Masao Adachi, one of four Japanese Red Army Faction fugitives who were deported to Japan from Lebanon and arrested upon their arrival in March, has given Kyodo News a detailed description of how they were handed over.
Adachi, 61, is being detained by the Metropolitan Police in Tokyo while he stands trial on charges of using a fictitious name in an attempt to enter Czechoslovakia in 1989. In a 31-page composition titled “Spring 2000, Beirut,” written in pencil, Adachi wrote about how the four were separated from Red Army Faction member Kozo Okamoto in Lebanon and what they talked about with investigators.
According to the document, Adachi was suddenly ordered to leave a prison in Lebanon on the afternoon of March 17.
Adachi and four other members of the Red Army Faction — Okamoto, Haruo Wako, Mariko Yamamoto and Kazuo Tohira — were serving three-year terms at a prison in Roumieh, on the outskirts of Beirut, in March for using forged passports. Lebanon granted political asylum to Okamoto, 52, but deported the other four.
Okamoto had been sentenced to life imprisonment in Israel for taking part in a May 1972 massacre at Tel Aviv’s Lod airport that left 26 people dead and 76 wounded. In 1985, however, he was released as part of a prisoner swap.
Lebanon said it granted asylum to Okamoto because he had participated in resistance operations against Israel and had been tortured in Israeli jails. Many Lebanese have shown support for him as well as the other four, calling them heroes in the “battle against Israel.” pon leaving the prison, Adachi and the others tried to get into the same car as Okamoto but were prevented from doing so.
Adachi wrote that he and the other three, handcuffed and blindfolded, then were put on a plane to Amman.
At Amman airport, Jordanian officials refused to allow them into the country, and a Japanese who they believed was an official at the Japanese Embassy in Jordan told them the Japanese government had issued travel certificates for them.
When he was forced to board a chartered plane for Japan, Adachi shouted: “I am a member of the Japanese Red Army! Don’t you feel ashamed of treating us like this?”
Adachi’s description of the events will be published in the latest issue of the quarterly magazine Bungei, which will hit newsstands in early July.
Adachi, a former film director and spokesman for the far left radical group, left Japan and jointed the guerrillas in 1974.
The group was founded in Lebanon in 1971 by Fusako Shigenobu, who was a senior member of the faction. It strengthened ties with the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine, a radical Palestinian group. At its peak in the 1970s, the Japanese Red Army had about 40 members.