In the wake of the Japanese Government's capitulation in the recent Red Army hijack, the Japanese Justice Minister has resigned.
In the wake of the Japanese Government's capitulation in the recent Red Army hijack, the Japanese Justice Minister has resigned. Mr. Hajime fukuda - no relation to Prime Minister Takeo fukuda - he was resigning because it was his responsibility to release the said six prisoners demanded along with the six million dollars in exchange for the hostage airline passengers. The hijackers were allowed to land freely in Algeria with their ransom after lengthy siege negotiations in Bangladesh.
SYNOPSIS: The Justice Minister's resignation came after a cabinet argument in Prime Minister Fukuda's official residence. Several ministers demanded to know why they were not told about the capitulation details. These included bowing to demands by Algeria, that Japan would not seek the return either of the hijackers or the ransom.
Mr. Hajime Fukuda left the meeting after resigning - a traditional move in Japanese politics to indicate total acceptance of responsibility. His deputy also resigned. the hijackers demanded the release from Japanese jails of nine prisoners, mostly convicted of non-political crimes, but three refused to be freed. The Justice Minister ordered the release of the other six in a move contravening the law.
But almost immediately, Mr. Fukuda went on to preside over a new government organisation - a committee set up to prevent future hijacks of Japanese airlines. In the latest saga, five Red Army guerrillas sworn to overthrow the Japanese Government and Emperor Hirohito took over a Japanese airline's DC-8 with 151 passengers and crew on a flight over India. Now free in Algeria, they say they are planning hit and run attacks in Japan itself - suing the ransom money to build up their organisation.