National

Shigenobu indicted in embassy attack

Japanese Red Army leader Fusako Shigenobu was indicted Thursday on charges stemming from the 1974 seizure of the French Embassy in The Hague, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office said.

The office said Shigenobu, 55, conspired with Haruo Wako, 52, and others to try to free a Red Army member who had been arrested and imprisoned in France.

On Sept. 13, 1974, Wako and two other armed Japanese Red Army members stormed the French Embassy in The Hague, confining the French ambassador and 10 others for 101 hours and firing shots at police, seriously injuring two officers.

Shigenobu, the founder of the Japanese Red Army and a key figure in a series of international terrorist incidents in the 1970s, was arrested outside a hotel in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture, on Nov. 8 after nearly 30 years on the run. Japanese authorities said they believe she masterminded the 1974 embassy siege.

Accomplices arrested

OSAKA — Police on Thursday arrested two former employees of a hospital in Osaka Prefecture on suspicion of harboring Japanese Red Army leader Fusako Shigenobu before her arrest in early November, police said.

Hitoshi Matsuo, 39, and Mamoru Yoshida, 48, were seen together with Shigenobu when she was arrested outside a hotel in Takatsuki in the prefecture on Nov. 8, according to police.

Police said the pair refused to be questioned by officers at the time. Matsuo used his name to book the hotel room where Shigenobu stayed Nov. 7, police said, adding that the two are also suspected of meeting her at the hotel that night without reporting it to police, they said.

The two men resigned from the Takatsuki hospital in mid-November. Police suspect the two are key supporters of the Lebanon-based Japanese terrorist group in the Kansai region.

Police also suspect the pair were involved in forging passports that Shigenobu used in her travels. Police officers have searched their homes and their offices at the hospital.