Agence France-Presse quotes a Japanese official as claiming that Al-Qaeda is targeting Japan for a terror attack:
Yoshitaka Murata, who heads the National Public Safety Commission, said there "is information that Al-Qaeda is targeting Japan as we host US military facilities."This wouldn't be the first time Al-Qaeda has had Japan in its sights. Last year, the Associated Press reported on a French Al-Qaeda agent who had been hiding out in Niigata.
Back in 2003, messages sent to Arabic-language newspapers in London, allegedly by Al-Qaeda members, warned of terror attacks against Japan and other nations supporting America's occupation of Iraq.
And the AP also reported that senior Al-Qaeda figure Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, after being captured by U.S. forces, claimed the group had plans to attack Japan during the 2002 soccer World Cup, but could not carry them out because it lacked a sufficient network of operatives in the country.
Finally, this article and this one, both published in January 2004, provide some background on Japan's recent experience with terror threats.