Left-Wing ‘Cop Killer’ Caught After 45 Years On the Run

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By Heat Street Staff | 5:16 am, June 9, 2017
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A far-left radical has been arrested 45 years after going on the run accused of murdering a police officer in Japan.

Masaaki Osaka has been a familiar sight on wanted posters around the country since the early 1970s, when a policeman was killed during a riot in Tokyo.

Now aged 67, Osaka was picked up in recent days and held. Although he refused to confirm his name when arrested, his identity was confirmed by DNA tests.

The manhunt dates back to November 14, 1971, when about 5,000 activists and students staged a demonstration against a treaty allowing American troops to remain in Okinawa when the territory was returned to Japanese control after the Second World War.

It turned violent, with weapons wielded and firebombs thrown at officers, one of whom, Tsuneo Nakamura, 21, subsequently died from his injuries.

Osaka was a high-ranking member of the Japan Revolutionary Communist League National Committee, also known as Chukaku-ha. After the officer’s death, Osaka was put on a wanted list in 1972.

In 1981, an alleged accomplice went on trial but the case was suspended on mental health grounds.

However, the hunt for Osaka was never called off. Last month officers raided an apartment in Hiroshima and arrested a man who turned out to be the fugitive.

The manhunt is the longest on record in Japan for a serious crime suspect. In 2010,
legislators axed a 15-year statute of limitations for murder charges meaning he is in line to face the full force of the law if found guilty.