NAHA, Okinawa — A 27-year-old Marine missed his flight going back to the States on Sunday after airport officials found a sword in his baggage.

Michael D. Spivey was in Okinawa police custody Monday for illegally possessing a sword, according to a spokesman for Okinawa prefectural police in Tomishiro. Spivey’s rank and the unit he was assigned to were not immediately available.

Spivey was checking in his baggage at Naha International Airport at about 6:35 a.m. when security screeners found the sword, which had a 14-inch blade, in a metal tube in his baggage, the spokesman said.

Spivey was arrested at 6:55 a.m. after he admitted to possessing the illegal weapon, telling police that he received it from his Filipino friend as a souvenir, police said.

Spivey was flying back to the States to report to his new duty station in California, the spokesman said.

Japan’s Swords and Firearms Control Law prohibits anyone without authorization from possessing firearms, swords or knives with blades more than 6-inches long, or switchblade knives with blades longer than 2.2 inches.

"Even for decoration purposes, carrying around a sword is illegal in Japan," said a spokesman for Okinawa prefectural police headquarters in Naha.

Marine spokesman Master Sgt. Charles Albrecht said Monday the incident remains under investigation.

Stars and Stripes reporter Natasha Lee contributed to this story.

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