Japan: Fusako Shigenobu, the founder of the Japanese Red Army, released from prison

Fusako Shigenobu, the founder of the Japanese Red Army, accompanied by her only daughter Mei Shigenobu when she was released on May 27, 2022. AFP - CHARLY TRIBALLEAU

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Fusako Shigenobu, the founder of the Japanese Red Army, responsible in the 70s and 80s for several attacks in the world and who settled in Lebanon to serve the Palestinian cause, was released in Tokyo after serving a twenty-year prison sentence.


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With our correspondent in Tokyo


Frédéric Charles

Now 76, Fusako Shigenobu was arrested in 2000 in Japan where she returned illegally after living in the Middle East for thirty years.

A year later, she proclaimed her renunciation of terrorism and the dissolution of the Red Army from her prison cell.

She was one of the most wanted terrorists in the world.

In the photographs of the police, we discover in the early 70s, a pretty woman, an enigmatic face, long smooth hair.


She coldly sent her husband and his lovers to their deaths

 ,” according to William R. Farrell, author of

Blood and rage, the story of the Japanese red army


Today, it's a sick old lady, her gaze still just as determined, who is coming out of prison.

She is accompanied by her only daughter Mei Shigenobu, a journalist born in 1973 in Lebanon from an affair with an PFLP militant.

Thirty of his supporters were also present.

The Japanese Red Army, behind several attacks

Pursued in Japan after the hijacking of a Japan Airlines plane in Pyongyang, the Japanese Red Army moved to Lebanon in 1971 and linked up with extremist Palestinian organizations.

A year later, she made herself infamous with the massacre at Lod airport in Tel Aviv, killing 26 and injuring a hundred.

Fusako Shigenobu allegedly planned the carnage.

Subsequently, it launched several other attacks, including a hostage-taking at the French Embassy in the Netherlands in 1974. The Red Army was, without doubt, in close contact with Illich Ramirez Sanchez, known as Carlos.

During the events in The Hague, Carlos launches an attack on the Publicis drugstore in Paris which leaves two dead and 34 injured.

The Red Army is also responsible for another hijacking of a Japan Airlines plane on Dacca in Bangladesh in 1977, the taking of hostages of diplomats in Kuala Lumpur in 1975, but also an attack against the American military club in Naples.

According to Philippe Pons, correspondent for

Le Monde

in Tokyo, the Japanese Red Army was the terrorist avatar of the Japanese student movement at the end of the 1960s. It went from molotov cocktails to Kalashnikovs.

When Fusako Shigenobu was arrested in 2000, the


newspaper already wrote that she “ 

sounds like the funeral oration of the revolutionary utopias of an era


To read: Japan 1968: the longest and most violent student revolt in the world


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