The Foreign Ministry will issue visas to three women who have been living under political asylum in North Korea due to their parents’ activities in the former Red Army Faction, their support group said Wednesday.
The three are planning to come to Japan on May 15, according to the Tokyo-based Kyuen Renraku Center. The documents will be issued by the Japanese Embassy in Beijing because Japan has no diplomatic representation in North Korea.
Yukio Yamanaka, secretary general of the group, will go to the embassy to collect the documents, which were requested in December.
The three are 22-year-old daughter of Yoshimi Tanaka, 52, who is being tried in Japan for the hijacking of a Japan Airlines plane in 1970; the 23-year-old daughter of Takahiro Konishi, 56; and the 22-year-old daughter of Takamaro Tamiya, a late senior member of the faction. All three have acquired Japanese citizenship since 1995.
In October, they announced their wish to return to Japan together with Tanaka’s wife, Kyoko, and Emiko Akagi, the wife of Shiro Akagi.
The five initially planned to return to Japan in time for the first hearing in Tanaka’s trial on Dec. 15. However, as the two wives of the suspects have been placed on an international wanted list on suspicion of violating the Passport Law, the support group decided to prioritize the return of the three daughters over that of the wives, the members said.
The three were born and raised in North Korea. Their mothers moved to the North in the late 1970s to marry the hijackers.
They received compulsory education in North Korea but they also speak fluent Japanese because they learned the language from their parents, the members said.
Nine members of the Red Army Faction hijacked a JAL Boeing 727 on March 31, 1970, and forced it to land in Pyongyang. Of the nine, three have died and two have returned to Japan.
The remaining four and their wives live with a total of 20 children aged between 6 and 23 in North Korea, they said.
Known as Sekigunha in Japan, the Red Army Faction was formed in 1969 and advocated global revolution through violence. A splinter group, the Japanese Red Army, broke away two years later and gained international notoriety in the 1970s through a series of terrorist acts abroad.
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