said on condition of anonymity, citing departmental policy.

He said Yamamoto allegedly accredited the fake article to Kyodo News Agency and published it on an internet site he had designed to look like Yahoo! Japan Corp's news site.

The story was written in Japanese with a dateline "America, October 18 Kyodo" followed by a headline saying "Chinese Military invades Okinawa", the police said.

Police had confiscated Yamamoto's personal computer and analysed the data stored in it.

Kyodo said it and Yahoo had filed complaints to police in October.

The website was accessed 66 000 times until it was taken down on October 19, Kyodo said, quoting police.

Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo is one of the world's largest internet portal operators, with some 345 million people using its mix of search engines, news sites and online shopping.

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