---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 14:54:45 -0800
From: radtimes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Ex-Japanese Red Army member jailed for 12 years
Ex-Japanese Red Army member jailed for 12 years
14th February 2002
A former member of the Japanese Red Army terrorist group has been jailed
for 12 years for hijacking a plane to North Korea.
The Tokyo District Court found Yoshimi Tanaka, 53, guilty of hijacking a
domestic Japan Airlines Boeing 727 carrying 129 people in 1970 and forcing
it to land.
He is the only one of the nine suspects to be convicted.
The Red Army, formed in the late 1960s, advocated simultaneous world
During his trial, Tanaka pleaded guilty to the charges and apologised to
Judge Masazo Ogura said Tanaka's actions, aimed at destroying social order,
were extremely malicious.
"It shocked society and gave the passengers and their families immeasurable
physical and psychological pain and fear," he said in his ruling.
Tanaka was also accused of kidnapping, forcibly carrying passengers across
international borders, robbery and helping to start a riot in a separate
attack on a Tokyo police station in 1969.
Three of Tanaka's alleged accomplices later died in North Korea. Five
remain there, though one may also have died, according to Japan's National
During the hijacking, Red Army members wielded samurai swords and carried a
bomb, witnesses said. The flight was first forced to fly to South Korea,
where all the passengers were freed. The crew members were released after
they flew to North Korea with the hijackers.
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