Japan Airlines Flight 472
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia. (January 2009)|
JA8033, the aircraft involved in the hijacking, at Honolulu International Airport in 1969.
|Date||28 September 1977|
|Passengers||142 (including 5 hijackers)|
|Aircraft type||Douglas DC-8|
The Douglas DC-8, en route from Paris to Haneda Airport in Tokyo with 156 people on board, stopped in Mumbai, India. Shortly after taking off from Mumbai, five armed JRA members, led by Osamu Maruoka, hijacked the aircraft and ordered it flown to Dhaka, Bangladesh. At Dhaka, the hijackers took the passengers and crew hostage, demanding US$6 million and the release of 9 imprisoned JRA members.
On 1 October Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda announced that the Japanese government would accept the hijackers' demands, on the principle that "human life outweighs the earth." Six of the imprisoned JRA members were then released.
A chartered Japan Airlines (JAL) flight carried the money and the six released JRA members to Dhaka, where the exchange took place on 2 October. The hijackers released 118 passengers and crew members. On 3 October, they flew to Kuwait City and Damascus, where they released 11 more hostages. Finally, the aircraft was flown to Algeria, where it was impounded by authorities and the remaining hostages were freed.
The incident contrasted Europe and the United States' approach of non-negotiation with terrorists to Japan's approach of appeasing terrorists if necessary. Shortly after the incident, Japan's National Police Agency established a Special Assault Team to deal with future acts of terrorism. Several of the JRA radicals involved in the hijacking have yet to be apprehended and their current whereabouts are unknown.
Maruoka escaped and remained a fugitive until 1987 when he was arrested in Tokyo after entering Japan on a forged passport. Given a life sentence, he died in prison on 29 May 2011. Another of the hijackers, Jun Nishikawa, eventually returned to Japan, was arrested, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.