Masaaki Osaka, left, accused of killing a police officer during a riot in Tokyo in 1971, arrives at Osaka airport before being transferred to the capital, on Wednesday. Photo: Kyodo
crime

Far-left activist charged with police slaying after 45 years on run

14 Comments

Police on Wednesday served a fresh arrest warrant on a man they arrested last month after 45 years as a fugitive, suspecting he murdered a police officer during a riot by far-left activists in Tokyo.

The man, arrested by Osaka police on May 18 on suspicion of a separate offense, has not given his name but was identified by the police as Masaaki Osaka, 67, on Tuesday through multiple DNA tests.

Osaka is suspected of killing security police officer Tsuneo Nakamura, 21, on Nov. 14, 1971, when students and other activists protesting the ratification of a Japan-U.S. treaty on the reversion of Okinawa staged a violent riot in Tokyo's Shibuya district.

Osaka at the time was a member of the Japan Revolutionary Communist League National Committee, often referred to as Chukaku-ha, or "middle core faction."

He was put on the wanted list in 1972 for the charges of murder, assembling with weapons and assault along with other lesser charges.

His period on the run was the longest among major crime suspects designated by the National Police Agency. The police suspect the Chukaku-ha group has systematically supported him throughout the years.

As the trial of Osaka's alleged accomplice was suspended in 1981 due to mental illness, the statute of limitations for the murder case has not expired. The 15-year statute of limitations for murder was abolished in 2010.

Osaka was arrested for allegedly obstructing police duties when the police raided an apartment in Hiroshima used as a hideout of the Chukaku-ha while searching for a fellow activist.

© KYODO

©2017 GPlusMedia Inc.

14 Comments
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Glad they got him... and also glad that they dropped that stupid Statute of Limitations rule... it's just a daft idea.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

People like him give activists a bad name and harm the cause, more often than not.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

These are the kinds of people that become heroes to America's arch Liberals. Glad that in Japan these radical thugs have not been normalized.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

The

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

@Wolfpack 

Arch liberal? i never heard that term before. Like who? Maybe you mean like far left anarchists? But he proves they're hardly just in America.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Is a radical liberal not a contradiction? You can have radical right wing and left wing activists, you can have radical religious zealots but radical liberalism? I think not.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It is the law of Universe to punish the culprit even after forty years. It never fails. Justice may be delayed or denied, but the law of action would catch you unaware.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is the law of Universe to punish the culprit even after forty years. It never fails. Justice may be delayed or denied, but the law of action would catch you unaware.

It fails many times and there is no such "law". Many culprits go unpunished.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"As the trial of Osaka's alleged accomplice was suspended in 1981 due to mental illness, the statute of limitations for the murder case has not expired. The 15-year statute of limitations for murder was abolished in 2010."

The abolishment of the statue of limitations for murder is irrelevant to this case which occurred long before that. As mentioned, the clock on Osaka's case was halted when the suspected accomplice's trial was suspended (but not dismissed). That clock was restarted when the suspected accomplice died but the 15 years haven't run out yet so it's possible to arrest him.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Statute of limitations... I can appreciate such a thing for very minor offences but any criminal offence should have no such thing. For example some of these corporate and governmental fraud cases pocketed millions to the offenders and though now the evidence indicates that these people are as guilty as sin and have lived a life of luxury, they cannot be prosecuted because of this act. Similar again to rapists and child molesters.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It was explained to me that the reason for a statute of limitations was that the paperwork became obtrusive. Now that things can be stored digitally there is no further need for time limitations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have the feeling that the only reason the police were still so actively pursuing this case is because it was a police officer who was murdered... would they be as dogged if it was just a regular person who was killed? I hope my feeling is wrong though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now I'm not sure if my earlier post was correct. Different news programs have been giving different explanations as to why police were able to arrest Osaka even though it's been more than 15 years since the murder. In addition to the version I mentioned earlier, another was that Osaka's clock was stopped when the accomplice's trial went into suspension and then when the law on limitations was passed it was applied to his case retroactively. In that version the clock wasn't restarted when the accomplice died. It seems the people reporting the news are confused :-(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks Sam that's most probably the reason. Surely though as you suggest digital documents should mean the end of these statutes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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