Saturday, February 21, 2015

Former Japanese Red Army Member Extradited after Serving Sentence in U.S.


TOKYO – Japanese authorities Friday arrested an ex-member of the Japanese Red Army far-left guerrilla group who was extradited to Japan after serving a prison sentence in the U.S. for an attack against a U.S. embassy.

Tsutomu Shirosaki, 61, was released from prison on Jan. 16 and the U.S. Department of Justice agreed to extradite him to Japan which had issued an international arrest warrant for him.

Shirosaki was arrested upon his arrival at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport where there was a police team awaiting him, according to the local Sankei daily.

He is suspected by Japanese authorities of trying to set fire to a hotel room in Jakarta in 1986 in an attempt to destroy evidence of a mortar attack against the Japanese embassy in the Indonesian capital.

Shirosaki was arrested in Nepal in 1996 and handed over to the U.S. authorities for a similar attack against the U.S. embassy in Jakarta.

A U.S. court sentenced him to 30 years in prison in 1996 for several crimes in connection with the attack, including attempted murder.

Shirosaki joined the radical group after dropping out of the University of Tokushima and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Japan in 1971 for attempted bank robbery.

Six years after being imprisoned, he was released along with other Japanese Red Army members in exchange for hostages taken by the group in the hijacking of a Japan Airlines plane in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka.

The group was formed in 1971 by radical left-wing students with the aim of starting a world revolution through violence.

The bloodiest attack attributed to the Japanese Red Army was the massacre at Israel’s Tel Aviv airport in May 1972 in which 24 people died and another 80 were wounded.


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