Peru Hostage Crisis Exposed Japan's Lack of Intelligence: Ex-Diplomat


Tokyo, April 23 (Jiji Press)--A quarter century after a hostage crisis at the Japanese ambassador's official residence in Peru was ended by a raid by Peruvian special forces, former Japanese diplomats who were involved say the monthslong incident highlighted Japan's lack of intelligence capability and diplomatic failures.

On the night of Dec. 17, 1996, members of the leftist guerilla group Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) stormed the residence, taking hostage people who were there to celebrate the birthday of then Japanese Emperor Akihito.

The group held more than 600 hostages at one point but many were released in stages.

The Japanese government was seeking a peaceful solution through dialogue, but then Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was preparing to send armed forces into the building.

A commission of guarantors was later set up to mediate negotiations between the Peruvian government and the MRTA. Then Japanese Ambassador to Mexico Terusuke Terada, who had ties with Fujimori, took part as an observer in February 1997.

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