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Report: Steve Jobs Vows Never to Return to Japan After Airport Stops Him Over Ninja Stars (Update)

Well now, here is a sensational and surely reputable news report: According to Japan’s SPA! magazine, Steve Jobs was stopped by Japanese airport security for attempting to bring shuriken, or ninja throwing stars, onboard his private plane in July. Jobs was reportedly so upset by this routine stop that he vowed never to return to Japan again.

Bloomberg:

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 declined to comment.

When Bloomberg got in touch with a spokesman for said airport, he confirmed that they had indeed detained a passenger with a private jet for carrying ninja stars, although the spokesman wouldn’t confirm that it was Jobs.

Update: Apple has responded to the report.

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

So: Before Bloomberg stepped in to do followup reporting, this would have been the most thinly sourced report — “The Japanese side “blunder” Jobs could not come to Japan twice and, hell, and what angered him was? Small magazine exclusive scoop!” to use the shakily Google Translated words of SPA! Magazine. As it is, we know that 1) Apple wouldn’t comment [they often don’t like to comment] and 2) the airport did stop a private jet passenger from boarding with throwing stars in tow. No word about vows never to return to Japan again from said unnamed passenger who may or may not be Jobs.

There is one thing to be learned from the report, if we didn’t already know it: The importance of tech nowadays is such that Steve Jobs is a worldwide celebrity, the kind whose comings and goings to restaurants are now of great international interest and who’s subject to suitably celebritified rumors. As with so many things, Gawker was on to this trend a long time ago.

(Bloomberg via Fortune via @tcarmody)

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