Apple’s Steve Jobs Stopped at Japan Airport, SPA Says

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs said he’ll never return to Japan after officials at an airport barred him from taking Ninja throwing stars aboard his private plane, SPA! magazine reported in its latest issue.

A security scan at Kansai International Airport, near Osaka, detected the weapons inside the executive’s carry-on luggage in July as he was returning home to the U.S. from a family vacation in Kyoto, the Japanese magazine reported, citing unidentified officials at the airport and the transportation ministry.

Jobs said it wouldn’t make sense for a person to try to hijack his own plane, according to the report. He then told officials he would never visit Japan again, the magazine reported.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, disputed the magazine’s account.

“Steve did visit Japan this summer for a vacation in Kyoto, but the incidents described at the airport are pure fiction,” said Steve Dowling, a spokesman for the company. “Steve had a great time and hopes to visit Japan again soon.”

Takeshi Uno, a spokesman at Kansai airport, said a passenger using a private jet was stopped at the end of July for carrying “shuriken,” the Japanese word for Ninja throwing stars and other handheld blades. The passenger, whom Uno declined to identify because of the airport’s privacy policy, threw away the blades, he said. The airport doesn’t have separate boarding arrangements for private-jet users, Uno said.

(Adds Apple’s comment in fifth paragraph.)
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