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Osaka cops apprehend man believed to be killer of police officer in ’71

OSAKA (TR) – Investigative sources with the Osaka Prefectural Police revealed on Monday that a person apprehended last week in Hiroshima Prefecture is likely a man wanted in the killing of a police officer in Tokyo more than four decades ago, reports NHK (May 23).

On May 18, police conducting an investigation into extremist group Chukaku-ha arrested a man, 52, in Hiroshima over the alleged provision of the submission of false documentation in the registration at a hotel. A second man who was with the suspect at the time was also taken into custody on suspicion of interfering with the duties of a public servant.

According to the sources, the second man is believed to be Masaaki Osaka, a 67-year-old member of Chukaku-ha, who is wanted in connection with the killing of a 21-year-old police officer during a riot in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward on November 14, 1971. On that day, a protest against the occupation of Okinawa by the United States turned violent, with students swinging metal pipes and throwing Molotov cocktails at officers.

Masaaki Osaka
Masaaki Osaka is wanted in connection with the killing of a police officer in Tokyo’s Shibuya area in 1971 (NHK)

The second man arrested in Hiroshima has remained silent since his apprehension, the sources said. However, based on facial and physical traits he is believed to be Osaka. Should the results of a DNA analysis prove to be a match for Osaka, he will be arrested on charges of murder.

Police have also issued a warrant for the arrest of Takashi Nagai, a 67-year-old leader of a team that is believed to have sheltered Osaka. The warrant is based on documents seized from a Chukaku-ha hideout in Tachikawa City five years ago.

Last year, the National Police Agency announced the offering of a reward of three million yen for information leading to the arrest of Osaka.