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Japanese Terror Group Founder Released After Serving 20-Year Sentence

by : Anish Vij on :
Japanese Terror Group Founder Released After Serving 20-Year Sentence
Japanese Terror Group Founder Released After Serving 20-Year Sentence (Alamy/Twitter/@palyouthmvmt)

The co-founder of a Japanese terror group has been released after serving a 20-Year prison sentence.

Fusako Shigenobu of The Japanese Red Army, was convicted of masterminding the 1974 siege of the French Embassy in the Hague, the Netherlands. 

She was subsequently arrested in Osaka in central Japan in 2000, where she had been in hiding.

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Speaking in Tokyo alongside her daughter Mei, she apologised for her actions.

Shigenobu said: "I feel strongly that I have finally come out alive.

"I have hurt innocent people I did not know by putting our struggles first.

"Although those were different times, I would like to take this opportunity to apologise deeply."

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 Fusako Shigenobu, co-founder of The Japanese Red Army. Credit: Alamy
Fusako Shigenobu, co-founder of The Japanese Red Army. Credit: Alamy

The terror group was formed in 1971 and linked with Palestinian militants, took responsibility for several attacks including the takeover of the US Consulate in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1975.

The Japanese Red Army is also reportedly said to be behind a 1972 machine-gun and grenade attack on the international airport near Tel Aviv, Israel.

28 people were killed, including two terrorists, while dozens more were injured.

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Shigenobu, although helped orchestrate, was not physically present in the attacks. 

A year after her arrest, she declared the group dissolved.

Japanese media reports Shigenobu had undergone surgery for cancer during her incarceration.

However, Kozo Okamoto, who was arrested in the Israeli airport attack, along with several other members of the group, are still wanted by police.

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Okamoto, although reportedly now lives Lebanon, was released in 1985 in a prisoner exchange between Israeli and Palestinian forces. 

In February, Tokyo police also announced that some members of the Japanese Red Army are still wanted for their alleged role in the 1970s and 1980s terror attacks, as reported in The Mainichi.

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They released a video with mock-up images of the aging militants that warned the 'case' was not over yet.

“Japanese Red Army members are still on the run and they may live somewhere near you,” the video warns.

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The video was produced by the police's public security department and was released on social media.

The footage was even also being played on billboards in downtown Tokyo, while authorities have also put up conventional posters in train stations and other public locations.

The mock up photos show how they might appear aged in their 70s.

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Anish Vij

Anish has an MA in Multimedia Journalism and is passionate about delivering sarcastic/mildly amusing content. After studying business at undergrad, Anish realised that he’d much prefer getting paid to rant about a topic, rather than to find a solution to it. Apart from that, he loves the ‘Four F’s’, as he calls it - family, friends, football and food. Email: [email protected]

Topics: News, World News