Japanese calls police from deathbed: “You have been looking for me for 50 years”

Japanese calls police from deathbed: “You have been looking for me for 50 years”
Japanese calls police from deathbed: “You have been looking for me for 50 years”
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The top photo in blue shows Kirishima. — © AP

“I’m Satoshi Kirishima, I’m in the hospital and I have terminal stomach cancer. I’ve been on your ‘Most Wanted’ list for 50 years.” A phone call to the Japanese police at the end of last month sounded something like this.

After the remarkable phone call, local police immediately went to the hospital near Tokyo to question the 70-year-old man. The man told the officers that he wanted to confess and not die under a false, but under his real name: Satoshi Kirishima. He would die last Monday, four days after the police 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.

Never caught

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. In May 1975, the police arrested eight members of the group, but other suspects, including the now 75-year-old Ayako Daidoji, are still on the run and somewhere abroad.

He was still wanted, as this photo from January 26 proves.

He was still wanted, as this photo from January 26 proves. — © AFP

Kirishima remained in Japan and was officially declared ‘missing’ in April 2003. He used the assumed name Hiroshi Uchida and worked for a construction company in Fujisawa, Kanagawa. During his years as a fugitive, he did not use a cell phone or health insurance and to avoid detection, he had his wages paid in cash.

According to Kyodo News, DNA tests on the seventy-year-old and on Kirishima’s relatives 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. The police also want to determine who helped the man to remain under the radar all these years.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Japanese calls police deathbed years

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