TEL AVIV (Jul. 13)
The military tribunal trying Kozo Okamoto said today that it would announce its verdict next Monday. The court adjourned until then after hearing brief summations from the prosecution and defense counselors. This morning, the accused made a lengthy statement expounding his political philosophy and claiming that the Lydda Airport massacre of May 30 was only a small part in a “war” aimed at destroying world society as it is presently structured.
Visibly excited and gesturing nervously as he spoke, the 24-year-old “kamikaze” gunman pictured himself and his two slain companions as “soldiers” in a ruthless war of “murder, destruction and annihilation” which he contended was necessary to change society. The man who participated in the machinegun and grenade slaying of 26 persons and the wounding of more than 70, expressed no remorse. He said he willingly shared responsibility with his dead colleagues for what happened at Lydda. He described those events as leading to a “third world war” following which there would be a society “where there are no classes and no room for courts such as this.”
“Our goal is overall war which includes murder and destruction of everything,” he said. “In this war we kill people, we destroy houses and property. This is more than a usual war between states,” he said. Okamoto spoke from the witness stand after being relieved of the handcuffs that bound him to a military police escort. He asked to make his statement to avoid being questioned. He spoke in Japanese and appeared irritated at several long pauses needed to allow the two court interpreters to catch up with his words.
Okamoto’s statement was one of general hatred, encompassing Israel but not directed solely at this country. He said he was a “soldier” in the “Red Army of Japan.” He said the “Red Army” joined in partnership with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. “I came to fight for the refugees who have no strength whatsoever. I carried out the orders of my commander,” he said. “We shall continue fighting until a new society is established,” he said. He noted that “thanks to modern transportation, the war is carried to distant places.”
Okamoto indicated that he had no fear of capital punishment. “When I die I will join my two colleagues and we shall be three stars in the Orion group of stars and with the intensification of the war we shall shine above and see the peace arrive,” he said. Okamoto said he had been taught from childhood that when he died he would become a star.