The Asama-Sansō incident (あさま山荘事件, Asama sansō jiken?) was a hostage crisis and police siege in a mountain lodge near Karuizawa, Nagano prefecture, Japan that lasted from February 19, 1972 to February 28, 1972. The police rescue operation on the final day of the standoff was the first marathon live television broadcast in Japan, lasting 10 hours and 40 minutes.
The incident began when five members of the United Red Army (URA), following a bloody purge that left 14 members of the group plus one bystander dead, broke into a holiday lodge below Mount Asama, taking the wife of the lodge-keeper as a hostage. A standoff between police and the URA radicals took place, lasting ten days. The lodge was a natural fortress, solidly constructed of thick concrete on a steep hillside with only one entrance, which, along with their guns, enabled the hostage-takers to keep police at a distance.
On February 28, the police stormed the lodge. Two police officers were killed in the assault, but the hostage was rescued and the URA radicals were taken into custody. The incident contributed to a decline in popularity of leftist movements in Japan.
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... The incident, along with the Lod Airport massacre which occurred several months later, and several hijackings, contributed to an intense social backlash among the ... After the incident, the leftist movement in Japan greatly decreased in numbers and enjoyed much less popular support ... A 2007 film by Kōji Wakamatsu about the incident titled Jitsuroku rengô sekigun Asama sansô e no michi (United Red Army - The Path to Asama Mountain Lodge) won the Japanese Eyes Best ...
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