One of Japan's Most-Wanted Men Arrested After 45 Years
Masaaki Osaka, 67, charged with killing a police officer in 1971
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2017 3:34 PM CDT
Hiroshima, where Masaaki Osaka was arrested, is shown in this stock photo.   (Getty Images/NalYukoY)

(Newser) – After more than 45 years, time is up for one of Japan's most-wanted criminals. NBC News reports Masaaki Osaka was arrested Wednesday in connection with the 1971 murder of a police officer; he's accused of killing officer Tsuneo Nakamura during a street protest in Tokyo in November of that year. A member of the Japan Revolutionary Communist League (JRCL), Osaka was protesting the continued American military presence in Okinawa, an island 400 miles south of the mainland. Authorities say Osaka, now 67, assaulted Nakamura with a steel pipe before lighting him on fire with a Molotov cocktail.

The BBC reports Osaka was first arrested last month for allegedly obstructing police during a raid on an apartment in Hiroshima. The JRCL was reportedly using it as a hideout, and police were in search of someone other than Osaka. Although Osaka refused to give police his name, he was recognized, and his identity was eventually confirmed through DNA testing; the Japan Times explains a new warrant on the murder charge was served Wednesday. Osaka has since been moved from Hiroshima to Tokyo for further questioning, though the BBC says he has yet to say anything. Osaka's time as a fugitive—aided, authorities say, by the JRCL—was the longest among major-crime suspects being sought by Japan's National Police Agency.

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