According to local media, a shooting at a hospital in the city of Toda in central Japan has injured two people.
The suspect, who is thought to be between 50 and 70 years old, rode off on a motorcycle and is presently unaccounted for.
Two hostages have reportedly been taken inside a post office in nearby Warabi, according to local media.
Whether the two incidents are related is still unknown.
Nonetheless, the hostage-taker in the post office is also the suspect from the hospital shooting, according to Japanese media, which is citing anonymous police sources.
A man with a gun has been seen on camera waiting outside the post office next to the Toda Chuo General Hospital, the site of the two shootings
Additionally, police and ambulances were seen encircling the scene on camera.
A gunshot was heard in the hospital at approximately 13:00 local time (06:00 GMT), according to the police.
There were reports of hostages in Warabi at approximately 14:15.
Japanese broadcaster NHK reports that Tokyo police have sent officers from a special investigations team that deals with hostage situations to the scene.
According to local media, authorities also requested that residents living 300 meters or less from the Warabi post office leave the area.
Lockdowns have also been imposed on neighboring buildings.
In Japan, shootings are uncommon. Only civilians are permitted to own hunting rifles and airguns due to the nation’s stringent gun laws.
Owners have to pass mental health exams and a rigorous examination.