Leftist group Chukaku-ha helped ex-fugitive Osaka elude capture for 46 years: sources

A recently arrested radical left-winger may have been receiving organizational support from an extreme leftist network called Chukaku-ha during his 46-year life as a fugitive, investigative sources said Thursday.

The Public Security Bureau of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department believes that Masaaki Osaka, 67, who was arrested Wednesday for killing a 21-year-old policeman during a clash between students and riot police in Shibuya Ward in November 1971, got help from a group of more than 10 Chukaku-ha activists, according to the sources.

The leader of support group is believed to be a covert Chukaku-ha activist in his late 60s who formerly led its members in the Tohoku region. The group prepared hideouts for Osaka and supplied him with money, letters and other things about once a month.

In March 2012, the MPD arrested the suspected leader on a charge of obstructing official duties during a raid on a Chukaku-ha base in Tachikawa, western Tokyo. He was later freed and went underground again.

Other members of the support group are believed to include Tetsuya Suzuki, 52, who was captured with Osaka at a Chukaku-ha base in Hiroshima last month, and a 50-year-old secret activist who was arrested by the MPD at another base in Tokyo’s Kita Ward in January 2016.

The MPD plans to expand the investigation to cover senior Chukaku-ha members because sheltering a fugitive is believed to cost several million yen a year.

Following the Shibuya incident, Osaka was put on a wanted list in 1972. He had been wanted internationally since 2010.

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