Police obtained an arrest warrant Wednesday for one of the nine Japanese radicals who hijacked a Japan Airlines plane to North Korea in 1970 on suspicion of abducting a Japanese woman in 1983, police officials said.
The Metropolitan Police Department said it will put Kimihiro Abe, 54, on an international wanted list and demand that North Korea, where he was granted asylum after the hijacking, extradite him to Japan, they said.
He is suspected of having a hand in the abduction of Keiko Arimoto in Europe to have her marry a Japanese man in North Korea. Investigative authorities in Japan believe members of the hijacking group were also involved in the disappearances of two Japanese men from Spain in 1980.
North Korea told Japan during Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s Sept. 17 visit to Pyongyang that Arimoto died Nov. 4, 1988, at age 28.
The former college student from Kobe was studying English in London when she was abducted. She was last heard from in 1983 after writing to her parents from Copenhagen.
Her case came to light on March 16 when Megumi Yao, the former wife of one of the nine Japanese Red Army Faction hijacking fugitives, testified in court that she helped abduct Arimoto in order to have her marry a Japanese man in North Korea.
Tokyo police said they plan to turn over to prosecutors their case against Yao and Takamaro Tamiya, the leader of the hijacking group who died in 1995 in North Korea. Yao said she was ordered by Tamiya to abduct a Japanese woman who was no older than around 25.
Yao had contact in London with Arimoto in May 1983 and took her to Copenhagen in July that year by dangling a false job offer.
Yao arranged for Arimoto to meet with Abe and North Korean diplomat Kim Yu Chol, who is believed to have been a North Korean agent.
Arimoto was believed taken to North Korea by Kim via Moscow shortly after that.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.