More than a hundred people who had been held hostage on the hi-jacked Japanese Airlines DC-8 plane made it to Tokyo on Tuesday (4 October) -- nearly a week later than originally intended.
SV Hostages leaving plane in pouring rain at Tokyo airport
SV Airport official holding umbrella for woman hostage as she steps down from gangway
SV Hostages leaving plane carrying baggage and walking across tarmac (2 shots)
GV Big hotel where reunion was held
GV INT Hotel, hostages reunited with their families (some tearful)
SV Waiters giving elderly hostage a drink
CU PAN FROM Elderly man to female relative reuniting
CU Male hostage weeps as reunited with family (3 shots)
SV PAN FROM Newsman TO woman hostage studying photos
Japan's Vice Minister for Transport, Mr. Hajime Ishii, has said that Japan is not in a position to ask for the extradition of the hijackers from Algiers. Mr. Ishii, who negotiated the release of the hostages, said "My mission was to get the hostages released. That has now been achieved." He also thanked the governments of Algiers, Bangladesh, Syria and Kuwait for extending their assistance to Japan to help save human lives.
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Background: More than a hundred people who had been held hostage on the hi-jacked Japanese Airlines DC-8 plane made it to Tokyo on Tuesday (4 October) -- nearly a week later than originally intended. They had flown in from Dacca, and were given a heroes welcome on their arrival at Tokyo airport.
SYNOPSIS: The pouring rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of these former hostages who were obviously very pleased to have reached their destination at last. Japanese Airlines' officials were there to provide umbrellas and a helping hand, and in fact did everything but roll out the red carpet. These people were among the earliest hostages freed by the Japanese Red Army hijackers at Dacca.
Their release was secured on Sunday (2 October) after the hijackers' demands for at 3.43 million pound sterling (6 million U.S. dollar) ransom and the release of six Japanese prisoners were met. In spite of their ordeal the former hostages looked well as they arrived at a nearby hotel for a reunion with their families and friends.
But the psychological stress of their five days in captivity must have been great, as the emotional scenes at the hotel show. Many of the hostages said they had never expected to see their loved ones again, and they had lived only from moment to moment through their frightening experience. This man and other elderly people wee among those held hostage at Dacca, as well as several young babies.
Other hostages who were released later at Damascus and algiers airports were still en route to Japan at the time of this reunion. After the hi-jack saga ended on Monday night (3 October) the Japanese police announced it had identified the hijackers. They believed the leader was Asamu Maruoka, thought to have been involved with a previous hi-jacking in 1973. Police showed photographs of the suspects to the former hostages to confirm their identification.