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Japan Murder Suspect Arrested After 45 Years On The Run

by Arata Yamamoto and Saphora Smith /
Image: Masaaki Osaka, once a high-ranking member of the Japan Revolutionary Communist League, arrives at Tokyo's Haneda airport
Masaaki Osaka, once a high-ranking member of the Japan Revolutionary Communist League, arrives at Tokyo's Haneda airport on Wednesday.Jiji Press via AFP - Getty Images

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A fugitive murder suspect has been arrested after more than 45 years hiding from authorities, police in Japan said.

Masaaki Osaka was arrested Wednesday for five offences including murder, Tokyo police confirmed.

The 67-year-old is accused of killing a police officer during a Tokyo street protest in November 1971, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Image: Masaaki Osaka
Masaaki Osaka, in an undated picture used for the police's wanted list.Jiji Press via AFP - Getty Images

He reportedly threw petrol over the 21-year-old police officer before setting him on fire, NHK reported.

The long-time fugitive was first arrested in May after police raided a communist hideout in Hiroshima City, according to regional newspaper Chunichi Shimbun.

Osaka was arrested for an unrelated minor offense — obstructing a police officer — but was identified through a DNA match, the newspaper reported.

As one of the most wanted men in Japan, Osaka’s face has appeared on posters in Tokyo for more than four decades.

Japan has no statute of limitation for murder after the law was revised in 2010.

Image: Masaaki Osaka wanted poster
Pedestrians walk past a wanted poster of fugitive Masaaki Osaka, displayed at a police box in Tokyo, Japan in May. Franck Robichon / EPA

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