TOKYO – A Japanese leftist radical has been arrested and charged in the killing of a police officer after more than four decades on the run, authorities said Wednesday.
Masaaki Osaka, 67, once a high-ranking member of the Japan Revolutionary Communist League, allegedly clubbed the officer with a metal pipe and Molotov cocktail during violent street protests in Tokyo’s now fashionable Shibuya district.
He disappeared after the incident in late 1971.
A Tokyo Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed Osaka’s arrest Wednesday, but declined to give more details.
Local media said Osaka — who was arrested in the city of Hiroshima last month and then brought back to Tokyo on Wednesday — was identified by DNA following a raid on a building used by a radical group.
Osaka was able to stay hidden for so long thanks to the help of sympathetic associates, reports said.
Images of a bespectacled Osaka with short graying hair contrasted sharply with the young man pictured in black-and-white wanted poster photos from the early seventies.
The killing happened at a time when large street protests were happening in major cities around the world as anti-establishment groups clashed with authorities, sometimes violently.