A dying man has called police from a Japanese hospital to say he was one of the country’s most wanted fugitives and part of a radical bombing group 50 years ago.
After receiving the call, local police went to the hospital near Tokyo last week to question the 70-year-old man. The man told officers that he had terminal cancer and that he did not want to die under his alias, but under his real name. Satoshi Kirishima. He would die last Monday, four days after the interrogation.
Born in 1954, Kirishima was a university student in Tokyo when he became involved with the East Asia Anti-Japan Armed Front, a militant group that carried out a series of bombings at major Japanese companies in the 1970s. An attack on a Mitsubishi branch in 1975 killed 8 people and injured more than 160 others.
Kirishima ended up on the ‘Most wanted’ list and was wanted for, among other things, an explosion in a building in the chic Ginza district of the Japanese capital. Although he was not a major member of the group, he was the only one of the ten members who was never caught. During his years as a fugitive, Kirishima did not use a cell phone or health insurance, and to avoid detection he also had his wages paid in cash.
According to Kyodo News, DNA tests on the seventy-year-old and on known relatives of Kirishima have now shown that the dying man did indeed tell the truth. The police do not yet want to confirm those DNA results, although investigators also believe that the man was who he claimed to be. “He was also able to give us previously unknown details about some attacks,” said police spokesman Yasuhiro Tsuyuki.
On Friday, investigators raided the construction company where Kirishima had worked for almost forty years under the alias Hiroshi Uchida.