Osaka Prefectural Police say that a 67-year-old man arrested last week may be a fugitive wanted for murdering a police officer during a violent student protest held in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward in 1971.
According to police, on May 18, police arrested two men at a Hiroshima apartment belonging to an extremist group known as the Chukaku-ha, or the Japan Revolutionary Communist League, Fuji TV reported. This radical leftist organization, initially established in 1957, was known for coordinating, at times, violent riots in the 1960s and 1970s.
The two suspects were arrested on charges of obstructing police in the performance of their official duty.
Police said one of the two men possessed physical traits that resembled the fugitive, Masaaki Osaka, who allegedly killed a 21-year-old police officer with a Molotov cocktail during a student riot in Shibuya on November 14, 1971. The deceased officer, Tsuneo Nakamura, had been dispatched from Niigata to assist with the escalating large-scale protests at the time over the U.S. occupation Okinawa.
Osaka has been on the nationwide wanted list since 1972.
Although Osaka's fingerprints are not in the police files, nor is there any DNA evidence of his biological parents (who both have since died), police officials are checking whether a sibling’s DNA analysis can prove the identity of Osaka.
The statute of limitations for murder was removed in 2010, so if the suspect is proven to be Osaka, police said he may be charged with murder.© Japan Today