crime

Aging Japanese militant in Beirut marks 1972 Israel airport attack

72 Comments
By BASSEM MROUE

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

72 Comments
Login to comment

It's hard for a modern day resident of Japan like me to imagine there was such a thing as the Red Army, committing acts of terror in the name of communism. It just goes to show how quickly culture can change.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

A leopard cannot change it's spots no matter how many decades pass.

13 ( +23 / -10 )

Kozo Okamoto, 74, a member of the Japanese Red Army guerrilla group,

Peace sign inappropriate.

"I am an Arab resistance fighter," he said. "I did it for the Palestinian cause."

In the 70's, the socialist labor resistance movement in Japan organized strikes and engaged police and earned rights that would lead to the broad based prosperity of the 80's in Japan. Sadly that has all been dismantled by subsequent LDP administrations and you have the wealth pyramid of today with the race to the bottom in the lifestyles of most working Japanese.

Okamoto was part of slaughtering innocent civilians.

16 ( +26 / -10 )

That will not help Lebanon's image, will it? Especially, while they are asking for international monetary assistance.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Totally against violence in any way, but some of his ideas are very interesting.

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

The 70s was the golden age for terrorist groups and state terrorism..

10 ( +16 / -6 )

I can’t imagine killing people and serving a prison sentence for something that absolutely didn’t involve me.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Okamoto thought he was an Arab resistance fighter?

No!

He was a murderer…

16 ( +25 / -9 )

""Donning a Palestinian flag around his neck ""

Correction,

That is NOT the Palestinian flag around his neck, that is a HATA or a Kofia which has become a symbol of resistance for the Palestinian people, originally it was a Head Cover but since then many started using it as a scarf with Palestine flag colors stitched in it

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Nothing wrong with fighting an occupation and resistance, but killing innocent people is TERRORISM.

Arabs and Jews will someday look back at what they have done to their land and people and regret it, Occupation is ugly and barbaric, and I hope that Israel will some day end it.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Gives the victory sign

The victory sign made famous by Winston Churchill is the reverse ! !

this Japanese man is making the peace sign !

My opinion is he should have been executed like he did to the innocent people they slaughtered and wounded.

Evil terrorist !

1 ( +14 / -13 )

I don't like the methods that the Japanese Red Army used but I sympathize with their cause.

This takes us back to a time when many more Japanese were politically conscious. By the late 70s, material consumerism had completely taken over. We can see that mindset today with most Japanese.

This Okamoto guy has fight in him.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Japan has been demanding for years that Okamoto be handed over by Lebanon but Beirut has repeatedly rejected the demand.

I assume that Lebanon doesn't get a single yen of Japanese ODA.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Terrorist! He will go to the grave with a blood stained soul.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Nelson Mandela was also convicted of terror attacks, spent much of his life in prison and became a symbol of reconciliation. To just say kill him he is a monster, you don’t know if they can actually change the world.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Japan has been demanding for years that Okamoto be handed over by Lebanon but Beirut has repeatedly rejected the demand. 

I was very surprised to read this in light of the whole Ghosn affair. Interesting that in spite of all this the Japanese government STILL thought for some reason Lebanon would hand over Ghosn.

If they are not willing to hand over a Japanese national to Japan who is charged with more serious crimes than Ghosn, why would they then think they had a chance getting a Lebanese extradited to Japan?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

"I am an Arab resistance fighter," he said. "I did it for the Palestinian cause."

Terrorist.

The PFLP is a radical faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization and gained notoriety after the simultaneous hijackings of four Western airliners in 1970 and the seizure of an Air France flight to Entebbe, Uganda.

A radical faction that engages in terrorism.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

PFLP official Marwan Abdul-Aal told The Associated Press that Palestinians have always faced a double standard because when they resist Israeli occupation forces they are called terrorists. Meanwhile, Western countries now support Ukrainian resistance against invading Russian troops, he said.

"The world is not fair and this is what those people used to say," Abdul-Aal said about Japanese fighters who supported the Palestinians.

You cant compare Ukraine and the Palestinian Independence movements. The Ukranians have not engaged in indiscriminate terrorist acts outside their borders. Attacking innocent unarmed civilians is not resistance fighting, it is murder.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Japan has been demanding for years that Okamoto be handed over by Lebanon but Beirut has repeatedly rejected the demand. He is considered a hero by many in Lebanon and the Arab world for championing the Palestinian cause and opposing Israel.

Ironically it is also in Lebanon where Carlos Gohn has remained since his escape.

Okamoto's rare public appearance came two days after Fusako Shigenobu, who co-founded the Japanese Red Army, was released from prison in Japan after serving a 20-year sentence and apologizing for hurting innocent people.

A stark contrast to apologetic Shigemitsu. He's still wanted, can never go home unless giving himself in. I wonder if Shigemitsu now as a "free citizen" plans to visit there to meet him in person.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Pawn.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No supporter of terrorism here but the comment on designation of terrorists is telling. One persons terrorist is another persons freedom fighter!

What Israel has done to the Palestinians can only be described as state sanctioned terrorism but that seems to be OK by western media as Israel is on "our" side. Similar to what is happening in Ukraine now.

The way the LDP and the US used Yakuza and nationalist right wing thugs to kill and intimidate communist party members in the60s and 70s was also nothing short of terrorism.

That this guy killed civilians and is idolized for it is a pretty sad indictment on humanity similar to any war and its casualties...

6 ( +12 / -6 )

That he lives and freely attends events like this even if such events are occasional feels like a gross injustice to his murdered victims, their Families & loved ones.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

This is the second story in as many days of Japan today as reported on these mass murderers, these communist terrorist, unbelievable.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Sanjinosebleed

What Israel has done to the Palestinians can only be described as state sanctioned terrorism but that seems to be OK by western media as Israel is on "our" side.

More akin to South Africa's "apartheid", but I get your point. At least the media showed South Africa's oppression for what it was.

Similar to what is happening in Ukraine now.

Nope. Not at all. Not even a little. Russia is 100% at fault there. Ukraine is being portrayed as defending its homeland from an unprovoked foreign invasion, correctly and accurately.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

What Israel has done to the Palestinians can only be described as state sanctioned terrorism but that seems to be OK by western media as Israel is on "our" side. Similar to what is happening in Ukraine now.

No, it can be described as a sovereign nation providing security for itself against rogue terrorists..

Similar to what is happening in Ukraine now.

No, because Israel, Russia, and Ukraine are countries. So, Russia is invading a sovereign nation.

The way the LDP and the US used Yakuza and nationalist right wing thugs to kill and intimidate communist party members in the60s and 70s was also nothing short of terrorism.

Agreed, and this is closer to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab situation, where Iran and other Arab nations use these Palestinian Arab thugs to kill and intimidate Israeli civilians and military members

That this guy killed civilians and is idolized for it is a pretty sad indictment on humanity similar to any war and its casualties...

Agreed about the misdirection of idolization, but at the end of the day, Okamoto was a terrorist who committed crimes, and this is not comparable to a country whose actions, as a result of defending itself, result in human casualties.

We aren't persecuting Ukraine for the casualties it inflicts on Russia, while defending itself, right?

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Sanjinosebleed

I rarely agree with you, but I do here!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

It's no wonder the peace sign no longer has any real meaning aside from appearing in photos with Japanese.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Murderer!

0 ( +8 / -8 )

@sanjinosebleed

One person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter

The hijacking of 4 western airliners really isn't freedom fighting tho is it !

A resistance fighter that is fighting other militants or armed personnel - yes i would agree is a freedom fighter.

However it appears the red army would also just ruthlessly attack innocent civilians for the sole purpose of spreading fear and terror.

Therefore the red army is undoubtedly a terrorist organization !

Their despicable atrocious evil acts should never be glorified !

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Good job wasting your life and embarrassing Japan.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

He should still be in jail.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

It’s a pity that Israel didn’t (and still doesn’t) have a death penalty. (Adolf Eichmann was a very particular exception.)

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Over a century ago anarchists practiced what was then called the "propaganda of the deed," assassinations in plain words. Anarchists assassinations were of prominent and powerful individual people, capitalists, royalty, and in the U.S. a president. Not involving innocent people, at least, was an Anarchists' objective. (They eventually gave up the propaganda of the deed.)

Murder is murder and is repellent. But the random mass murder of innocent people is the most vile crime against humanity. There is no remorse in Okamoto--not a trace in his smiling face.

And he did the Palestinian not a bit of good.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Umm no. Israel has created these "rogue terrorists" and the security issue because of its continued annexation of Palestinian lands and support of the terrorist's settlers who continue to carry out terrorist activities against palestinians while stealing their land at the same time.

Can you tell me where and what date Israel allegedly annexed "Palestinian" lands?

From my brief research, other Arab nations did annex certain lands that were destined for a Palestinian state (yet, were rejected by those Palestinian Arabs).

For example, didn't Jordan annex the West Bank in 1950?

Did that annexation create Palestinian Arab "rogue terrorists"?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

A leopard cannot change it's spots no matter how many decades pass.

If this metaphor were true of human beings, there would be no forgiveness for the blood of MILLIONS spilled by the Japanese in WW2.

He should still be in jail.

But at least he sat for 12 years for his bloody deeds. Very many (famous) individuals on the world stage, who everybody knows as wearing the "Emperor's New Clothes", never spent a single day in jail for the oceans of blood they drowned their victims in. Let's keep a sense of proportion and not get carried away by our emotions. We should save more of our revulsion over the loss of innocent life for the usual suspects of history (no need to name names) who mostly get away with murder. Yeah, we all know it's an unfair world alright!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I hope he enjoys many more anniversaries...

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

painkillerToday  10:26 am JST

> Can you tell me where and what date Israel allegedly annexed "Palestinian" lands?

Sure here you go.... imagine if you had once lived in all the yellow portions....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

https://cdn.thinglink.me/api/image/631597043478953985/1240/10/scaletowidth

oops link...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

AnonymousToday  10:04 am JST

It’s a pity that Israel didn’t (and still doesn’t) have a death penalty. (Adolf Eichmann was a very particular exception.)

I am sure there are a lot of assassinated Palestinian freedom fighters who would disagree that they don't have the death penalty but then Israel has never treated Palestinians like people in the first place! Maybe that is part of the problem....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

At the event, the dead include a bunch of Christians from Puerto Rico, 8 Israelis, and a Canadian. It was senseless murder, and didn’t help Palestinians.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It's hard for a modern day resident of Japan like me to imagine there was such a thing as the Red Army, committing acts of terror in the name of communism.

Yep. The same can be said of Western countries today.

Never in my life did I ever expect to see my fellow countrymen shilling for socialism/communism/marxism.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Per my above observation. Below is from a jt reader.

In the 70's, the socialist labor resistance movement in Japan organized strikes and engaged police and earned rights that would lead to the broad based prosperity of the 80's in Japan. Sadly that has all been dismantled by subsequent LDP administrations and you have the wealth pyramid of today with the race to the bottom in the lifestyles of most working Japanese.

This is straight up socislism.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

SanjinosebleedToday  11:26 am JST

I am sure there are a lot of assassinated Palestinian freedom fighters who would disagree that they don't have the death penalty but then Israel has never treated Palestinians like people in the first place! Maybe that is part of the problem....

How come none of these "freedom fighters" (terrorists in English) didn't disagree when their Arab brethren annexed the West Bank? Oh, and then the PLO was expelled from Jordan.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

One man's terrorist is another man's liberator, so as long as he remains in Lebanon he'll probably feel pretty good about himself.

It is rather unusual though to see this friendly looking old guy holding up the peace sign with both hands knowing that there is blood on them.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Murderer. Shame on the media for giving him this sort of attention.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

It’s a pity that Israel didn’t (and still doesn’t) have a death penalty.

Tell that to Palestinian journalists or 15 year old kids throwing rocks who got shot in the face.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I'm sure it's family is proud of it.

Anybody in North America realize he did this on Memorial Day?

Coincidence?

Not likely

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

And of course the author of this article is from Lebanon, hence the "militant" as opposed to "terrorist" in the title.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

This is straight up socislism.

Triggered Randy?

Japan used to have itself a much flatter socioeconomic structure like Northern Europe with a prosperous middle class .

Then the corporate shills/cronies/useful idiots came in and you have today's situation.

So while Okamoto is abhorrent and an Islamist-adjacent radical, the socialist movement of the 70's in labor and society brought huge benefits to Japan, rolled back by capitalist oligarchs.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Garypen

Ukraine is being portrayed as defending its homeland from an unprovoked foreign invasion ,correctly and accurately

Thats not correct and not accurate !

Total rubbish !

First of all "portrayed" is past tense !

and in-case you haven't noticed the Ukraine crisis hasn't ended.

Furthermore the conflict was definitely provoked and has been slowly escalating for 8 years or more !

If your going to bring the Ukraine crisis into this discussion then atleast do your homework first !

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

painkiller

Can you tell me where and what date Israel allegedly annexed "Palestinian" lands?

The biggest annexation of Palestinian land would be Israel, itself.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@stormcrow

One man's terrorist is another man's liberator

If thats the truth then please explain why hijacking 4 passenger planes and murdering innocent people has proven to liberate anything but more terrorism ?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

garypenToday  12:35 pm JST

The biggest annexation of Palestinian land would be Israel, itself.

How could that happen? What land? And there is no country of Palestine, so no land can be annexed anyway.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I remember one of my first lectures at college…….A political module

Defining the statement…..A freedom fighter is a person engaged in a resistance movement against what they believe to be an oppressive and illegitimate government.

The moment Kozo Okamoto, 74, slaughtered 26 innocent lives, Okamoto become a militant radical terrorist.

This killer extremist should be rotting away in some hell hole sinking cell.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think Shigenobu is still dangerous -- she should never have been released.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

painkiller

"The biggest annexation of Palestinian land would be Israel, itself."

How could that happen? What land? And there is no country of Palestine, so no land can be annexed anyway.

Currently, there certainly is an internationally recognized State of Palestine.

Previously, the entire region of what is now called Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank was known as Palestine.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

This killer freedom fighter, now a fail old man, living the quiet life, whilst the victims families of the innocence Kozo Okamoto slaughtered will be forever condemned to a life sentence of mourning from what is cruelly torn away from them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

1970 and the seizure of an Air France flight to Entebbe, Uganda.

It is interesting to read this, brings back some memories on nights out with friends in Montreal.

My friends were a mixture of Muslim and Jewish Moroccans and one had the misfortune to not only be on the Entebbe flight but also was in Tel-Aviv airport and wounded during the attack.

We all joked the none of us would ever fly at the same time as he was.

He would joke about it but we all understood they were traumatic experiences for him.

It may be difficult to imagine but this group of Moroccan and Algerian immigrants to Canada were great friends regardless of being Jewish, Muslim and Christian (mostly the Quebecois).

But we heard the stories over and over about Entebbe and Tel-Aviv airport.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

That smile has no regret.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I am no friend of the Israeli government. Not one of the 28 UN resolutions has the Israeli government compiled with or respected.

What still remains is the Kozo Okamoto, the Japanese Red Army are the opposite side of the same coin

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's true that Palestine isn't a united nations member but not all countries are united nations either - Palestine and the holy see/the Vatican aren't united nations members however they are definitely their own countries.

Can a leopard change its spots -well...the leopard could go bald , get shaved or dye its fur.

And yes humans do change as change is inevitable and the only thing permanent.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The photo of him with the double peace signs at the cemetery memorial is disturbing.

One might think visiting cemeteries was his favorite thing to do.

And how he managed to stay so healthy looking in astonishing.

No need to point out he's rotten on the inside !

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Gives the victory sign

The victory sign made famous by Winston Churchill is the reverse ! !

No it is precisely that, later co-opted as a peace sign, the reverse is an ancient and very rude sign in England.

The only peace this murderer deserves is the peace of the grave and the quicker the better.

Palestine was never a nation, it was under both the Ottoman and British empires just an area designated by that name for administrative and tax purposes, it’s inhabitants were never seen nor saw them selves as a distinct cultural, linguistic or political group. That is a creation of self serving politicians at a later date.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Palestine was never a nation, it was under both the Ottoman and British empires just an area designated by that name for administrative and tax purposes, it’s inhabitants were never seen nor saw them selves as a distinct cultural, linguistic or political group.

The British treated the 13 colonies in North America exactly the same way. Then then those colonies revolted and tossed the miserable British aside to create a nation, the United States. Most of these new Americans initially still considered themselves to be Virginians, New Yorkers, Georgians, etc., but in time a national identity would grow, a process accelerated during the debate of the current Constitution. The Palestinians have considered themselves a people for centuries. It is irrelevant that this nation has been under the boot of consecutive colonial powers. This effort by the right to deny the Palestinians are a people or legitimately a nation is detestable. It is not unlike the argument Vladimir Putin uses to claim Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are not "legitimate nations". Is every nation that emerged from colonial rule also illegitimate in your mind?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mr. Okamoto is what may be called a "Man of Conscience" who saw the horror that is zionism early on and took an active stand against it even as propaganda convinced his fellows that the MONSTER was the 'victim'. He is ranked with people like Raoul Wallenberg, Sugihara Chiune, Oskar Schindler, and others who saw MONSTERS and acted from their own innate HUMANITY in the only way they could...

There are Germans and there are NAZIs (still). There are Jews and there are zionists. One judges people NOT by 'labels' but by BEHAVIOR. A People are NOT the geographical boundaries set by others but by a 'national' IDENTITY, a common recognition of themselves as a People. Jews have historically lived in many 'countries' but still consider themselves an IDENTITY. So, TOO, Palestinians. European Communistic zionists (rabid racist psychopaths (see: Aryans)), backed by wealth, INVADED and built colonies in Palestine at the beginning of the 20th Century and for 50 years waged TERRORISM against the native Palestinian People until they were able to militarily drive them into what have become CONCENTRATION CAMPS surrounded by concrete walls, barbed wire, and murderous guards who kill at the slightest provocation.

This is observable FACT. These monsters have also been able to convince the simple minded that THEY are the OPPRESSED, that the unarmed Palestinians are the TERRORISTS despite having invented modern 'terrorism' themselves. They are NOT 'Jews' in any way a self-respecting "Jewish person' would want to be seen as MANY Jews will be happy to tell you if their voices were not outshouted by the monsters. ALL extant 'national' identities contain these monsters but only in a few do they become dominant. Imagine a small country in South America to which all of the worst NAZIs had emigrated and imprisoned the natives and THRIVED by dint of MONEY, blackmail, extortion, bribery, murder of influential psychopaths (see: politicians) in other countries to gain support. THAT is Occupied Palestine. And if concrete walls, barbed wire, daily murder of unarmed men, women, and children, and brutal mobs backed by homicidal police chanting "Death to Arabs" cannot open one's eyes...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Aging Japanese militant in Beirut marks 1972 Israel airport attack

What a pathetic imbecile.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

HiroMay 31  07:13 am JST

A leopard cannot change it's spots no matter how many decades pass.

And here he is celebrating his evil crimes' anniversary due to the fact that he's getting away with it all.

Shame on him!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites