Japanese fugitive accused of killing Tokyo cop in 1971 arrested

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |  June 7, 2017 at 2:43 PM
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June 7 (UPI) -- Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department said Masaaki Osaka, a left-wing revolutionary accused of killing a police officer with a Molotov cocktail in 1971, has been arrested and charged with murder.

Japan has no statute of limitations for murder after a previous 15-year limit was abandoned in 2010. Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department on Wednesday formally served an arrest warrant to Osaka, who was arrested in Hiroshima last month. He was transported to Tokyo on Wednesday for further questioning.

Police accuse Osaka of killing a 21-year-old police officer in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, during a student protest there to criticize Japan recognizing the United States' military presence in the country. Police said Osaka assaulted the officer with a steel pipe prior to setting him on fire.

Osaka is a member of the Chukaku-ha, or the Japan Revolutionary Communist League, which is known for staging violent protests decades ago.

Osaka was arrested in Hiroshima initially on charges of police obstruction but authorities later used DNA to determine his connection to the 1971 killing.

One of Osaka's accused accomplices in the attack was charged in 1972, but the case was suspended due to mental illness. Police said Osaka was able to remain a fugitive for so long because he was a high-ranking member of the JRCL.

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