3 activists found guilty of 1986 summit attacks
June 3, 2010
The Tokyo District Court on Wednesday sentenced three activists it once acquitted to up to 11 years in prison for firing handmade mortar shells at the venue of the 1986 Tokyo economic summit of Group of Seven leaders and a U.S. air base in Tokyo. Taketoshi Suga, 65, who was sentenced to 11 years, and Hirofumi Sogame, 66, and Hiroshi Itagaki, 66, who were both given eight years, immediately filed for an appeal immediately.
The three members of the left-wing Japan Revolutionary Communist League National Committee, often referred to as Chukaku-ha or middle core faction, were acquitted by the same court in March 2004, more than 16 years after the attacks at the State Guesthouse in central Tokyo and the U.S. Air Force’s Yokota base in suburban Tokyo. No casualties were reported in the incidents.
Top court orders retrial over mortar attack during '86 G-7 summit in Tokyo
October 18, 2007
The Supreme Court has upheld a high court's decision to overturn the acquittal of three leftist radicals for producing a mortar that was fired during a G-7 summit in Tokyo in 1986 and has ordered a retrial over the case.The No. 1 Petty Bench of the Supreme Court handed down the decision in response to an appeal by the three including Taketoshi Suga, 63, a member of the Chukakuha ultraleftist organization.
With the decision, the Tokyo District Court will shortly begin to retry the case.In 2004, the Tokyo District Court found the three not guilty of violating the Explosives Control Act after concluding that there is no proof that they conspired with the person who launched the weapon in a bid to obstruct the summit conference. The person who carried out the attack has never been identified.
In 2006, the Tokyo High Court overturned the acquittal and ordered the lower court to retry the case, pointing out that it had failed to examine materials that could serve as concrete evidence concerning the defendants' involvement in the attack.
The defendants then appealed the high court decision to the top court.
Trial of 3 men accused of attacks against 1986 summit to be reopened
TOKYO — The Supreme Court said Thursday it has upheld a high court decision that ordered a lower court to reexamine the case of three men who were acquitted for firing handmade mortar shells at the venue of the 1986 Tokyo summit of leaders from the Group of Seven major advanced nations. The decision paves the way for the Tokyo District Court to reopen the trial of the three extremists who were indicted in November 1987 for allegedly violating the explosives control regulations.
The three defendants are Taketoshi Suga, 63, Hirofumi Sogame, 63, and Hiroshi Itagaki, 64, all members of the Chukaku-ha (mid-core faction) leftwing group. The three men, in conspiracy with several other group members, allegedly fired five projectiles against the State Guesthouse in central Tokyo, the venue of the G-7 summit, in May 1986. In March 2004, the district court acquitted the three men, saying there is no evidence that the defendants produced the mortar shells or conspired with those who actually fired them. But the Tokyo High Court ordered the district court in May 2006 to reexamine the case, saying the evidence presented by prosecutors strongly indicates the three were involved in producing the projectiles. (Kyodo News)
Cleared 15 years on, still on hook
Trio acquitted in '86 leftist assault now in double jeopardy.
The Tokyo High Court on Friday ordered the Tokyo District Court to re-examine its acquittal, after a 15-year trial, of three men accused of firing makeshift mortar projectiles at the State Guesthouse during the 1986 Group of Seven summit in Tokyo.
The district court cleared Taketoshi Suga, 61, Hirofumi Sogame, 62, and Hiroshi Itagaki, 62, in March 2004. They had stood accused of violating the explosives control law by producing the shells in conspiracy with other leftwing extremists. It ruled that there was no evidence to prove their involvement in firing the projectiles.
But on Friday, presiding Judge Taketaka Nakagawa of the high court sent the case back to the district court, noting evidence presented by the prosecution during the initial trial "strongly suggested" the trio were involved in making the launching devices.
"Nevertheless, (the district court) rejected the evidence and the case was not fully examined," Nakagawa said.
Prosecutors had demanded prison sentences ranging from 13 to 15 years for the three, who immediately appealed Friday's ruling to the Supreme Court.
"When I heard that the court decided to throw out the lower court acquittal, I felt anger so strong it was as though my heart was shaking," Sogame said. "It is an extremely political and dirty ruling that determines everyone associated with leftwing extremists to be guilty."
The defendants' chief lawyer, Hoichi Fujisawa, denounced Friday's ruling as extremely unjust and fraught with contradictions.
"If the high court is going to deem (the defendants) as being guilty, it should examine the evidence itself and overturn the original ruling, not send the case back to the lower court," he said.
The three were charged with conspiring with a number of others and of participating in the firing of five shells at the Asakaka State Guesthouse in central Tokyo on May 4, 1986, to disrupt the summit, and with launching five shells at the U.S. Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo on April 15 the same year.
The lower court ruling came over 15 years after the trial opened in September 1988, and the three, who were arrested in October 1987, had been detained until they were freed on bail in December 2002.
Friday's ruling drew a barrage of condemnations from the defendants' supporters in the gallery, who protested that the legal battle was going to drag on even longer.
Masao Fukushima, 62, who had been charged as a conspirator in both attacks, appealed a ruling in March in which he was sentenced him to 12 years in prison.
During the trial, the prosecution presented as its main evidence memos on the design of mortar shells and manuals on how to produce them that police had confiscated from their hideouts.
The lower court determined however, that the hideouts were set up after the incident and that there was room to believe the memos were copies of the originals.
But in Friday's ruling, Judge Nakagawa said the state of the memos indicated they could not be copies, and it was clear from handwriting analysis that they were penned by one of the three defendants, whom he did not name.
Jailed 14 out of their 15-year trial,
activists cleared for now
The Tokyo District Court ended a 15-year trial Thursday by acquitting three men charged with firing mortar-launched projectiles in 1986 at the U.S. Yokota Air Base and the State Guesthouse in Tokyo during a meeting of leaders of developed nations.
Taketoshi Suga, 59, Hirofumi Sogame, 60, and Hiroshi Itagaki, 60, were charged in No
vember 1987 with manufacturing mortar rounds in conspiracy with other activists.
Presiding Judge Nobuyuki Kiguchi said Thursday that while the defendants had probably manufactured other explosive devices, there was room for reasonable doubt as to their involvement in the attacks.
"There is no evidence that they created the mortar shells used in the case, and there is no proof that they conspired with those who actually fired them," he said.
The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office said it will appeal the ruling. The first hearing was held in September 1988. It had been the longest ongoing trial at the district court.
Prosecutors said the three conspired with others and fired five mortar shells at the guesthouse in central Tokyo on May 4, 1986, to disrupt the talks, as well as launching five shells at the air base in western Tokyo on April 15 the same year. They were freed on bail in December 2002.
Prison term to become final for man over attack during 1986 Tokyo summit
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal lodged by a man over a charge of firing mortar shells at the venue of the 1986 Tokyo economic summit of Group of Seven leaders, upholding lower court rulings that sentenced him to 12 years in prison.
Masao Fukushima, 68, a member of the left----wing Japan Revolutionary Communist League National Committee, known as Chukaku----ha or middle core faction, could still file for objection over the decision dated Monday but the country's top court has rarely accepted such submissions.
The top court's second petty bench presided over by Justice Katsumi Chiba upheld lower court rulings that dismissed his plea of innocence. The March 2006 Tokyo District Court ruling called the acts "nothing but acts of terror" and said Fukushima's involvement was "obvious" as notes written by the defendant on the development of explosives were confiscated from his hideout. The Tokyo High Court upheld the lower court ruling in March 2008.
According to lower court rulings, Fukushima conspired with other members of the group and fired five mortar shells at the guesthouse in central Tokyo on May 4, 1986, to disrupt the summit talks, while launching five shells at the U.S. Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo on April 15 the same year.
Three men, believed to have conspired with Fukushima, were sentenced to up to 11 years in prison by the Tokyo District Court in 2010 in a retrial that overturned their previous acquittal. They are appealing the ruling.
(Mainichi Japan) March 8, 2012
毎日新聞 2012年3月7日 19時27分（最終更新 3月7日 19時35分