U.S. to deport Japanese Red Army member wanted for 1986 Jakarta attack


The United States has begun procedures to deport a Japanese Red Army member following his release from prison there last month, U.S. government sources said Wednesday.

The Metropolitan Police Department in Tokyo plans to arrest Tsutomu Shirosaki, 67, upon his arrival in Japan, on charges of attempted arson in connection with his alleged involvement in a mortar attack on Japan’s Embassy in Jakarta on May 14, 1986, informed sources said.

His transfer could come on Thursday at the earliest, the sources said.

The MPD believes he attempted to set a hotel on fire after firing a mortar shell from it toward the Embassy, in order to destroy evidence.

He was convicted in the United States of crimes including attempted murder in a mortar attack on the U.S. Embassy in the Indonesian capital on the same day. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

He was released from a Mississippi prison last month after serving a reduced term and has since been at a facility run by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Shirosaki was arrested in Japan in March 1971 for post-office and bank robbery and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

But he was freed together with five other prisoners in 1977 after the Japanese Red Army hijacked a Japan Airlines flight from Paris to Tokyo, forced the plane to land in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka and demanded the release of nine prisoners including Shirosaki.

The Japanese government also paid $6 million in ransom.

Upon his release, Shirosaki was believed to have played a key role in establishing new bases for the group in Asia.

He was seized in Nepal in 1996 and extradited to the United States for trial over the attack on the U.S. Embassy.