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Prosecutors demanded an 18-month prison term Thursday for the wife of a Red Army Faction fugitive for alleged passport law violations.

Takako Konishi, 57, now on trial at the Tokyo District Court, has been charged with violating the law by refusing to surrender her passport while living in North Korea.

Her husband led the hijacking of a Japan Airlines jetliner to North Korea in 1970.

A prosecutor told the court that Konishi worked in Europe with a North Korean agent to trick other Japanese into going to North Korea, and thus Japan needed to confiscate her passport to hinder her activities.

“The act of not returning her passport while knowing about the order (to surrender it) is one that harms (Japan’s) national interests and cannot be condoned,” the prosecutor said.

Konishi has pleaded not guilty, and her lawyer said it was impossible for her to comply with the demand because she was unaware that it had been issued.

The indictment states that Konishi contacted a North Korean diplomat, believed to be an intelligence agent, twice in Copenhagen in 1982.

The Foreign Ministry ordered her to surrender her passport in August 1988 due to her alleged liaison with the agent, but she failed to comply by the deadline, the indictment said.

Konishi has argued that she met the diplomat to facilitate her entry into North Korea.

Japanese police put Konishi and four other wives of the Japanese hijacking fugitives on an international wanted list in June 1993 due to their failure to surrender their passports.

Konishi left Japan in 1975 and married Takahiro Konishi, 58, leader of the radical leftist group, in North Korea.

She returned to Japan with one of her North Korean-born daughters and the children of four other hijacking fugitives in September. She was arrested upon her arrival.

Members of the Red Army Faction were granted asylum in North Korea after hijacking the jetliner to Pyongyang in March 1970.

The jet was traveling from Tokyo to Fukuoka when it was commandeered.

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