Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

1974 French Embassy attack in The Hague

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1974 French Embassy attack in The Hague

On Friday, September 13, 1974, three members of the Japanese Red Army (JRA) stormed the French Embassy in The Hague, on the orders of the leader of JRA Fusaku Shigenobu. The ambassador and ten other people were taken hostage. A few minutes later, three policemen entered the embassy and were immediately caught under fire. Two policemen were seriously injured due to the gunfire and the other opened fire.


The Red Army demanded the release of Red Army member Yoshiaki Yamada (also known as Yatsuka Furuya), one million dollars and the use of a French airplane. Due to the position of the building in a central part of the city (Smidsplein), the Dutch authorities, in consultation with the French government, chose to negotiate for the release of the hostage instead of mounting a rescue operation.

The siege and negotiations lasted five days. The French government agreed to free a jailed member of the JRA in return for the release of the hostages. The kidnappers also received 300.000 USD and a flight out of Holland. The plane flew the hostage-takers to Aden, South Yemen, where they were rejected. It then brought them to Syria. Syria did not consider hostage taking for money revolutionary, and forced them to give up their ransom.

The Dutch Budget Day (Dutch: prinsjesdag), where the reigning monarch addresses Parliament and proposes the next year's budget, was scheduled for September 17. The traditional ride in the Golden Coach did not happen. Instead Queen Beatrix was driven in a car, along a heavily protected route.

Trial of Attackers

Two of the three members who allegedly attacked the embassy, Haruo Wako and Jun Nishikawa were detained and extradited to Japan, where they were imprisoned. [citation needed]

The other member, Junzo Okudaira, is still at large. Fusaku Shigenobu was captured by the Japanese police in Nov 8, 2000, after many years on the run. She was found guilty of her involvement in the attack and sentenced to 20 years of prison.

In popular culture

This event was featured in the 2010 biopic miniseries Carlos about the terrorist Carlos the Jackal (Ilich Ramírez Sánchez).


1974 French Embassy attack in The Hague Wikipedia

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