Toyko - A 43-year-old man has been seriously injured after being attacked by a shark while surfing off central Japan, officials said on Tuesday, warning local beach goers to be alert.
Tsuyoshi Takahashi, an off-duty life guard, was rushed to hospital on Sunday afternoon after the shark sank its teeth into his left arm some 30m offshore, a fire department official said.
The accident occurred while Takahashi was surfing with his colleagues in the Pacific off the Atsumi peninsula in Aichi, some 250km west of Tokyo, a spot well-known for its big waves.
"He was seriously injured and got 30 stitches to the wound, but there is no threat to his life," said the official, adding: "We are calling on other surfers to be on the alert against sharks."
Japan's long coastline is home to a variety of sharks, but attacks on people are relatively rare. The species of shark involved on Sunday was not known.
According to the local government, the weekend incident was the first shark attack in the prefecture since 1995 when a fisherman was killed by a great white.