• Short Summary

    A 29-year-old Japanese actor in erotic films took on the role of a kamikaze-style suicide pilot in Tokyo on Tuesday (23 March) and crashed his plane into the home of bedridden businessman, Yoshio Kodama, a key figure in the Lockheed bribes scandal.

  • Description

    A 29-year-old Japanese actor in erotic films took on the role of a kamikaze-style suicide pilot in Tokyo on Tuesday (23 March) and crashed his plane into the home of bedridden businessman, Yoshio Kodama, a key figure in the Lockheed bribes scandal.

    Mr. Kodama, 65, and his family and bodyguards escaped unhurt after the single-engined Piper plane smashed into the second floor of his tow storey luxury house and exploded.

    Firemen doused the flames and recovered the charred body of the little-known actor, Mitsuyasu Maeno, hose last appearance was in "Tokyo Emmanuelle", a Japanese version of the French film "Emmanuelle". Police said his last words over the plane's radio were "Tenno-heiko Banzai" -- "long live the Emperor".

    Mr. Kodama has remained in his bedroom behind bullet-proof windows since the pay-off scandal broke in early February, and he was identified as a "secret Consultant" for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, helping it to sell its planes in Japan in return for several million dollars. Maeno, dressed in a flying suit worn by Japanese Imperial Army pilots in World War Two, and with a white scarf emblazoned with a red rising sun around his forehead, took off from a small private airfield near Mr. Kodama's home in western Tokyo.

    He was accompanied by another light aircraft equipped to take publicity shots over Tokyo.

    Eyewitnesses said Maeno's plane circled once over Mr. Koodama's home, cut its engine and plunged into the second floor of the house. Smoke and flames erupted from the house as 25 fire engines went to the scene.

    Mr. Kodama was taken to the ground floor from his bedroom close to the wreckage. He is reported to have been in poor health since suffering a stroke in September, 1974, while watching a Japanese film about wartime kamikaze pilots.

    Maeno's final shout of "Banzai" was the traditional cry of the wartime kamikaze pilots.

    One of Maeno's friends said he had been deeply affected by the ritual suicide of internationally known novelist Yukio Mishima in 1970.

    SYNOPSIS: In Tokyo, a little-known Japanese actor took on the role of a kamikaze-style suicide pilot on Tuesday and crashed his plane into the home of bedridden businessman, Yoshio Kodama, a key figure in the Lockheed bribes scandal.

    Eyewitnesses said the plane, flown by Mitsuyasu Maeno, circled once over Mr. Kodama's house, cut its engine and plunged into the second floor of the house in western Tokyo. It hit the house not far from Mr. Kodama's bedroom.

    Twenty-five fire engines were called to the fire which broke out.

    Mr. Kodama was taken to the ground floor from his bedroom. He's reported to have been in poor health since suffering a stroke in September, 1974, while watching a Japanese film about wartime kamikaze pilots.

    Maeno, dressed in a flying suit worn by Japanese Imperial Army pilots in World War Two, took off from a small private airfield near Mr. Kodama's house. He was accompanied by another plane equipped for taking publicity shots over Tokyo. Police said his final shout was "Banzai" -- the traditional cry of wartime kamikaze pilots.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA34ZIMFE6A1GBSF9LG4ENCFHPY
    Media URN:
    VLVA34ZIMFE6A1GBSF9LG4ENCFHPY
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    23/03/1976
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:25:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment