Osaka Masaaki

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Wanted Poster (left) with 1971 photo Recent photo

Far-left activist charged with police slaying after 45 years as a fugitive


JUN 7, 2017

Police on Wednesday served a fresh arrest warrant on a man they detained last month who had spent nearly 45 years on the run for the alleged murder of a police officer in Tokyo during a riot by far-left activists.

The man, arrested by Osaka police on May 18 for a separate offense, has not given his name but was identified by the police as Masaaki Osaka, 67, on Tuesday through multiple DNA tests.

Osaka is suspected of killing police officer Tsuneo Nakamura, 21, on Nov. 14, 1971, when students and other activists protesting the ratification of a Japan-U.S. treaty on the reversion of Okinawa staged a violent riot in Tokyo’s Shibuya district.

Osaka was a member of the Japan Revolutionary Communist League National Committee, often referred to as Chukaku-ha, or “middle core faction.”

He was put on the wanted list in 1972 after being charged with murder, assault and other offenses.

His time on the run was the longest among major crime suspects designated by the National Police Agency. The authorities suspect the Chukaku-ha group systematically supported him throughout the years.

As the trial of Osaka’s alleged accomplice was suspended in 1981 due to mental illness, the statute of limitations for his murder case has not expired. The 15-year statute of limitations for murder was abolished in 2010.

Osaka was arrested for allegedly obstructing police officers who raided an apartment in Hiroshima used as a hideout of the Chukaku-ha while searching for a fellow activist.