Three daughters of former Red Army Faction members who hijacked a Japan Airlines flight in 1970 visited the Tokyo Detention House on Wednesday to see one of the trio’s father, who is being held there.
Azumi Tanaka, 22, the eldest daughter of Yoshimi Tanaka, 52, who was indicted last June over the hijacking incident, met her father at the detention house in Tokyo’s Adachi Ward.
The three daughters — Tanaka, along with Ritsuko Konishi, 23, daughter of Takahiro Konishi, 56, and Asaka Tamiya, 22, daughter of Takamaro Tamiya, the deceased leader of the hijackers — were driven to the detention house by their supporters. They made no comment as they entered the facility.
After the 30-minute meeting, Tanaka said, “It was the first time I’d seen my father in seven or eight years, but I am happy he appeared in good health.” She noted that “his hair has got a bit thin.”
“I want to be a devoted daughter to my parents from now on,” she said, adding that her father encouraged her to get used to life in Japan.
“I told him to hold on,” Tanaka said with a smile.
Her father was extradited to Japan from Thailand last June and charged over the hijacking. He has pleaded guilty at his ongoing trial at the Tokyo District Court.
His two other daughters, aged 14 and 9, respectively, live with their mother, Kyoko Tanaka, 44, in North Korea.
Kyoko, who is on international wanted lists for refusing to return her Japanese passport, is herself preparing to come back to Japan, according to a support group.
The three daughters, who were born and raised in North Korea after their mothers moved there in the late 1970s to marry the hijackers, arrived in Japan on Tuesday evening from North Korea via China.
The three filed applications for travel documents last December at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, which issued the documents April 30.
On March 31, 1970, nine members of the Red Army Faction, known as “Sekigunha” in Japan, hijacked the JAL plane with 138 passengers and crew en route from Tokyo to Fukuoka and forced it to fly to Pyongyang.
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