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Japanese Red Army: A Case Study (From International Terrorism: Policy Implications, P 137-161, 1991, Susan Flood, ed. -- See NCJ-132889)

NCJ Number
D H Chang
Date Published
25 pages
This study focuses on the Japanese Red Army (JRA), a terrorist group also known as Sekigun, and examines the leadership, organization, current status, and future implications of JRA activity.
The JRA is an outgrowth of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP). After World War II, the JCP actively recruited its members from among radical college students to promote a leftist ideology based on Marxist doctrine. The All-Japan Student Federation (Zengakuren) was formed which ultimately supplied JRA leaders. Throughout the early stages of Sekigun's development, protests and demonstrations against both Japan and the United States were held in the belief that American imperialism should be destroyed. Sekigun leaders believed the Japan-United States Security Treaty would ultimately allow U.S. imperialists to take over the entire world. To gain international recognition for the JRA, members participated in the Lod Airport massacre in Tel Aviv, Israel in collaboration with Palestinian groups. Currently, most JRA members are on worldwide "wanted" lists. Most of the original members are in their late 50's and 60's, and the JRA's future existence is uncertain. Moreover, because the JRA currently lacks support groups, a financial base, and new recruits, it may have to disband or be absorbed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization and its affiliates. The Japanese National Police and INTERPOL have stepped up surveillance activities and have collected enough information to make some arrests, and many of the high-ranking leaders are in prison. A chronology of terrorist events involving the JRA is provided. 25 references