Kozo Okamoto, lone survivor of the three-man Japanese suicide squad which killed and injured more than 100 people at Israel's Lydda airport, accepted full responsibility for the massacre when he spoke for the first time at his trial in Israel on Thursday (July 13).
SV Okamoto with escort enters courtroom
SV Military judge
SV Escort removing handcuffs from Okamoto
SV Japanese reporters in courtroom
SV Okamoto making statement in Japanese with translation in Hebrew (2 shots)
SV Court listens as Okamoto continues
SV Okamoto being handcuffed
SV Judge leaving
SV Okamoto with escort being led from courtroom
Initials BB/1218 ES. 1220
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Background: Kozo Okamoto, lone survivor of the three-man Japanese suicide squad which killed and injured more than 100 people at Israel's Lydda airport, accepted full responsibility for the massacre when he spoke for the first time at his trial in Israel on Thursday (July 13).
In an 85-minute statement, spoken in Japanese and translated into Hebrew simultaneously, Okamoto said that the Lydda attack was part of what he described as a revolutionary war against the bourgeoisie. He said he believed he had to prepare for the creation of a World Red Army and added: "I would like to warn the entire world at this moment that The Red Army will slay anyone who stands on the side of the bourgeois. This I do not say as a joke."
Okamoto, a 24-year-old university student, elected to make a statement rather than give evidence under oath, where he would have been open to questioning. His handcuffs were removed before he started speaking. He described his profession as a soldier of The Red Army. Talking of revolution he declared: "the present warfare is a warfare of justice. My meaning of justice is a society with no class distinction."
Okamoto concluded his statement with a mystical reference to becoming a star in the sky after his death. He said that his two Japanese companions who died while taking part in the 7 attack were already stars, as were many of their victims. There would, he added, "be many more such stars in the sky soon."
After his statement, Okamoto's defence counsel submitted another request that Okamoto should have a psychiatric examination, preferably by a Japanese psychiatrist. But this was subsequently refused by the court.