Shigenobu had been a leading member in the Red Army Faction (Sekigun-ha) in Japan, whose roots lay in the militant new-left Communist League. Advocating revolution through terrorism, they set up their own group, declaring war on the state in September 1969. The police quickly arrested many of them, including founder and intellectual leader Takaya Shiomi, who was in jail by 1970. The Sekigun lost about 200 members, and the remnants merged with a Maoist group to form the Rengo Sekigun or United Red Army in July, 1971. This group became notable during the Asama-Sanso incident, when it purged twelve of its members in a training camp hideout on Mount Haruna, before a week-long siege involving hundreds of police. Fusako Shigenobu had left Japan with only a handful of dedicated people, but her group is said to have had about 40 members at its height and was from the Lod airport massacre on one of the best-known armed leftist groups in the world. The Japanese Red Army, Nihon Sekigun from 1971 had very close ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Wadie Haddad. By 1972 the United Red Army in Japan was finished and the Shigenobu group dependent on the PFLP for financing, training and weaponry.
In April 2001, Shigenobu issued a statement from detention declaring the Japanese Red Army had disbanded, who said that their battles should be done by legal means.
The National Police Agency publicly stated that a successor group was founded in 2001, called Movement Rentai.
Haruo Wakō, former leader, arrested February 1997.
Osamu Maruoka, former leader and hijacker of two aircraft, was arrested in November 1987 in Tokyo after entering Japan on a forged passport. Given a life sentence, he died in prison on May 29, 2011.
Yū Kikumura was arrested with explosives on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1988 and served over 18 years of a 30‑year prison sentence in the United States. In April 2007, Kikumura was released from US incarceration and immediately arrested upon his return to Japan. He was released in October 2007.
Yoshimi Tanaka was arrested in Cambodia in 1996 and extradited to Japan. A Tokyo court sentenced him to 12 years in prison in 2002 for his involvement in the Yodo-go hijacking, in which a Japan Airlines plane was hijacked to North Korea. He died in 2007.
Moriaki Wakabayashi, former bassist of Les Rallizes Dénudés. He participated to the Japan Airlines Flight 351 and is – if not dead – now living in North Korea, as the other hijackers of the aircraft. The hijack marked his departure from the band. Takashi Mizutani, the leader of the band, was also offered a role in the hijacking, but turned it down.
Kōzō Okamoto is the only survivor of the group of three Guerrillas attacking the IsraeliLod airport in 1972, now called Ben Gurion International Airport. He was jailed in Israel, but in May 1985, Okamoto was set free in an exchange of prisoners between Israeli and Palestinian forces. Subsequently, he was imprisoned in Lebanon for three years for forgingvisas and passports. The Lebanese authorities granted Okamoto political asylum in 1999 for having participated in attacks against Israel and being allegedly tortured while serving his prison sentence in Israel.
Masao Adachi, Kazuo Tohira, Haruo Wakō, and Mariko Yamamoto were also imprisoned in Lebanon on charges of forgery yet were sent to Jordan. As the Jordanian authorities refused to allow them into Jordan, they were handed over to Japan.
Kuniya Akagi, a collaborator of the JRA, was arrested after returning to Osaka from Pyongyang via Beijing in order to be questioned over the kidnapping of three Japanese nationals in Europe by North Korean spies in the 1980s. He is linked to Shirō Akagi, who took part in the Yodo-go hijacking (See also: Japan Airlines Flight 351).
Kunio Bando was a key member and is still on Interpol's wanted list. He may have taken refuge in the Philippines in the year 2000.
Kazue Yoshimura, reported to have taken part in the hostage crisis in The Hague, was arrested by Peruvian DIRCOTE agents in Lima on May 25, 1996 after alleged contacts with members of the Maoist Shining Path (SP) insurgency (even possibly with then-head of the organization Comrade Feliciano). The trace to her arrest was established after the 1995 Bucharest capture of Yukiko Ekita with a false Peruvian passport. Yoshimura had first entered Peru in February 1993 with a Philippine passport and later returned with the name of Yoko Okuyama, supposedly intended on travelling to the coca-growing Huallaga Valley, the last stronghold of the diminished Peruvian Maoist insurgency as well as a drug-trafficking haven. According to Peruvian Caretas magazine, she was intending on helping establish a JRA presence in South America and may have even established contacts with Jun Nishikawa, another JRA operative later captured in Bolivia. Yoshimura was later deported to Japan by the government of Alberto Fujimori (a Japanese Peruvian), who stated that there was no proof against her despite the overwhelming intelligence data. The move was allegedly the result of pressure from the Japanese authorities. In December 1997, Yoshimura was sentenced to two and half years imprisonment for passport forgery.
During the 1970s and 1980s, JRA carried out a series of attacks in Japan and around the world, including:
March 31, 1970: nine members of the JRA's predecessor, the Red Army Faction (whose leaders had been a part of the Communist League before they were thrown out), conducted Japan's most infamous hijacking, that of Japan Airlines Flight 351, a domestic Japan Airlines Boeing 727 carrying 129 people at Tokyo International Airport. Wielding katanas and a bomb, they forced the crew to fly the airliner to Fukuoka and later Gimpo Airport in Seoul, where all the passengers were freed. The aircraft then flew to North Korea, where the hijackers abandoned it and the crewmembers were released. Tanaka was the only one to be convicted. Three of Tanaka's alleged accomplices later died in North Korea and five remain there. According to Japan's National Police Agency, another accomplice may also have died in North Korea.
September 13, 1974: the French Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands was stormed. The ambassador and ten other people were taken hostage and a Dutch policewoman, Joke Remmerswaal, was shot in the back, puncturing a lung. After lengthy negotiations, the hostages were freed in exchange for the release of a jailed Red Army member (Yatsuka Furuya), $300,000 and the use of an aircraft. The hostage-takers flew first to Aden, South Yemen, where they were not accepted and then to Syria. Syria did not consider hostage-taking for money revolutionary, and forced them to give up their ransom.
December 1977: a suspected lone member of the Red Army hijacked Malaysian Airline System Flight 653. The flight was carrying the Cuban ambassador to Tokyo, Mario Garcia. The Boeing 737 crashed killing all on board.
In the same month, JRA operative Yū Kikumura was arrested with explosives on the New Jersey Turnpike highway, apparently to coincide with the USO bombing. He was convicted of these charges and served time in a United States prison until his release in April 2007. Upon his return to Japan he was immediately arrested on suspicion of using fraudulent travel documents.
Sekigun – PFLP. Sekai Sensō Sengen, Red Army – PFLP: Declaration of World War, 1971, shot on location in Lebanon, produced by Kōji Wakamatsu. Patricia Steinhoff translates its title Manifesto for World Revolution which makes perhaps more sense. A propaganda film for the Red Army sympathisers in Japan.
One of the people showing the film around Japan with the producer was Mieko Toyama, a close friend of Fusako Shigenobu. She was murdered in the winter training camp massacre.
Jitsuroku Rengō Sekigun, Asama sansō e no michi, United Red Army (The Way to Asama Mountain Lodge), 2007, shows the horrors of the United Red Army winter camp, but also the history of the militant Japanese student movement. See also United Red Army (film)
Suatu Ketika... Soldadu Merah (Once Upon A Time... Red Soldier), an 8 episode Malaysian TV drama series based on the Japanese Red Army attack in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1975. Produced by NSK Productions (Malaysia), the series was shot in 2009 and currently airs on Malaysia's local cable channel, ASTRO Citra 131. Read Hostage Drama article by TheStar newspapers.
Rabih El-Amine's documentary Ahmad the Japanese, Lod-Roumié-Tokyo made in 1999 tells Okamoto's story from the perspective of five major personalities that knew him in Beirut.
Philippe Grandrieux and Nicole Brenez's documentary Masao Adachi. Portrait - First episode of the collection The Beauty May Have Strengthened Our Resoluteness, 2012, shot on location in Tokyo, which tells the daily life of Adachi and his reminiscences.
Black Lagoon Episode 11, Lock'n Load Revolution, and Episode 12, Guerrillas in the Jungle The Lagoon Company is pursued by ships belonging to the terrorists from the Protectors of the Islamic Front led by Masahiro Takenaka.
^"In what became known as the Lod Airport Massacre three members of the terrorist group, Japanese Red Army, arrived at the airport aboard Air France Flight 132 from Rome. Once inside the airport they grabbed automatic firearms from their carry-on cases and fired at airport staff and visitors. In the end, 26 people died and 80 people were injured." CBC News, The Fifth Estate, "Fasten Your Seatbelts: Ben Gurion Airport in Israel", 2007. Retrieved June 2, 2008.
The 1974 French Embassy attack in The Hague was an attack and siege on the French Embassy in The Hague in the Netherlands starting on Friday 13 September 1974. Three members of the Japanese Red Army (JRA) stormed the embassy, allegedly on the orders of their leader Fusaku Shigenobu, demanding the release of their member Yatsuka Furuya. The ambassador and ten other people were taken hostage. The siege and negotiations lasted five days, resulting in the release of Furuya, the embassy hostages, and a safe flight out of the Netherlands for the terrorists. During the incident, a café in Paris was bombed which was linked to the embassy crisis.
The AIA Building hostage crisis took place at the AIA (American Insurance Associates) Building in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 5 August 1975. The Japanese Red Army took more than 50 hostages at the AIA building, which housed several embassies. The hostages included the United States consul and the Swedish chargé d'affaires. The gunmen won the release of five imprisoned terrorists and flew with them to Libya.
The 1988 Naples bombing was a terrorist attack against a United Service Organizations (USO) military recreational club in downtown Naples, Italy on 14 April 1988. A powerful car bomb exploded in front of the USO club in Calata San Marco which caused the deaths of five people, including an American, and injuries to 15 others. The attack was perpetrated by a Japanese Red Army (JRA) member and came on the second anniversary of the 1986 United States bombing of Libya.
Haruo Wakō (和光 晴生, Wakō Haruo, born 1949 in Shiogama in Miyage prefecture) was a member of the armed militant group, the Japanese Red Army.
He studied in Keio University and dropped out in 1970. He worked for a time as an assistant to the producer of leftist movies. Haruo Wakō and two other members of the JRA were involved in the seizure of the French Embassy in The Hague in 1974. The ambassador and ten other people were taken hostage. After lengthy negotiations, the hostages were freed in exchange for the release of a jailed Red Army member (Yatsuka Furuya), $300,000 and the use of a plane, which flew the hostage-takers to Syria. Syria did not consider hostage taking for money revolutionary, and forced them to give up their ransom.
In 1975, Wakō and other members of the JRA seized the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Both seizures resulted in the successful demand for release of six fellow members (among others fellow French embassy hostage taker Jun Nishikawa) of the JRA from imprisonment in Japan. In May 1997, he was imprisoned in Lebanon on charges of forgery yet was sent to Jordan. As the Jordanian authorities refused to allow him into Jordan, he was handed over to Japan.
On 23 March 2005 a Japanese court, presided by Judge Kunihiko Koma, sentenced Haruo Wakō to life in prison, after he and three fellow Japanese Red Army members were extradited to Japan from Jordan in March 2000. In Wako's case, the court dismissed prosecutors' arguments over the conspiracy charge.
Japan Airlines Flight 351 was hijacked by nine members of the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction (a predecessor of the Japanese Red Army) on March 31, 1970, while flying from Tokyo to Fukuoka, in an incident usually referred to in Japanese as the Yodogo Hijacking (よど号ハイジャック事件, Yodogō Haijakku Jiken).
Japan Air Lines Flight 404 was a passenger flight which was hijacked by Palestinian and Japanese terrorists on July 20, 1973.The flight departed Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport, Netherlands, on July 20, 1973, en route to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda), Japan, via Anchorage International Airport, Alaska. The aircraft was a Boeing 747-246B, with 123 passengers and 22 crew members on board. The passenger complement included five terrorists, led by Osamu Maruoka, a member of the Japanese Red Army, and the other four were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.The flight was hijacked shortly after takeoff from Schiphol. In the course of the hijacking, a grenade carried by one of the skyjackers detonated, killing her and injuring the flight's chief purser. The lead hijacker almost immediately announced himself to air traffic control as El Kassar, hijacking the aircraft in the name of the Palestinian Liberation movement. After several Middle Eastern governments refused to permit Flight 404 to land, the plane eventually touched down in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. After several days on the ground, the terrorists demanded the release of Kozo Okamoto, survivor of the JRA's attack on Tel Aviv's Lod Airport.After the Israeli government refused to release Okamoto, the hijackers flew the aircraft first to Damascus, Syria, and then to Benghazi, in Libya. On July 23, 89 hours after the hijacking began, the passengers and crew were released; the hijackers then blew up the aircraft.
Maruoka escaped, and in 1977, led the hijacking of Japan Airlines Flight 472. He remained a fugitive until 1987 when he was arrested in Tokyo after entering Japan on a forged passport. Given a life sentence, he died in prison on 29 May 2011.
Kōzō Okamoto (岡本 公三, Okamoto Kōzō, born in Kumamoto, Japan, on December 7, 1947) is a Japanese former communist terrorist and member of the Japanese Red Army (JRA).
Okamoto was a 24-year-old botany student from a middle-class family when he was recruited to the Japanese Red Army. He was later detained in Lebanon. During his stay in Lebanon, Okamoto converted to Islam. He is wanted by the government of Japan for his activities with the Red Army and was imprisoned by Israel for his involvement in the Lod Airport massacre.
The Laju Incident, also known as the Laju Ferry Hijacking, occurred on 31 January 1974 in Singapore. Four armed men from the terrorist groups Japanese Red Army and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine attacked the Shell oil refinery complex on Pulau Bukom and later hijacked the ferryboat Laju and took its five crew members hostage. The crisis was resolved after the Singapore government provided the terrorists safe passage to the Middle East in exchange for the release of the hostages.
Left-wing terrorism (sometimes called Marxist–Leninist terrorism or revolutionary/left-wing terrorism) is terrorism meant to overthrow capitalist systems and replace them with Marxist–Leninist or socialist societies. Left-wing terrorism also occurs within already socialist states, as activism against the current ruling government. It has taken vivid manifestations across the world and presented diverging dynamics and relationships with national governments and political economies.
This is a timeline of incidents in 1977 that have been labelled as "terrorism" and are not believed to have been carried out by a government or its forces (see state terrorism and state-sponsored terrorism).
The Lod Airport massacre was a terrorist attack that occurred on May 30, 1972, in which three members of the Japanese Red Army recruited by the Palestinian group called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-External Operations (PFLP-EO), attacked Lod Airport (now Ben Gurion International Airport) near Tel Aviv, killing 26 people and injuring 80 others. Two of the attackers were killed, while a third, Kōzō Okamoto, was captured after being wounded.
The dead comprised 17 Christian pilgrims from Puerto Rico, a Canadian citizen, and eight Israelis, including Professor Aharon Katzir, an internationally renowned protein biophysicist. Katzir was head of the Israeli National Academy of Sciences and a popular scientific radio show host; he was also a candidate in the upcoming Israeli presidency election. His brother, Ephraim Katzir, was elected President of Israel the following year.
Because airport security was focused on the possibility of a Palestinian attack, the use of Japanese attackers took the guards by surprise. The attack has often been described as a suicide mission, but it has also been asserted that it was the outcome of a unpublicized larger operation that went awry. The three perpetrators—Kōzō Okamoto, Tsuyoshi Okudaira, and Yasuyuki Yasuda—had been trained in Baalbek, Lebanon; the actual planning was handled by Wadie Haddad (a.k.a. Abu Hani), head of PFLP External Operations, with some input from Okamoto. In the immediate aftermath, Der Spiegel speculated that funding had been provided by some of the $5 million ransom paid by the West German government in exchange for the hostages of hijacked Lufthansa Flight 649 in February 1972.
Malaysia–Sweden relations (Malay: Hubungan Malaysia–Sweden; Jawi: هوبوڠن مليسيا–السويد; Swedish: Relationerna mellan Malaysia och Sverige) refers to foreign relations between Malaysia and Sweden. Sweden has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Stockholm. As of 2009, 90 Swedish companies are present in Malaysia and about 450 Swedish citizens live in Malaysia. In 2011, 44,138 Swedish nationals visited Malaysia.
Mei Shigenobu (重信 メイ, Shigenobu Mei) (born 1 March 1973), is the daughter of Japanese Red Army member Fusako Shigenobu and of a Palestinian who was reportedly the head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Some news agencies have given her name as May Shigenobu.
Shane O'Sullivan (born 1969) is an Irish writer and filmmaker, based in London. He is best known for his work on the assassination of Robert Kennedy. His feature documentary RFK Must Die is the first theatrical documentary on the case since Ted Charach's The Second Gun twenty-five years ago. His book on the case, Who Killed Bobby? The Unsolved Murder of Robert F. Kennedy was published by Union Square Press to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of the assassination on 5 June 2008.His most recent film Children of the Revolution is a feature documentary about Ulrike Meinhof and Fusako Shigenobu, leaders of the German Red Army Faction and the Japanese Red Army.
The Last Blood is a 1991 Hong Kong action film directed by Wong Jing and starring Alan Tam, Andy Lau, Eric Tsang and Bryan Leung. The film was released in the UK as Hard Boiled 2, although the film was made a year before John Woo's Hard Boiled and is otherwise unrelated to that film.
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