Bribery, Yakuza and Kamikaze

Mitsuyasu Maeno, ‘a Japanese actor who appeared in roman porno films. He died in an (unsuccessful) suicide attack on Yoshio Kodama, a multi-millionaire right-wing leader and leading figure in the Lockheed bribery scandals‘, part of a much wider system of kickbacks that followed the arms industry around. Kodama’s receipt of money from Lockheed horrified the ultra-nationalistic Maeno and other Japanese right-wingers, some of whom ‘expressed the view that he was being punished for taking money from Lockheed, a company that had built aircraft to fight Japan during World War II.’

In early March 1976, Maeno flew around Kodama’s neighborhood in Setagaya, gaining knowledge of the area in preparation for an attack. On the morning of March 23, 1976, Maeno arrived in the western suburbs of Tokyo at Chofu Airport with two friends. All three were dressed in the uniforms of kamikaze pilots, and Maeno informed airport officials that they were renting two planes for a kamikaze segment of a film… Maeno in one plane and his two companions in the other, the three flew around Tokyo for a period of about one hour… Maeno flew low over Kodama’s home, circling twice before diving into the building. An amateur radio operator reported that at 9:50 a.m. he heard Maeno call out “JA3551” – the number of his plane – and then saying emotionally, “Sorry I haven’t replied for a long time. Long live the Emperor!” after which the transmission suddenly ceased.

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