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Woman Suspected of Being Japanese Red Army Member Held

June 4, 1996

LIMA, Peru (AP) _ Peruvian authorities Monday were holding a Japanese woman suspected of being a fugitive leader of the Red Army of Japan, a guerrilla group known for attacks in the 1970s.

The woman is suspected of being 49-year-old Kazue Yoshimura, wanted for a 1974 attack on the French Embassy in Holland, according to news reports.

An anti-terrorism police spokesman said the woman was arrested May 25 but refused to give any other information except to say the investigation was continuing. He spoke on condition of anonymity.

The daily El Comercio said the woman was carrying a passport identifying her as Yoko Okuyama. The newspaper said the passport had been altered and was originally issued to Yoshimura, who has been a fugitive for 22 years.

As many as 20 members of the Japanese Red Army are reportedly wanted by Japanese authorities and are believed hiding out in various countries.

A spokesman in the Japanese Embassy, Daniel Mena, said authorities there had no comment, but that the woman may be deported to Japan on charges of falsifying a passport if there were no other charges.

In September 1974 three commandos of the Red Army held 11 members of the French Embassy in Holland hostage until a comrade was released from jail, according to El Comercio.

Two Japanese police officers have arrived in Lima and questioned the woman. El Comercio said she has denied being either Yoshimura or a member of the Red Army.

She reportedly arrived in Peru on April 6 on a tourist visa.

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