Radical Group Member Pleads Innocence over 1971 Cop Murder

Society

Tokyo, Oct. 25 (Jiji Press)--A 73-year-old member of a Japanese radical group called Chukaku-ha pleaded his innocence in his first hearing held on Tuesday over the 1971 riot in Tokyo's Shibuya district, which left one policeman dead.

The Chukaku-ha member, Masaaki Osaka, who was on the run for around 46 years before being arrested at a hideout in the western Japan city of Hiroshima in 2017, is accused of murder, arson of inhabited structure and three other crimes.

In the hearing held at Tokyo District Court, Osaka said he did not commit any of the five crimes and was innocent.

As there is no compelling evidence pointing to Osaka's involvement, the focal point of the trial will be on the credibility of testimonies given by former students who were in their teens at the time.

In an opening statement, public prosecutors said Osaka, along with Fumiaki Hoshino, who died at the age of 73 while serving his indefinite prison sentence for leading the riot, and others, surrounded the policeman, Tsuneo Nakamura, then 21, and screamed, "Kill him! Kill him!"

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press