JAL 1977 plane hijack in Dhaka: Japanese filmmaker to make documentary

Bangladesh-Japan relationship is going to take a new shape with making of a documentary film based on the hijacking of a Japan Airlines flight by the Japanese Red Army way back in 1977 in Dhaka.

bdnews24.com
Published : 12 March 2006, 12:00 PM
Updated : 12 March 2006, 12:00 PM
Dhaka, Mar 13 (BDNEWS) – Bangladesh-Japan relationship is going to take a new shape with making of a documentary film based on the hijacking of a Japan Airlines flight by the Japanese Red Army way back in 1977 in Dhaka.
Nao Kubota, chief director of largest documentary film producing house, 'Documentary Japan', is making the documentary, and he is now in Dhaka to complete groundwork.
Talking to BDNEWS, Kubota said the aim of the documentary is to inform the young generation of Japan how Bangladesh, defying many obstacles, came to today's place of development.
"It also aims to let the young generation know how Japan got Bangladesh as a friend in need," Kubota said.
Masud Hossain, executive director of Bengal Tours Limited and working as coordinator for the documentary, told BDNEWS that Hajime Ishii, former Japanese vice minister and group leader of the negotiation team during the plane hijack, will visit Dhaka in the middle of next month.
He said Hajime Ishii will meet the family members of 11 Bangladesh Air Force men, who were guarding the hijacked plane at the Dhaka airport and killed in a failed coup during the hijack event, to express their sympathy.
The Japan Airlines Flight 472 was hijacked by the Japanese Red Army (JRA) on September 28, 1977.
The Douglas DC-8, en route from Paris to Haneda Airport in Tokyo with 156 people on board, had made a stopover in Mumbai, India. Shortly after taking off from Mumbai, five armed JRA members hijacked the aircraft and ordered it to fly to Dhaka.
At Dhaka airport, the hijackers took the passengers and crew hostage and demanded $6 million and release of 9 imprisoned JRA members.
On October 1, 1977, the then Japanese Prime Minister, Takeo Fukuda, announced that the Japanese government would accept the hijackers' demands on principle that "human life is more important than the world."
A chartered JAL flight carried the money and 6 out of the 9 detainees to Dhaka, where the exchange took place on October 2. The hijackers released 118 passengers and crewmembers.
On October 3, they flew to Kuwait City and Damascus, where they released 11 more hostages. Finally, the aircraft was flown to Algeria, where the authorities impounded it 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.
BDNEWS/1900 hrs

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