All Nippon Airways Flight 61

All Nippon Airways Flight 61
All Nippon Airways Flight 61

Two ANA 747-400 similar to the one in the hijacking attempt
Hijacking summary
Date July 23, 1999
Type Hijacking
Site near Tokyo, Japan
Passengers 503
Crew 14
Injuries 0
Fatalities 1
Survivors 516
Aircraft type Boeing 747-481D
Operator All Nippon Airways
Tail number JA8966

On July 23, 1999, an All Nippon Airways Boeing 747-481D with 503 passengers, including 14 children and 14 crew members on board, took off from Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) in Ota, Tokyo, Japan and was en route to New Chitose Airport in Chitose, Japan, near Sapporo when it was hijacked by Yuji Nishizawa (西沢裕司 Nishizawa Yūji).



About 25 minutes after takeoff,[1] Nishizawa used a kitchen knife, 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long,[2] to force a flight attendant to allow him access into the cockpit. He then forced 34-year old co-pilot Kazuyuki Koga (古賀 和幸 Koga Kazuyuki?) out, remaining in the cockpit with captain Naoyuki Nagashima (長島 直之 Nagashima Naoyuki?), who managed to notify ATC about the hijacking. Nishizawa stabbed Nagashima in the chest and took control of the plane, at one point descending to an altitude of 300 meters.

At 12:09 P.M., crew members managed to subdue Nishizawa, and co-pilot Koga got back into the cockpit, telling the air traffic controllers, "It's an emergency. The captain was stabbed. Prepare an ambulance." The plane made an emergency landing at Haneda Airport at 12:14 P.M. and Nishizawa was immediately arrested. A doctor confirmed the death of Nagashima, of Yokohama, shortly after the plane landed. Nishizawa was charged with murder.


Nishizawa, born September 8, 1970 in Tokyo was, at the time, a 28-year old unemployed man from the ward of Edogawa in Tokyo. During investigation, it was revealed that Nishizawa had taken a large dose of SSRI medication (SSRI (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are antidepressants used in the treatment of depression) before the episode, and he said that he hijacked the plane because he wanted to fly it under the Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo. On March 23, 2005, he was found guilty but of unsound mind, thus only partly responsible for his actions. Presiding judge Hisaharu Yasui handed Nishizawa a life sentence in 2005.[3]

The family of Nagashima sued All Nippon Airways, the Japanese state and Nishizawa's family, over Nagashima's death, alleging that poor security at the airport and aboard the plane led to the incident.[4] A settlement with undisclosed terms was reached on December 21, 2007.[5]

See also


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