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Japanese Red Army

From Academic Kids

The Japanese Red Army (日本赤軍, Nihon Sekigun) (JRA) is an international organisation founded by Ms. Fusako Shigenobu in February 1971 after breaking away from the Japanese Communist League - Red Army Faction. The group had about 40 members at its height and once was one of the most feared guerrilla movements. The JRA has close ties to the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). By the early 1980s, the JRA was no longer active in Japan and was almost entirely dependent on the PFLP for financing, training and weaponry.

The JRA's stated goals are to overthrow the Japanese government and monarchy and to start a world revolution.

The group is also known as the Anti-Imperialist International Brigade (AIIB), Nippon Sekigun, Nihon Sekigun, Holy War Brigade, and the Anti-War Democratic Front.

Members

Terrorist activities

During the 1970s and 1980s, JRA carried out a series of attacks around the world, including:

  • March 31, 1970: The JRA hijacked a domestic Japan Airlines Boeing 727 carrying 129 people at Tokyo International Airport. Eight Red Army members wielded samurai swords and carried a bomb during Japan's most infamous hijacking. The plane was forced to fly to Fukuoka and later Gimpo Airport in Seoul, where all the passengers were freed. It then flew to North Korea, where the Red Army members abandoned the plane and the crewmembers were released. Tanaka is one of nine Japanese Red Army members accused in the hijacking, but is the only one to be convicted. Three of Tanaka's alleged accomplices later died in North Korea and five remain there. According to Japan's National Police Agency, another accomplice may also have died in North Korea.
  • May 30, 1972: The Lod Airport Massacre: A machine gun and grenade attack on Israel's Lod Airport in Tel Aviv, now Ben Gurion International Airport, left 26 people dead, including two JRA members. About 80 others were injured.
  • July 1973: Red Army members led PFLP guerrillas in hijacking a Japan Airlines (JAL) plane over the Netherlands. The passengers and crew were released in Libya, where hijackers blew up the plane.
  • January 1974: Red Army attacked a Shell Oil facility in Singapore and took five hostages; simultaneously, the PFLP seized the Japanese embassy in Kuwait. The hostages were exchanged for a ransom and safe passage to South Yemen in a Japanese Airlines plane.
  • September 13, 1974: The French Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands was stormed. The ambassador and ten other people were taken hostage and a Dutch policewoman, Hanke Remmerswaal, was shot in the back, puncturing a lung. After a few days of difficult communication and setting ultimatums, the hostages were freed in exchange for the release of a jailed Red Army member (Yatuka Furuya), $300,000 and the use of a plane. The plane flew the hostage-takers first to Aden, South Yemen, where they were not accepted and then to Syria.
  • August 1975: The Red Army took more than 50 hostages at a building housing several embassies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The hostages included the US consul and the Swedish charge d'affaires. The gunmen won the release of five imprisoned comrades and flew with them to Libya.
  • September 1977: The Red Army hijacked Japan Airlines Flight 472 over India and forced it to land in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Japanese Government freed six imprisoned members of the group and paid a $6m ransom.
  • December 1977: A suspected lone member of the army hijacked an internal Malaysia Airlines flight carrying the Cuban ambassador to Tokyo Mario Garcia. The Boeing 737 then crashed killing all onboard after he shot both pilots and himself.
  • May 1986: The Red Army fired mortar rounds at the embassies of Japan, Canada and the United States in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • June 1987: A similar attack was launched on the British and United States embassies in Rome, Italy.
  • April 1988: Red Army members bombed the US military recreational (USO) club in Naples, Italy, killing five.
  • In the same month, JRA operative Yu Kikumura was arrested with explosives on the New Jersey Turnpike highway, apparently to coincide with the USO bombing. He was convicted of these charges and is serving a lengthy prison sentence in the United States.
  • The JRA launched a series of 17 bombings on buildings belonging to large corporations, including Mitsui & Co. and Taisei Corp, injuring 20 people. Eight people were killed in the bombing of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.'s head office building in Tokyo.eo:Japana Ruĝa Armeo

no:Japanske Rde Arm ja:日本赤軍 zh:赤軍

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