Japanese Red Army Member Arrested After Being Sent From Romania
TOKYO (AP) _ A woman accused of participating in a series of terrorist bomb attacks in the 1970s was arrested today at Tokyo’s international airport after being seized in Romania.
Yukiko Ekita, a member of the notorious Japanese Red Army terrorist group, was watched by Romanian authorities after entering the country in September on a false Chilean passport, said a police spokesman.
She was staying at a Bucharest apartment and was seized Monday at the request of Japanese authorities, said the spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, as is customary.
Ekita, now 44, was released from a Tokyo prison in 1977 along with five other accused terrorists in exchange for the release of passengers held as hostages in the hijacking of a Japan Airlines jet in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Ekita was accused of taking part in a series of bomb attacks on major Japanese companies in the 1970s, including one in August 1974 at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ head office in Tokyo in which eight people were killed and 247 injured.
The six accused terrorists had been indicted and were awaiting trial. Japanese authorities allowed them to leave the country as part of the hostage deal, and then put them on an international wanted list.
One of the six, Hiroshi Sensui, was arrested in the Philippines in 1988 and returned to Japan.
The Red Army, formed in the late 1960s, advocated world revolution. The group was responsible for a 1972 attack at the Tel Aviv airport in Israel in which 26 people died.
The group had an estimated 300 members at one point. However, crackdowns in Japan effectively forced the group to move its base to the Middle East, where it has aligned itself with Arab leftists, according to reports.