Police search 30 locations linked to Red Army

Police searched more than 30 locations in 11 prefectures Friday linked to four Japanese Red Army members arrested and detained in Japan last month after being deported from Lebanon.

The four are Masao Adachi, 60, Mariko Yamamoto, 59, Haruo Wako, 51, and Kazuo Tohira, 47.

The National Police Agency’s search of locations linked to the Red Army is the first since senior Red Army member Osamu Maruoka was arrested in November 1987 in connection with the 1970s hijackings of Japan Airlines planes over Amsterdam and India.

The raided locations included the office of a film industry-related person in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward and the homes of Red Army supporters in Hokkaido, Kyoto, Fukuoka and Kumamoto prefectures.

At about 8 a.m., five police investigators began searching the Shibuya office, which is believed to be linked to Adachi, who used to be a film director.

It is believed that police also intend to gather evidence about organizations in Japan that support the Japanese Red Army.

The four were taken into police custody for charges such as attempted murder immediately after being returned to Japan on March 18, ending more than 25 years on the run from Japanese authorities.

The four were part of a group of five Japanese Red Army members arrested in Lebanon in 1997 and sentenced to three years in prison for using forged passports. Their prison terms expired March 7.

Japan had demanded that Lebanon hand over the four. Citing the lack of an extradition treaty between the two countries, however, Lebanon deported the four to Jordan. After being denied entry at an airport in Amman, the Red Army members were flown back to Japan.