Terminal of Tokyo-Narita Airport in 2014. (Wikipedia Commons)

An American firefighter employed by the US Air Force was arrested in Japan after a loaded handgun and magazine were found in his luggage.

43-year-old Michael Applegate was arrested at Narita International Airport in Chiba prefecture on Tuesday, having just arrived from the US.

Applegate is employed by the USAF at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, and was awaiting a connecting flight when the matter was brought to attention.

The discovery of the pistol, magazine and 14 rounds of ammunition is a violation of Japan’s Firearms and Sword Control law. Japan has very strict controls on weapons of many forms, and makes firearms ownership virtually impossible for the average citizen.

According to Japan Today, Applegate admitted that the pistol belonged to him and said that it was likely mixed up with his belongings after he hastily packed his bags.

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