Asama Sanso: Japanese hostage crisis: Armed left-wing extremists fought off Japanese police in the mountains in February 1972

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Asama Sanso: Japanese hostage crisis: Armed left-wing extremists fought off Japanese police in the mountains in February 1972

Da Witness History

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Armed left-wing extremists held off Japanese police for 10 days during a hostage crisis in the mountains in February 1972. Young members of the so-called United Red Army had hoped to bring about a communist revolution in Japan. Their hideout was discovered and most of them were arrested but five extremists took over a mountain lodge and held a woman hostage in a final stand-off. Ashley Byrne has been speaking to Michinori Kato one of the five who took part in the shoot-out.

Photo: The police rescue operation on February 28th 1972, the final day of the standoff, was broadcast live on Japanese television for 10 hours and 40 minutes. (Credit: Sankei Archive/Getty Images)
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